March 22, 2016

Work day

Korinji today was warm and grey, 60F with weak sun hidden behind clouds. We're due to get another, perhaps final, snowstorm tomorrow...six to ten inches.

I spent the afternoon cleaning up some of the construction debris that remains around the meditation hall: wood cut-offs, screws, bits of plastic and metal. Samu periods during our zazenkai and sesshin this year will focus on removing these and other remnants of our seven-year zendo project. Next spring, if all goes well, we'll break ground for the house and start all over again.

Most visitors know there is a creek in the valley below us, but not everyone knows that our property actually touches upon it at the northeast corner. A portion of Korinji's land was once cow pasture, and there is one long, thin corridor that juts straight out for several hundred feet from our eastern property line to reach the stream; this allowed the cows to be watered. The cowpath is long overgrown now and blocked by fallen trees. Eventually we'll clear it, perhaps put a small deck or even tea house there where the water can be heard. The creek was running a little high. We (dog and I) walked down to check it out: coyote prints were everywhere in the sand.

Had hoped to glue up and screw together the butsudan (which is sitting assembled but wobbly). It was still too cold in the zendo for glue. But all the butsudan accessories are now in place. I lit some senko and did a first sanpai to this beautiful new altar.

On the way home we stopped to explore a nearby cave just off the road; crawling through it on my hands and knees, I could see that in the back chamber a racoon was sleeping. We stopped also alongside one field to see what it was on the ground picking at a deer carcass: a hawk and a bald eagle, eating together.

2016 Zazenkai and Sesshin

Our zendo being done, we're eager to start using it. I'll be at Korinji today and tomorrow, cleaning up some winter debris from the trails, adding recently acquired items to our butsudan, and in general sprucing the place up. Meanwhile, info and registration are now online for the monthly zazenkai (short overnight meditation retreats) we'll be conducting beginning in April. Zazenkai are excellent opportunities to deepen your Zen practice, to begin learning the training forms used at sesshin (intensive Zen retreat), and of course to spend time in the beautiful natural environment of Korinji. Details here.

We will also conduct a short sesshin at Korinji October 14-16, Friday evening through Sunday morning. Details TBA. In November I will lead a weekend retreat focused on Zen and Budo (martial arts): we will explore training of posture, breath, energy and forging of the "center" through the forms of traditional martial arts. Other events will be added to the calendar shortly. Get on Korinji's mailing list here.

March 21, 2016

Waking up

The blog is back online. Stay tuned.