Friday, October 8, 2010

Morning in the Zendo

Here's a picture of morning in the new zendo. It was actually the formal living room in the house but after I placed the buddha in the window seat and considering the dark, serene quality of the room it felt like a meditation space. And as our living room furniture quickly made itself comfortable in the sunroom with its soaring windows and view of the pond, well, the inclination to have this as a meditation room (sans furniture) became stronger. It's interesting how if we listen, things are suggested to us by our environment. Even our Tibetan friend who came to do our house blessing and purification recognized it immediately as a place to have a formal sitting group. Who knows what the future holds?

I am still visited by doubt, wondering if we have done the right thing. Is this too big a property? Will we be overwhelmed by the work it takes to look after it. Have I been greedy in choosing this place? In and out float these challenging thoughts. They are interspersed with feelings of great peace while digging in the herb garden, noticing the light decline and hearing a duck land on the pond. I remind the worrying mind to settle and simply be with what is, not run off conjuring stories. How quickly the mind ignites the emotions into little brush fires of fear and worry. I remind myself to take another path, to cultivate courage and fearlessness. And if I watch this activity of my mind I am reminded of its insubstantial nature, how it is a little house of cards. And the sense of emptiness sinks a little deeper into my bones.

And on the note of emptiness here's a lovely little poem that seems to suit my mood and the season. It is by the Chinese Zen nun Yi-k'uei (1625-1679). I found it in a delightful little book I am reading "Enso: Zen Circles of Enlightenment" by Audrey Yoshiko Seo.

I watch unmoved as waves recede and Dharma
gates fall into disrepair,
I draw a circle on the ground within which
I will hide myself away.
Suddenly the summer begins to draw to
a close, and fall comes again:
It is only recently that I have mastered the art
of being a complete fool.


  1. oh my, this poem... thank you...

    how beautiful the window seat in the zendo is.


  2. How inviting this space is... Calms me just looking at it here. I love using rooms for other than what they were intended :) And I love the "trust and listen" theme too :)

    May what you need to see always come through your window... Heart Hugs - Christine

  3. A great room for meditation. Very calming...

  4. Of course, its a meditation room...those windows, the walls and trees...perfect. A pond to gaze on in a sun room with furniture...also a great choice. Welcome to your new home.
    This poem speaks in such a lovely tone...thank you.

  5. Your new home sounds wonderful. As meanderi said, the photo of the meditation room is calming, so it seems like a perfect room for meditating.

    And yes, our minds our always quick to conjure up stories. The poem is a good reminder of that.

    Hope you're enjoying your weekend and discovering more joys in your new home.

  6. please stop by my blog I have a gift for you.

  7. Lovely! Did you notice you have 108 followers?

    The universe is leading you gently, isn't it? I love the poem and Enso is one of my favourite books.

    Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

  8. Thanks everyone for dropping by and you are all here in spirit in the zendo.

    Thanks, Laura for the lovely, thoughtful gift.

    And 108zenbooks, I didn't actually notice that I had 108 followers! Very auspicious, yes?

    Yes, happy thanksgiving to everyone!

  9. Wow! Beautiful . . .

    And I can also relate to the worries, the sense of responsibility and heaviness that may come from owning such a place. Of course, you caught yourself, and came right back to now, to simply enjoy the beauty, for that all there is really.

    On emptiness, you may enjoy Gil Fronsdal's last talk tonight, the last one in his series of talks on Not Self, titled 'True Self'

    With loving kindness,


  10. Of course, wherever
    We are, there
    We are. How we got
    There is not the
    Important thing
    It is what
    We are, doing, or
    Not doing, that
    Matters or has
    Significance in
    This very moment,
    That is all
    We are.
    That is all. Yet,
    There is more.

    Best wishes,
    In Gassho