There’s a typhoon heading toward where we are in Eastern Japan tonight, and it is interfering with the internet … so no video today …
However, please sit with me in the coming storm. Hopefully, in this practice, we learn to find the stillness even in the howling wind … the eye of the storm. Typhoons are just symbolic of the storms of life that come to all of us from time to time.
We meditating folks do better than most, I think, in keeping balance no
matter what life tosses at us. Sure, we may get knocked over when life tosses
a massive hurricane in our path. I do not know a human being who can stay on her feet in any wind, any earthquake, no matter how powerful. But this practice sure helps. It helps us keep our balance and, if knocked over by a blow, it helps us get back up and recover our balance.
I recall when we were living in Florida and a hurricane was
heading our way a couple of years ago. I was worried enough that I
stocked up on water, put shutters on
the windows, moved my family into a shelter. Even though our Zen practice allows us to accept life, we need not sit passively. When
the hurricane actually hit, when the roof was shaking and windows
breaking … I stretched out my arms
and said “carry us where you will”. In other words, I did what I could
… and when there was no more I could do, I just merged into the storm and let it do what it would do.
(After that, we had a surprise retreat when the storm left our town without electric power … including grocery
stores, refrigerators, tv, computers, telephones and cars … for
nearly a month. Lovely! We think we need these things for happiness …
when they are taken away we resist … then find we did not need any of
that for life and happiness at all!)
I think the ways we Zen folks react to crisis may seem a little strange … even welcoming the storm in some ways … but it is a healthy way to be.
Anyway, this typhoon is not as powerful as that hurricane was, and all will likely blow over tomorrow.
Even though there is no camera tonight, please sit with me in in the storm.