There is a sweet symmetry in sitting in the zendo at the moment: in the morning, during second period, the room fills with light - it does seem to make the space more palpable, more full. Then, during the afternoon period, the reverse happens; there is an emptying, a desolidifying, a settling into darkness. I am enjoying it, while being aware that as soon as the clocks go forward this weekend we will lose this little pattern.
Yesterday was another day when the doshi was moving faster than a good number of residents in the morning. Even after the post-jundo influx, the sitting felt rather sparse. In the afternoon I went over to the Art Institute to offer some zazen instruction and words about Buddhism to a group of the students there who are taking a course on religion. Like the newcomers' table and other similar occasions, I found that I enjoyed doing this, meeting people, fielding their questions and sharing something of the dharma, so even with an intervening ride through rush-hour drizzle back from Russian Hill, I came to the afternoon period - rather late - feeling quite settled and happy, a change from a solipsistic outlook that has been dogging me for the last little while. I couldn't believe how full the shoe rack was - there were at least thirty people in the zendo, and it felt great to sit down with everyone already there as the last of the grey afternoon light dissipated.
This morning I went out into the damp courtyard to ring the umpan for breakfast. I noticed that the maple tree is starting to bud, and while I waited, a hummingbird zipped by to take its breakfast from the blossoming fuschias (thanks Marcia for helping me in my ignorance). Spring is coming.