Goodmorningbodyandmind. Wake up at 3:21 am. Offer a garden walk to an eager dog (oops, one of us is naked). Back to bed, now wide-wake. Body clock somewhere over Greenland (why isn’t their flag green?), eight hours out of synch. They say it takes the metabolism one day to adjust for each hour of time difference. Brew Assam tea and eat cookie meant for tonight’s meditation group. Sweep meditation room (good monastic practice to calm the mind), straighten cushions, and remove little altar table that previously held incense bowl, candle, and statue of Guan Yin. What did you do that for?
Two reasons, in retrospect. 1. To make room for one more cushion to accommodate the growing number of weekly sitters. 2. To unclutter the space and acknowledge that many come to sit without seeing themselves as Zen/Buddhist practitioners. Among them are hospice workers, nurses, cancer patients, yoga teachers, and like-minded ones. They come, so they say, to be in a quiet place — externally and, so they hope, internally as well. Two of them recently asked whether we could do without incense as it makes them feel nautious. A tiny Buddha statue as well as the lovely Jizō figure (see image) had already been moved to greet guests near the front door — so no further need for an altar table.
Now to read Nathan’s recent posts (always eloquent and thought-provoking), then to write this post, then a hot bath before heading back to bed. If the dog is perplexed by all this commotion, he’s not saying. Equanimity at 4:12 am.