Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I went back to the Zendo last night for the first time in several weeks. I’m not sure why I’ve been so resistant to going -- I’ve made excuses to myself about my busy schedule, but the truth is I’ve had plenty of opportunity. When I think about all the time I’ve spent wandering the city and doing photography, or sorting through my photo albums (an ongoing project), or burning my CDs to my computer -- well, let’s just say I could have taken a few hours to sit here and there.

Anyway, it was nice to go last night. I have been sitting at home a bit, but that’s never as powerful as sitting with a group. We all give each other energy and support when we sit together.

There’s a verse that we say in the mornings while on retreat, before we put on our rakusu, the garment representative of the Buddha’s robe:

Vast is the robe of liberation
A formless field of benefaction
I wear the Tathagata teachings
Saving all sentient beings.

I was reminded of that verse last night as I sat facing the white wall of the Zendo. After you’ve been sitting a while, staring unfocused at one point, the wall begins to sort of dissolve. It shimmers a bit, and as it did so I had the strangest sensation of floating in silent nothingness. That line about the formless field popped into my head: The beauty and vastness of the oneness of everything. (Of course, the thought then destroyed the sensation, because I was thinking!)

Anyway, don’t take this as any kind of teaching. It’s just my experience from a long-overdue Zendo visit.

(Photos: Bridge panels in Philadelphia, May 2008)


Anonymous said...

It's a wonderful teaching. Thank you.

"Reality" truly is a co-created shimmering field of ideas. Let go, and voila! It really is liberating.

Love love LOVE th pics!

Anonymous said...

we do try to make excuses to ourselves, don't we?

i'm not sure we ever fool ourselves though.

the pictures are great - very cool and very clever and very simple.

Anonymous said...

thank you for the lessonw, even if they are unintended...there are a few lessons in this thoughtful post!

I love the pictures -we have a lovely blue bridge here in cleveland. I don't remember where the blue bride in philly is, I will have to be more aware next time I'm there.....ooooh I'm getting the idea of a thursday theme...must contact ched!

Anonymous said...

Dennis has been meditating a bit and finds it calming.
This is such a pretty & calm post.

Anonymous said...

I meditated on your blue photos - they didn't shimmer but I enjoyed them a whole lot :-)