Saturday, October 3, 2015

back to the Zen future

Black Moon Zendo ... an old friend in other times.
A time of tornado around the house as my older son collects his possessions, splices them into a U-Haul van and gears up to move to new digs and a new job in Plymouth, N.H. to the northeast. Boxes here, screw drivers there, shoes mingling with bits of computer gear and family members lending a hand. Outside of me (I don't work well or effectively any more), they will all trek to the new apartment this morning, unload, create what they can of a new environment ... and be done. Angus' new job as a college track coach begins in a few days and, despite the tightness of the fit that has existed around here, I will miss him as I miss each of my children as they "separate" from this place I live in and they have too.

All the activity seems to muddle my mind ... or stir an already stirred pot. Some part of me wants to rest and relax and be at ease in whatever assumptions weave such relaxation, but the assumptions are dashed against the activity of the present. It's a minor matter ... to everyone but me.

In the midst of this mulligan stew a small 'surprise' bomb dropped yesterday when I received an email out of the blue from a Zen student looking for a place to relocate the small sangha (group) of which he is part. Would there be any chance that Black Moon Zendo could share its facilities?

The idea had never occurred to me and yet, when asked the question, it made perfectly good sense -- an unused building used to the purpose for which it was originally intended and yet had fallen into disuse with my advancing age. I loved being surprised by the suggestion. It took me back to a time of construction; to a time when Sunday mornings were sometimes cold enough so that, even with the electric radiator going, my breath was visible on the air; to sittings I sat although few if any came to sit with me ... of times gone by when getting into a robe and raksu were what happened on Sunday mornings and sometimes other times as well. I was then, I suppose, a "Zen student," although no one who ever sat/practiced zazen ever considered him- or herself a "Zen student" while actually sitting.

It was fun to go back. And it was enticing, imagining a future. As that 12x16 building had been a friend to me, so I liked imagining it might be a friend to others. And there was something humorous in the notion that I might become a Zen landlord. It won't work, I imagine, but I like imagining it.

It won't work because it's too small, too poorly appointed (upscale heat and air conditioning are expected in what is imagined as a sharp-stick practice). It's too demanding and besides, the parking situation around here is not abundant. Where I learned to sweat and shiver ... well, that was me. No, it will come to nothing ... but it was a surprise and I enjoyed it.

I sent an email saying I was open to the idea, but I'm not holding my breath even if the questioner gets back to me.

Still, it is an occasion on which I can recognize how good it was to have such a friend.

1 comment:

  1. I am just thinking aloud because I wanted to get somethings done and that may include topping up Adam's gofundme as well as my mother's household allowances.

    Come to think about it I have been saving quite a fair bit lately, I need to be honest as I always try to be since doing zazen. Like Obamacare, the Singapore government is still adamant that their success is possible because they expect the elderly to only need the most basic of necessities - which is a decent expectation - so whether your sons or my mothers, these democracy governments are willing to top up the boys' kitties. Mine insists that if my parents need doctors or surgeons they will heavily subsidise, which meant that my dad is practically a full-timer recycling volunteer these days collecting scrap Styrofoam is for his pseudo fish tanks. It gives him meaning, he has almost exactly that same altar as yours in your backyard. He tells me, the purpose of his fishes are so that he can educate me on why kids are fed - so that the males can carry on the procreation business. It stresses the shit out of me at times.

    Zazen seems easy, yet this fucking business seems very challenging since we first spoke.