Sitting

I was invited to a shabbat dinner on Friday night – I was not the only gentile among the attendees – and as a part of the ritual we were all asked to say what the high and low points of the week had been. The high point for me was certainly securing some housing for myself after I move out of Zen Center in about six weeks: a lovely apartment sharing with a former Zen Center resident. The low point is a little personal to be broadcast so widely, but I concluded by saying I was looking forward to the one-day sitting.
This is the first time I have sat all day since the spring; they are a regular part of the Zen Center schedule, and in my years as ino I was in charge of all the logistics and smooth running of them, so I did not always get to enjoy the benefits. On Saturday it was nice to be able just to go along and sit. It was also the first time I have eaten oryoki in almost six months, but having done it so many times at Tassajara, it remains embedded in the body, and it was a delight to remember the elegance of the forms. I was sitting next to my dharma friend Liên, who began her Tassajara training at the same time as I did, and it was sweet that our movements were synchronised at times. In fact David, the current head of practice, and Erin, who was acting ino for the day, also sat tangaryo that same practic period, thirteen years ago – this is something I treasure about Zen Center.
Having not sat for so long in a while, my legs were sore, but I enjoyed keeping myself upright. In the afternoon I met with students, which is always enjoyable, but meant I didn’t get to settle in the zendo as much as I would have with more zazen. The aftertaste of the day though was, as so often, one of spaciousness, which is always welcome.

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