It's Dec. 4, more or less the halfway point in Rohatsu sesshin for some. Rohatsu is an intensive retreat that Zen Buddhists take part in ... or don't. The last day of Rohatsu is said to mark the day on which Gautama Buddha saw the morning star and was enlightened or opened up or got things straight ... or as the kids would say, "what-EVER!"
Some say Gautama's recognition or actualization came on Dec. 8. Some choose other days of the year.
I am grateful to those who make this intense effort. I don't have the energy for intense efforts any more, but I can be grateful.
Today, the morning star was bright against the dark skies.
It can't be helped.