Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Abiding In This Phenomenal World

Once, as kokyo for breakfast at Tassajara, I mischanted the first line of the final chant, which normally goes, "Abiding in this ephemeral world, like a lotus in muddy water, the mind is pure and goes beyond; thus we bow to Buddha". It was probably the most exciting thing that happened at Tassajara that day, and I had several good-natured comments about it. The funny thing was that, not long afterwards, another kokyo made the same mistake, and then, in the same time frame, I did it again myself. There was agreement that it was a nice mistake, and a not inappropriate one to make.
So on Sunday evening as I was settling in for evening zazen, I saw a phenomenon in the zendo that I had never seen before - a patch of sunlight near the doshi door. I resolved to investigate further; Monday turned foggy, but last night, there it was again at seven thirty, and as surmised, the sun was reflecting off a window on Laguna Street, through the last upper window on Lily Alley, and reaching diagonally across the entire zendo…it probably only happens for one week every year.

More direct sunlight when I came upstairs from breakfast just now - it is a beautiful summer day here:


Dennis said...

What a wonderful thing to see! Truly, thank you for sharing that. The world spins 'round and the light bounces, following.

Shundo said...

Hi Dennis, if that last line is a quote, and I suspect it is, you will have to give me the attribution sometime

petemoon said...

Driving home from school this evening (on an irregular route and just a bit earlier than usual) something in the image of the sun setting directly over the roadway resonated, but it took a few moments to recognize the chord. Then, it hit me! Almost everything about the view -- hues, shapes, contrasts, location -- was identical to my daily morning drive to work, but everything had swung around 180 degrees. The next thought asked, "With so few hours to rest, how does it all whip around to come back up so quickly on the other side?"