Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ango 2011 - Day 15

  • Morning Zazen (60 Min @ 8am)
    • Sat on G+
    • While sitting, my almost 3 year old used the potty.  For those with toddlers you know that this is an important milestone.  She's actually been peeing for quite some time.  However the pooing has not been happening.  Btw, I realize I could/should use #1 and #2 to denote the bodily function, but I'm a guy and even saying pee & poo is a bit high brow...sorry.   Anyway, I hear my wife congratulating her and making quite a big deal about the situation, and I pick up that she pooed on the toilet.  My daughter, beaming with pride and joy was so happy.  She was saying how she's a big girl now and no longer needs pull-ups.  My mind soon began think that maybe it was just a little bit as this has happened before.  And qualifying the true success of this milestone.  This is when it struck me.  The absolutes in life are only relative to our perspective.  From my daughter's perspective, it was an absolute fact that she pooed.  Milestone achieved.  This began a thought processes (and yes I know I should be seeking stillness and dropping all thought while in zazen, but such is my practice); when we analyze our lives, our teachers, our books, our information, put them in a tidy little box and secure the lid, we should be mindful that not all boxes are made the same.

The relative fits the absolute
As a box and its lid.

  • Samu:
    • Spent a good part of the morning cleaning up the house mindfully.
    • So far my wife hasn't seem to catch on that when I don the rakusu and start doing stuff around the house that I'm in 'samu-mode'. Meaning that I'm doing housework. Good thing for me because I can see me waking up in the morning with it already put on me, or maybe her giving me a hug and slipping the rakusu over my a hint. :)
    • Most of this was picking up my daughter's toys. She's very good about returning stuff back to it's spot after playing with it...but she's 2 and has some mis-steps. While picking them up I began to think about how fortunate she is and how I want to instill in her gratitude for what she has. So many kids these days, mine included, take for granted the life they live. I want to take action and give them a better perspective of this.
  • Shakuhachi:
    • Played just a little bit yesterday as it was quite busy.
    • I am definitely getting better at the kan register, though it is still very rough. Seeing the progression though is affirming.
    • My wife and I attended a performance called Silk & Bamboo in downtown Dallas. It was my sensei (Jon Johnston), his sensei (Stan Richardson) and a koto/shamisen player (Fumiko Coburn).
    • This is only the second time my wife and I have been able to go on a 'date' since my daughter was born and I was filled with anticipation. We both work from home and our daughter is in school, so we have the full day together and take advantage of it by stealing time for ourselves. But this was different. We were able to get dressed up and attend something cultural and a dinner as well! Was very nice.
    • The performance was amazing. When Stan walked out on to the stage with his shakuhachi in hand, wearing traditional Japanese garb (Haori, hakama and such), you could feel his intensity and presence. Very confident. He knelt in seiza and opened with current nemesis. I was floored. It was so beautiful, so light, so amazing. I was awestruck.
    • The second song was Shika no Tone. It's symbolic of two male deer calling to each other, staking their territory. From a western ear, it sounds quite sporadic, but with this thought in mind, you can envision the scene. Stan, still in seiza, began. Then in the distance, off stage, Jon began to answer the call. Slowing moving on stage, they continued back and forth, bantering as it were. Watching these two masters back and forth, back and forth I was moved deeply. I welled up inside but hid it well because of my ego. I didn't want to be the freak who was crying at a music performance at the Museum of Art. :) I was feeling so much pride and so much astonishment, so much humility.
    • After this, Ms. Fumiko Coburn joined with her koto. They played Sea of Spring. My absolute favourite. It was almost euphoric. To see this live after listening for so long was pure joy. Later in the set, Ms. Coburn played another of my favourites London no yoru no ame (Night Rain in London) and range and accuracy was astonishing.
    • Afterwards I was able to talk with both Jon & Stan. Having listened to Stan's albums for a while now it felt like having a backstage pass. His handshake said what words cannot explain. I consider it an honour to be a part of Mujuan dojo.
  • Evening Zazen (30 min @ 8:30pm)
    • Sat on G+.
    • Was tired this time but held it together.  Back was a bit sore because I had hung a ceiling fan earlier that evening.  I should have practiced semi-supine before hand I suppose.

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