Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Straying In One Place

Urban Monk Cunningly Disguised as Yachting Enthusiast
There is a patch of water near Cadboro Bay in Victoria where the tide is particularly strong.  Small sailboats race there, and when the wind abates somewhat, it's not uncommon to see them with their sails filled but drifting backwards. Since their direction is the nearby U.S. coastal waters, a rather overused quip from fellow sailors is, "Have you got your American money?"

For the last several months my forward progress has felt like moonwalking - effortlessly striding ... backwards. And the common perception that time seems to accelerate as we age doesn't help matters. I walk into Monday full of hope and ideas and things to achieve, then rest for a moment, have a little nap, and it's Monday again.

One of the things that seems to have been drifting just beyond my reach is connecting with the sangha.

For the longest time, I have been meaning to drag my butt to the Zen Centre and plant it on a zafu, but the weeks have turned into months and I haven't gotten any closer.

Another place I wanted to spend more time is the blogosphere, reading and writing, but haven't done much of that either.

The paradox here is that a big part of the solution to the problem is to simply overcome the problem. What I mean is that interacting with sangha - cyber or otherwise - is a strong motivator to engage in practice, in this case communal sitting in zazen and reading and writing blog posts about practice - i.e. interacting with sangha.

So as we used to say in the hippie days, "nothing to it but to do it." I could go on about this, but I think today is more about action than verbiage. So I'll click the 'publish' button, go sit with the Twitterverse, read some blogs, and trek on over to the zendo.

Hope to see you soon.


  1. Ahh yes David. In your forward/backward journey, perhaps you may find your way over here to Victoria. 7pm Tuesday nights at Zenwest at the Interfaith Chapel at UVic, we offer a public sit. We provide everything, zafu, zabuton, brief intro to sitting, dharma talk, tea, sangha. No charge. Come fifteen minutes before the sit. It would be nice to sit with you.

    1. Hi Tommi. Thanks for the invite. I'm not usually there on Tuesdays, but if I am, I'll definitely make the effort!

  2. I can relate to the drifting backwards" feeling - rudderless. :) Yeah, gotta keep returning to that cushion - in my case "the chair" :) - but the intent is the same: to turn those sails inward to the Silence within that will carry us along... Ahhhhhh.... Quite an impressive photo there Captain :) Is that your Yacht as well? LOL

    1. Hi Christine - oops missed your reply until now :/ I only dress like that once a year on Opening Day - and no, it's not my yacht. I wish... ;)


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