Midway through the first period of zazen these days, the zendo shimmers softly with the rising sun. A pink-yellow cast creeps upward along the west tan, setting aglow the robed figures in their silent stillness. Inner and outer radiance mutely align, and it is possible, just for a moment, to see Buddha nature. The 6th Ancestor, Huineng -- renowned, venerated, illiterate -- called such moments "the silent place of essential harmony."
Then dawn gives way to morning, brightness and glare ensue, and the day begins in earnest. But something about that early sitting stays with us throughout the day, a residue of remembrance, maybe longing, for the one body that sat in the dawn's early light.
Zen Master Wu-tsu couldn't name it, but knew its power: "There is something that does not come or go, something that does not move. Make your greetings there."