Sunday, October 20, 2013

begin, continue

Because I am getting old, weak and lazy, I no longer have the oomph to break apart what might otherwise be two periods of zazen or seated meditation with a little walking meditation, kinhin, between. So lately, it has been just one 50-60-70 minute period.

A couple of guys, Bram and Nick, have decided to take part lately. Bram has some experience. Nick is brand new to practice. In concession to Nick's newness, I told him that if things like pain got to be too much, he could simply create his own intermission and stand quietly at his seat and then sit back down. Nick took advantage of the offer last week. It worked out very well ... two guys sitting, one guy standing, everyone quiet... including Bram's 160-pound malamute, which waited quietly out on the lawn.

But this week Nick went the distance. He didn't say anything afterwards other than to ask how long we had sat (since I am in charge of the clock). Perhaps Nick is doing one of those corporate Zen thingies in which the longer you sit the tougher you are and the better Zen student you become ... but I don't think so. Nick is too amicable and open a guy for that sort of stuff, I think. He's not beyond yardsticking his progress, but he doesn't seem inclined to wave his yardsticks around.

Anyway, both Bram and I were pleased for Nick ... as if a younger brother had had a success and we were happy for him.

How hard it is to begin.

The only thing harder is to continue.

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