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Getting Ready for the Day

August 11, 2012

by Stephen Damon

I woke up very early so I could do all the things I needed to do before I headed down to Jikoji Zen Center, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, for our sangha’s monthly one-day sesshin.  While walking my dog in the quiet of the dawn I wondered how many of my friends were also waking up early for the big day ahead of us.  Picturing a few of them lighting candles and burning incense on their altars, I felt very connected, not only to them, but to everyone still asleep in the early hours of this Saturday. 

I was experiencing a deeper, more quiet, dimension of things where I felt interconnected to everything around me—both seen and unseen.  And while my attention was grabbed by the sounds of a low flying bird and a car door opening, my imagination drifted to other retreats I’ve taken over the years and I felt very connected to myself in a startling way.  I saw myself as just another person in a long line of practitioners that stretched beyond all the usual horizons of time and space.

And then I saw a light flicker on in someone’s window and I knew that soon there would be other lights as people got ready for the day just ahead.  I took a moment and silently recited the first of the Four Great Vows: Beings are numberless, I vow to free them.

It was a good way to start the day. 



From → Zen Buddhism

One Comment
  1. Wonderful! Thank you for such an open-hearted and clear description of your inspiring morning.

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