Sunday, January 9, 2011

The View From Here

I spent yesterday afternoon and evening relocating. I had intended to spread the task out over the weekend, but once I was underway, it seemed to make more sense just to get the whole thing done. Distance-wise, it was the easiest move I have ever done  - and I have moved many times within Zen Center, especially at Tassajara, every summer and winter - since it was just to the next-door room. Most of the time was spent giving my new room a good clean, and it was mainly the windows that needed it. There was not so much furniture to move out of there, and I don't have so much to move, a futon, low desk, chair and footstool, two footlocker trunks and a full tall bookcase, plus a few drawers full of clothes, and, trickiest part of the process, two closets' worth of stuff that I had to squeeze into one closet. Things are getting pared down a little, which is no bad thing.
For those who don't know City Center, it is shaped like an H. I had previously been on the lower right leg, looking in over the courtyard, and I am now at the bottom of the same leg, looking in two directions, over the courtyard and east over the city. I had previously lived in the equivalent room on the left leg, looking south and east, and while there is extra traffic noise to contend with - which takes some getting used to, especially on a Saturday night when you can add drunken singing to the ambience  - I love the extra light and the views. Right now I can see across to the Oakland hills and the shoulder of Mount Diablo - it being a particularly clear day, and the sun is setting on the tall buildings downtown - the AAA and Fox Plaza, the new Four Seasons on Market, the first tower of the Bay Bridge, City Hall, the Bank of America building and the Trans-America pyramid, the Federal building, and the towers on top of Nob Hill and Russian Hill, as well as the myriad buildings whose names I do not know. In other words, much the same view as in the 'skies' pictures I have been posting, only one floor lower. I enjoy being able to look out in this way - it definitely feels less insular. I also get to enjoy seeing crows making mischief around the neighbourhood - it's their city too.

3 comments:

Chris said...

I'm slightly envious of how few possessions you have to move. Living in an apartment and planning to stay here as long as things are working out, I inevitably accrue more than I shed. On an other topic, what are your thoughts regarding wearing one's wrist mala or maintaining a buddha altar in one's personal space?

Shundo said...

Hi Chris, of course when you are moving, it always seems like a lot of stuff - and I do have more things back in England, awaiting an eventual return...
As for malas, I am all for them. We have a guideline about not wearing them in the zendo, which I think is as much for noise and distraction as much as anything else. Trevor gave me a lovely mala with skulls at our ordination, though the elastic is broken now, and I haven't replaced it yet. I used to enjoy running the skulls through my fingers during long meetings as a way to stay somewhat focused.
Altars are important too - I change the contents of mine periodically, but apart from a Buddha - actually I have three on my altar - I place objects that have some significance to me, mostly things that people have given me. I think it is good to have a sacred space in your abode that you can bring your attention to; I offer incense at mine as well. I might post some photos of mine soon.

Chris said...

Thanks!