With Halloween approaching it made sense, at least at one point, to let the group chew over the gristle around demons, fears and masks. It shouldn't, but does, amaze me what bubbles up when nothing is planned. the conversation settled into discussions of our use of masks, what they cover, what they set free, what they mean, what the prevent. A smoldering altar jack-o-lantern seemed to laugh at us all. There was also a rubber bug. That was a last minute inspiration, but strangely compelling. Thanks to everyone who came and put skin in the game, talking about their fears, their demons, the inevitable battles, the inevitable losses.
Chris Wilson lead the small group Koan practice, an adventure in Hot and Cold, death and investment banking. My lovely take away was noticing how reluctant I have been to open up to the fear in certain endeavors. That is cheating me slightly of the complexity of the experience in the false hopes of avoiding the pain.
In other news, the fall joined us through the (literally) open door to the zendo. We were chilled but not cold.
Last time I noticed that my favorite moment was taking down the Zendo. I am also noticing the difference between leading and following in the Zendo. It takes the mind interesting places. I think of it most during kinhin, when I feel responsible and somewhat exposed for the pace. Its strange, and maybe paranoid, but I feel the responsibility of the weight of the people behind me.
Dunno how this blog thing is going, but you dont need to read it and I can always stop.
“A Course on Koans” is the delusion-riddled work of Chris Kufu (“Wind in the Void”) Wilson, who began practicing Zen in 1967. He regards Taizan Maezumi, Robert Aitken, and David Weinstein as his root teachers. Each of them pecked at his shell until he “completed” the never-ending koan curriculum of the Harada-Yasutani lineage.
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