Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Koan for a Spring-Like Day, 2018

As she hung the sheets on the line strung between the fence and the peach tree, a songbird landed on a branch above her, seemingly there to watch the middle-aged woman.

"Don't poop on my sheets!" the woman said.

"Tweet, trill, chirrup!" the bird sang.

"You're right. I can wash them again." And in that moment the woman knew she'd taken a giant step toward enlightenment. To celebrate, she threw the sheets to the ground, stomping and dancing on them as she sang at the top of her lungs a silly tune she'd learned as a child.

When she was at last exhausted and her sheets brown with dirt and green with grass stains, she looked up at the bird. It met her eyes, holding briefly on her gaze before flying off.

The woman gathered up the sheets and headed inside to wash them again. More enlightened or not, she knew the sheets were not going to wash themselves.

She was glad for the task.

# # #

Today's meditative writing eventually took the form of a koan. Or at least my attempt at one. I've been reading daily from The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women, edited by Florence Caplow and Susan Moon (Wisdom Publications). I originally discovered the book and information about the authors via Natalie Goldberg's website listing of her 2018 Workshops. The three of them are hosting a weekend workshop I would dearly love to attend in September this year at the Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Sante Fe, New Mexico. While I probably won't be able to get away, I will continue to enjoy my daily dose of koans followed by the insights of modern-day women teachers. 

Monday, February 05, 2018

Meditative Drawing

Today's meditative writing session included a sketch assignment: Put down the book and sketch something you see now or everyday.

Using my reMarkable tablet, I drew our shower stall, complete with the shark sticker that our daughter created years ago. And dots of water droplets from our morning showers. 

Draw what you see/write what you see. Either way, we're painting a picture. Thanks to Natalie Goldberg for that lesson in her book Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing.   

POTUS-proof shower. Thanks, Sharkie!