My day started off completely normal. Got up, had my usual two cups of coffee before being able to call myself human, hung out with Leah and the kids and then headed off toward a new beginning. Why say it’s a new beginning? Well I had hoped to break this “plateau” like feeling and get out of some funkiness, today was the day that happened, finally.
I arrived at the retreat about 30 minutes early, needed to get my bearings or something. The retreat was run by the Cape Cod Zen Center, a Kwan Um Zen School. There was to be 6 hours of meditation, both sitting and walking, as well as kong-an interviews. To be honest, I was a bit freaked about these interviews. It wasn’t that bad when my turn came.
I asked my questions, got quite a few answers in return, as well as some insightful advice. Walking back to my cushion I couldn’t help but smile, the interview wasn’t freaky at all, it was quite liberating. As I sat back down thoughts raced around my head, but they weren’t the usual scattered thoughts, much simpler, refined.
What is this?
What is Zen?
What is Buddha?
It was ok to not know, no worries.
For a while I have been “trying on” various sects of Buddhism. Have met people involved in various lineages and have asked millions of questions. But one thing that stuck for me today, without saying a thing, was looking around the room and seeing only grey (robes)!
Grey! No difference, no you, no me, just grey.
The teacher, grey.
The students, grey.
The newbies (me), grey!
What I’m getting at here is something spoke to me and I think, for the time being, the Kwan Um School “fits” for me. I still have a bit of studying to do, questions to ask, retreats to sit, but it felt comfortable and the middle way of teaching this school offers hits home. It’s very stripped down, to the point and it works.
My knees hurt like hell though!