Somebody named Bruce called up shortly after supper yesterday and wanted to know about coming around to see about Zen practice. He dug up my name from the zendo web site I keep pussy-footing about taking down. Bruce said he worked as a nurse per diem at a nearby hospital, that he was retired and that he had read a couple of books about Zen, but didn't know much about the nitty-gritty, do-ing parts.
And, as lazy as I am about such things these days, I could not say no ... even when he said he couldn't come on the Sunday mornings when I generally make the zendo open to all comers. We agreed that Monday or Tuesday evening might work out ... a time when I am generally sliding towards reading in bed and dozing off to sleep. I could not say no to someone who wanted, however tentatively, to step across whatever line it is that separates talk-the-talk from walk-the-walk. I really admire that willingness and feel compelled to support it in whatever way I can.
And then there was the added fact that I liked Bruce's easy-going tone over the phone. He wasn't tugging his forelock in some requisite 'humility.' He was just curious and wanted to know ... in the same way someone might want to know directions to a movie theater. Straight forward, pleasant, and polite without being obsequious.
I still don't like my lazy-time habits being interrupted, but I am willing/compelled to interrupt them ... with only a small grrrrr.