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@lobster poses the question
Trump worries you? Or you worry yourself?
Ah, excellent question. If we worry, we worry ourselves of course. My poor wife worries enough for both of us, so mostly I don't bother, truth to tell. Just another blissfully uneventful day in the salt mines of samsara. I take it you have managed to overcome your own fulminating stage?
I met Katagiri roshi and, once I met him that was it.
I met Katagiri roshi also, a long time ago. Heard him give a talk, and exchanged a few words with him. I still regard him as my master, though I never saw him again.
To have a teacher may not always mean what we think that it does.
Magic indeed. I once had the good fortune to visit a Zendo in Santa Fe, attached to a Soto Zen Monastery. Housed in an big old Spanish colonial style adobe (actually faux adobe) building. It was heated with a large, antique wood stove, the Zendo itself had a very high ceiling supported with log beams, wood floors, and was quite large. The whole place was redolent of cedar and incense, a place of dreams. No description I could make of it could possibly do it justice. It had a large walled courtyard with trees and garden for kinhin, and some low, rambling and rather rustic buildings that served as the monks' quarters.
I was able to sit with the monks and others in the zendo for several weeks, and the place has remained steadfastly in my memory ever since, an ideal against which all other places are, sadly, compared. It really ruined suburban basements for me, you know?
I will still burn cedar and pine incense in my little hole in the ground to recall that wonderful place to mind.
I've spent my free time the last couple of months - while waiting for the sun to return to the frozen north - making a few bark-carved walking sticks. If you must hobble, best to hobble in style, eh?
I began by trying to impose an artificial design on the stick, but found this to be troublesome and, somehow, not quite right.
Gradually, I have found that the stick already knows how it wishes to be decorated, so I try to take its advice, not always successfully.
Taking the stick's advice might, perhaps, be regarded as following the Tao of the stick. It might also be regarded as just being mindful of the task and not of the self that wants to do the task. I think I like the Tao option better, perhaps because it conveys a sense of being guided by something, rather than presenting a blank, inanimate surface where, seemingly, the self must still make decisions in order to go forward. What do you think?
Interesting stuff, coffee. I normally have a large cup in the morning in lieu of breakfast, and it helps to wake me up and to comfort me after the ordeal of having to fight my way out from under a pile of dogs in the morning.
In the evening, if I am very tired, a cup o' joe actually relaxes me and enables me to sleep in spite of the dogs. A dual purpose food. Very useful.
Long ago, I used to guzzle coffee all day long, but over the years I seem to have lost the urge to do so. Drink mostly water now, perhaps with a dab of sweetening.