> jumping into life.

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Suprise post!

Home for a day, to see my little brother graduate from high school. I drove out yesterday after a half-day sitting - five-thirty AM until noon, with an hour for breakfast - and found myself aghast at the wildflowers. Something about sitting for six hours staring at a wall makes the world almost unbearably beautiful when you return to it. Bright orange monkeyflowers straining at the sun, paintbrush and larkspur swirling together, lupines with their open mouths, native dandelions turning into starbursts, ceanothus, manzanita. I chanted their names under my breath until the guy giving me a ride asked me to do it out loud. Point me out a buckeye, he says, so I do.

Instead of the bell this morning, I wake to the garbage truck. Instead of yoga beside the river, I lean out over the railing of the deck and breathe deep the scent of fog. Instead of chanting the Heart Sutra during morning service, I weed the front garden. Between the lumps of fossilized cat shit and the calla lilies, I hum the Refuges in Pali and my mom and I debate whether grass is a sentient being.

Something about sitting for three weeks staring at a wall makes the world almost unbearable when you return to it. At Longs I shop for a watch and for all the things people asked for when they discovered I was going out - cigarettes, chocolate, a newspaper - and there is a jackhammer outside and bright lights and people bickering and cards about true love and I start crying right there in the cheesy gift aisle. My brother runs out of the house without his cap and gown and my mother runs hollering after him, and there is Joan Baez covering the song that gets stuck in my head a dozen times a day. A ripe mango. Sweet ocean wind. There are roses at Tassajara that come spilling over the bamboo fence and I miss them.

It is time to go sit in the fog and watch my six-foot-four baby brother take a diploma that we weren't sure until yesterday he was actually going to recieve. A family dinner tonight, then tomorrow I'll be back down in time for the 8:30 work bell. If you've got anything you've been meaning to say to Buddha, tell Chris and he'll pass it along.

Damn, missed the deadline. Sometimes a wall is a good blank piece of paper for figuring. Tell Buddha I said hello.

i love that level of openness that fills me when i'm in deep solitude for a few days and even all my thoughts have left me. after years of practice i have learned to fall into it easier. i try to never leave it, but of course the best i can do (in the world) is keep it (that other world) close, like a room next to this one. it's never more than a heartbeat or a thought or a breath away. i sometimes sit in meetings and find myself stealing away to that other place.

when i come back to the world it leaves me feeling somewhat fragile, with tears constantly in my eyes from the simplest things.

and a pervasive agony at the incredible amount of unnecessary suffering in the world.


Oh, this is a surprise! And now you've gone back again. What can one possibly say to the Buddha?

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