|| September at Red Cedar Zen
Lately I'm practicing a lot with appreciation. Inspired by my experience in Africa, I'm appreciating more the incredibly functional infrastructure that we enjoy. So often we take this amazing infrastructure for granted, or the mind focuses on the rare times there's a problem or a delay. Yet to look around is to witness so many simple wonders:
Dots and lines and reflectors on the road.
Piped water, that one can drink.
Regular trash collection and almost no trash on the streets and sidewalks.
The quiet and peacefulness on the roads.
Firetrucks and emergency services that respond quickly and effectively.
Then I remember to appreciate the rich relationships and mutual support all around me:
Family, friends, sangha.
Married for 25 years this month.
Being seen in the Board meeting and told, "you look good, more relaxed!"
Parents still living and healthy.
So many years of friendship with so many friends.
Somehow…a new family in Kenya.
And then, I remember to appreciate the gift of this practice:
Deep quiet with good company in an early Saturday zazen.
Herons at Samish.
30 years with a teacher so trustworthy.
A new student ringing the bells at service.
Excited energy in the lobby on Wednesday night.
Calligraphy together on Friday as we watch the ink flow from brush to paper.
Incense and cedar. Offering, just offering.
And then, I remember to appreciate the amazing interactions with this beautiful planet:
Hiking up to Park Butte with Walker - glory all around.
The sky in all its phases and colors and moods and winds.
The crows living in my neighborhood.
Our dear, now departed, cat Lucca.
Sea and sky, sky and sea.
Air we can breathe.
Water we can drink.
Food - that gift from the Earth (and somehow manifesting for us as something to buy in the store, and we can afford it, and they're plenty, and it's safe- amazing.)
Of course there are problems, of course we have work to do. Can we do this work, these tasks, from appreciation? Can we root our actions in appreciation? We come home to remembering how deeply fortunate we are to be this supported, that we are this well held by Indra's Net, that we are alive.
The September Sangha Conversation will be on September 29th. The topic, like this email, will be on generosity and inclusion. We will also have short reports from Tim on helping his Kenyan family with an agricultural pump, and from Andrea on an interfaith initiative on inclusion and love.
Also this month:
Sangha Work Day, September 3 at 9:00am
Sunday Simple Sit with Chris Burkhart: Paramitas of Meditation and Wisdom, September 4 at 9:00am
Circumambulation of Mount Adams - Journey into Wildness, 10 Sep 2016 – 18 Sep 2016 @ Mount Adams, Washington
Journey to the Source - hike to Nooksack Cirque, 24 Sep 2016, 5:30 AM – 12:00 PM @ Carpool from the Dharma Hall or Nugent's Corner
Zen Wedding of Ken & Julie Oates, and Nomon Tim officiated. August 13, 2016. Congratulations Ken & Julie!
Departing monk Dylan Simpson moved to Williamsburg, VA, in July to begin graduate school in biology. Best of luck, Dylan.
Dylan shared on Facebook:
Farewell! Thanks for being a home for the past two years. You're a shining jewel of a town.
So long, land of my birth! I'll rejoice to see you again!
Get ready! I'm on my way.