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)