Michael Stone

‘The unshakable sanity that comes from the wellspring of silence returns us to our selves  – and in no way is that separate from the ongoing flux of the natural world. In a moment, the universe is both intimate and universal. What could be more quietly subversive?’ (Awake in the World)

I chose this as a little reading for the beginning of Roaming Zen last weekend, and then I read it again at the end. In between, we scaled the many staircases to the top of Twin Peaks, as busy as I have ever seen it, in the warm afternoon, the chilly winds of the previous week or so replaced by a gentle ocean breeze. There seemed to be a lot of tourists heading up from the main parking and view point up the first peak, but not so many of them ventured as far as the second. When we turned off the road to the little trail that runs between the two reservoirs, suddenly, instead of a chorus of different languages as families were corralled into photographs, there was just bird song.
After the quiet woods, and few cut-throughs down off the mountain, we finished, as we had done on a previous roam, at Al’s Park, a little step-aside off a quiet street, very sheltered in comparison to the exposed peaks. Again, silence, bird song, and some traffic from Market Street, which was close, but hidden. We agreed it was a wonderful way to have experienced the city.

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