Friday, April 6, 2012

Rocks and Fault Lines

It has been a fine interim week, not least because I have taken some time off, and slept an almost unprecedented amount. Today is going to be quite full as I will be setting up Buddha's Birthday which we do tomorrow - a rare conjunction with a Full Moon Ceremony as well - and taking care of some administrative stuff which I am happy to have the head space to do right now.
I haven't even mentioned the comings and goings of the week: a number of the practice period residents left after sesshin, and people have been coming up from Tassajara after their practice period finished; as so often happens, there is a feeling of flux and energy around the building.
It is always invidious to ask someone who has just been through three months of intensive monastic training, "So, how was it?" The question is hard enough to answer for a seven-day sesshin, such are the ebbs and flows of experience. This morning at breakfast with Nada, Heather and Marcia, it felt much nicer talking about specifics; somehow we got onto earthquakes and the fault lines that run close to Tassajara, and from there, a short hop to the subject of rocks, which got me reminiscing, and also thinking ahead, as I am due to go down there in a couple of weeks to work on a rock project as part of the work period, along with a small group from Young Urban Zen (they may or may not get roped into the rock part, mostly they are going to experience the place). It actually took me a while to remember some of the rock work I had done down there, then I thought of this rock, which looks pretty innocuous in photos. In fact, after I had noticed a corner of it in the creek below the courtyard cabins and decided it was worth bringing out, it took a team of seven or eight people to haul it up on the rock stretcher. I don't know if they all thought it was worth the effort, but I certainly did, partly because it is like a miniature version of the rock at Suzuki Roshi's memorial site. At the breakfast table we marveled at how much effort it must have taken to get that one up the hill.

The 'small' version

The memorial site rock

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