Zen Winds – Shiun Valerie Foote

Written after a sesshin at Dai Bosatsu Zendo

My comfort in the natural world is fragile,

yet it has been where I have learned my deepest lessons, my beliefs.

Years ago when the mountains were white with snow

and the evening sky was dense and cold,

we huddled in the Zendo

wrapped in woolen shawls.

The heaters pinged

a welcome distraction to the deep silence.

Autumn almost exhausted,

the bare trees stood quiet and still in respect for our silent retreat.

The fourth day on the cushion

feigning meditation,

my knees blossomed with anger, my back flamed in rebellion.

I had almost given up.

Surrender, yield, give in.

What else could I do?

Letting my limbs go first, sinking into the earth,

my thoughts melted along with my body,

and then I heard it:

the call of the wind rushing through the trees.

It blew right through me and all things,

erasing our boundaries,

melding us together.

I was the wind and every blade of grass.

I was huge, I was minuscule,

I was everything

and nothing.

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