Last week I had dokusan with Fu, which is a way for me to check in about my practice, and stay accountable with Zen Center. The last time I met with her in December my mood was a little fragile, and I felt unsure about several aspects of my life. As I thought about the things that have happened since then, and the internal shifts I have made, it was a salutary reminder that moods are no more stable than the weather.
Our little corner of California has been sunny and warm for some time now – though the temperatures dropped a notch on Sunday as I discovered to my cost when I went riding in the morning and wished I had thought of winter gloves and a hat – and my disposition has also been good. The weather is a contributing factor for that, without a doubt; the fact that I could ride around in shorts, T-shirts and espadrilles most of last week gave me a real sense of ease.
There is also the fact that I have been house-sitting for a couple of weeks, and the part of Berkeley I am in is conveniently close to where I work, and to a couple of friends, so I have been enjoying rides on streets that are basically traffic-free – quite a contrast to my rides around San Francisco on the whole.
Another factor is that there are two dogs and five cats as part of the household I am taking care of. After the longish ride over the East Bay Hills on Sunday, which I have only ridden a couple of times before (though it was also where I spent some time helping with filming a couple of years ago – and I was also very aware again of how covering the terrain on a bike leaves a much deeper impression than driving it), I spent most of the day on the couch watching football with two cats lying on me and two dogs next to me – I could not help but be relaxed.
There are other things which are going well also; I am being more sociable than usual, and that feels good. No doubt the rain will come again (California certainly needs it), but I will enjoy this fair weather while it lasts (just typing out the words brought that old-loved song to mind).
I took my camera with me to Green Gulch when I went to see Fu, hoping for blossoms. It was a certainly a fine morning: