Monday, November 06, 2006

Occasions of Joy

A couple weeks ago. I drove through a landscape of fog and suddenly looming, yellow, fluttering leaves, till the sky suddenly cleared and turned bright blue; turned into a little small-town college campus, and walked into the nearest building, and there was Tarakuanyin. She held out a hand to shake, but I hugged her instead. So glad to see her, and to feel her shoulders under my hands.

So we found a little cafe, and talked, and discovered old mentors in common. A beautiful Irish voice, slowed to cowboy cadences. Altogether such a lovely experience, out of the clear blue autumn sky. Pure gift.

(If you haven't read TK, read the harrowing series of posts that begins here. She's an extraordinary writer.)

Yesterday. Half the sangha is gone to India, including all our official teachers. So Peggy was leading a half-day of shamatha. I wish, I wish she did this weekly. She's all business. No long introductions and explanations, no question-and-answer period for people to talk and try to impress the teachers, or each other. We're here to sit; let's sit.

So we sit a full hour -- Peggy also doesn't trim down the time of the meditations -- and it's wonderful, and since we're observing the customs of the all-day sit, there's silence at the breaks, which means I can walk out, at the first break, in silence, all the benefit of the meditation intact, and go home in the quiet morning to prepare my massage room. Life as I have dreamed it could be.

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