But the zafu is a patient lover. She waits beside the shrine - Buddha perched on a manzanita leaf laid on a stone from Burro Creek, a candle in a dish of shells, the stick of incense whose smoke brings me to center as well as anything else and better than most.
I have not sought sangha here, though there is a center not ten miles away. I cannot bring myself to be ten miles away by six AM; you cannot attend their evening and weekend zazen without becoming a member, and membership is $50 a month. $50 a month to stare at their blank wall instead of my own. $50 a month for sangha.
But I do have my own blank wall, my own spiral of smoke. I'm going to try going to church again; they have a sitting group there, too.