I apologize for the delay in writing. Went on sesshin at the monastery, a silent retreat on the theme of Gratitude. Several days of not speaking; instead sitting and walking meditation for hours on end, meals in silence, chanting morning noon, and night; short nights of (surprisingly refreshing) sleep, spot-on talks by two monastic teachers, both still in their 30s: such intelligence, such dedication!
Since returning home, it’s taken me several days to realize that I’m always at home — wherever I go, whatever I do, dead or alive. Japanese Master Dogen (1200-1253) taught, With every step I take, I am at home. Years ago one of my monastic teachers pointed to the snail who carries her home everywhere.
It’s customary during Zen retreats not to read or make notes, but to open the heart-mind and see what hits the mark; what sticks. Two sets of instructions by Adam Jogen Salzberg, Sensei did just that. I scribbled them on scraps of paper while hiding in the bathroom just before setting out at dawn on the six-hour drive back to catch the Port Angeles ferry. Did I break a rule? Yes, but only so that I could share his words with you here. They’re meant as ‘words of encouragement’ as you and I sit, stand, walk, sleep.
Sitting is already sufficient
No striving, judging, preferring
savour this moment
⇒ and then let it go.
– and later –
What am I being given, right now?
this seat, this body, this breath
what is the gift
Not thinking or searching or constructing
being this moment
receiving, noting, feeling
⇒ and then let it go!