Saturday, February 16, 2008
I took the day off yesterday so I could help our Zen center move. We’ve been priced out of our former space, right on Broadway in SoHo, one of the more pricey quadrants of Manhattan. Fortunately, we were able to negotiate a deal on a smaller space in the same building, so it was just a matter of boxing everything up and moving it two floors higher.
It’s funny -- the Zendo, when you see it, seems like a mostly empty room. It’s just meditation cushions, an altar, a few big plants by the window, some shoji screens. But then there’s the office, and the kitchen, and all the accoutrements that make a Zendo whole -- some people need chairs, for example, and we have tables for special events.
Pretty soon, you’re hauling a bunch of stuff upstairs.
The job was complicated by a couple of bureaucratic problems that kept us from moving a few things into our storage space and some continuing work on the new quarters. But overall, it went pretty smoothly.
And it was fun. I’ve found that spending time with my fellow sangha members on projects like this really tightens bonds. It’s how you get to know people. Practicing Zen has been interesting because most of it is silent sitting, and as a result there’s not a lot of interaction among Zendo members unless you step outside the standard practice periods.
So moving was good for that -- hanging out, joking around. I might even go back to help set up.
(Photo: Spigot in Dumbo, Brooklyn, Jan. 2008)