Yesterday, in I don't know how many years (ten, twelve?), I did not go out to the zendo to practice zazen. Sundays have been the one fershur day of the week when, whatever else was going on, I would visit this old friend of a building, light some incense and a candle ... and do a little seated meditation. There could be other days during the week when I might visit as well, but Sunday was a fershur day. But not yesterday.
It was hot yesterday and I don't do well in the heat. It tires me out. Even the encouragement "when it's hot, sweat; when it's cold, shiver" was not enough yesterday. There is something to be said for giving things up as gracefully as possible ... not finding excuses of the "really, you should be comfortable when meditating" variety ... just giving up. Determination is pretty important in spiritual endeavor, but as time passes, the question seems to ask itself, "Determined for what? Is there really something to fear? Aren't you a little old for the 'authority' nonsense?"
The lash of interrupting a pretty consistent bit of determination yesterday was not as compelling, somehow, as the fact that I did not walk out to visit my old friend. I guess I feel pretty paternal about the zendo and can't deny it seems to feel pretty paternal about me.
I didn't go sit in the zendo. I sat in the coolth of the living room.
I hope my old friend will understand.
I hope I will too.