TUESDAY, JULY 7, 5:21 AM
My roommate, Ray, leapt out of bed fully clothed when his alarm went off at 4:50 a.m., and left our room. I’m assuming he’s the morning wake-up-call Bell Ringer.
Yesterday afternoon, I led a sit (3:30-4:45 pm) and rang the bell for the following sit. I sat on the dais in the “front of the circular Zendo, on the front edge of the low platform so that my knees were hanging slightly over. If I dozed off and lurched forward (as I was wont to do throughout the various meditations), I would have possibly pitched forward, falling off the dais. This potential embarrassment helped me stay awake, my spine erect.
TUESDAY, JULY 7, 7:45 AM
Helicopters have been circling overhead since about 6:30 AM. I assume it has something to do with the viewing of M.J.’s remains at the Staples Center. I am experiencing flashes of anger at the incessant pulsing drone. I fantasize about blowing them out of the sky with a high-powered rifle.
NOTES ON SHINZEN’S MONDAY NIGHT DHARMA TALK
Shinzen spoke of his first day as a monk-in-training at a Japanese Zen Buddhist Monastery. A stick wielding monk paced along the rows of neophyte acolytes, whacking each one 3 times on each side of the backs of their shoulders. Shinzen was terrified, but soon learned the monks were striking the gall bladder acupuncture meridian, which simultaneously floods the body with energy and provides a calming effect. I was totally jealous; I wish he’d whack me when I nod off during meditation.
Above the door Shinzen’s first Zendo was inscribed the adage, “If you want the lion cubs you must enter the lion’s den.” The Zendo was called “The Lion’s Den”. “Our Zendo is more like a pussycat’s lounge,” he quipped. Thrills. I want more of the Lion’s Den experience.
Dinner was weird last night because of the vow of noble silence. I was sitting with a couple of people I’d lunched with, but now I couldn’t talk to them. I found it socially awkward; I found myself mentally conversing with them as I would have anyway. After a while, I forced myself into mental silence, trying to focus on the excellent vegetarian repast.
We’ll be breakfasting in 10 minutes (8:30 am); hopefully I’ll do better this time.
The helicopters have stopped. Yea!