Friday, November 13, 2009

Everyday Zen

"To make a stone stony: that is the purpose of art."
- Viktor Shklovsky

Here's hoping this weekend is as good as the last! I wish I could spend every morning like I did last Sunday, wandering over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. The visit was specifically to hear poet and Zen Buddhist priest Norman Fischer give a dharma talk, in which he spoke of the process of learning. Using Japanese culture as a model, he encouraged students to seek out the mystery of the unknown as it is then when we will know ourselves. The lecture made me want to learn something new everyday and it also made me want to go to Japan. I'm starting to really cherish my visits to the Zen Center.

Norman Fischer's talk was an inspiration, however I walked away with more than just mindfulness and understanding. In addition to offering tea and freshly baked carrot muffins, there was a farm stand set up, with fruits and vegetables a'plenty. While snacking on muffins, Liz and I stocked up on a red kuri squash, sweet apples, and buttery lettuce. As it was my first time at Green Gulch, I was exceptionally excited and somewhat crazed to be there. So much in fact, that I almost took a photograph of one of the alters outside of a resident's room. But I had to stop myself. Some things are just too precious to steal from memory and onto a digital card. And anyway, it was the kind of crisp, fall day you barely have to remember or frantically capture because another like it is soon to come. And I look forward to it. But for now, I will stay in the present and enjoy these quiet thoughts of calm.

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