My blog is about this place, “in between”, it is not division, it is in relationship. Working on the blog is a way to talk this place, where I see myself, and which, I hope, can also help other people, especially those who see themselves that way too. I always felt “out of place”, as if I saw in school groups, in very organized and stable lives, something that I didn’t belong to, that I wasn’t part of. It was not my place.
Zen helped me to feel the connection with everything and everyone and the experience living in the different Sangas allowed me to embody this feeling. Anyone who has done a sesshin (Zen retreat) knows how intimate we feel with the other participants, a profound intimacy that we have in silence. Living in a Zen Center we feel it on a daily basis, it is not that you will be everyone’s best friend, but there is a common ground that is practice, which we dedicate your life to awaken, to help others along this path and to look for a life in harmony.
The quarantine affected everyone’s lives, trips that didn’t happen, changes in the routine, relationships that ended …. For me, the quarantine made my 3-month stay in Brazil to be like a return of at least one year and brought questions about that space “in between”.
I do online zazen with San Francisco Sangha, but when I close my computer, where does my connection with them go to? On the one hand, of course, it is not going anywhere, it is always present…. But on the other hand, not having the physical presence, not participating in the daily life gives a feeling of distance. Besides that, here I am getting closer to the Brazilian Sangha, how can I participate and really collaborate? Or more, how can I solve this equation of my internal need to be part and the moment of the Sanghas? How from this place “in between”, can I really contribute and also take care of my real needs?
In Genjokoan, Master Dogen writes, “To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.” How can my action come from that place where reality manifests itself and not trying to force reality? This difference is often subtle.
My body just gave me a lesson. I had a sty two weeks ago that took me to an acupuncturist who discovered it was related to my liver and my diet. I was doing green juice every day, cooking my food with the least processed products, no cans or frozen, making my yogurt with milk coming from the producer. Plenty of chestnuts and walnuts – the one without salt because it is healthier. But what could be wrong? My green juice had too many things, germinated flaxseed, beets, orange and lemon juice, chayote, cucumber, lettuce, kale, apple, ginger, mint and on the top pf it I would add a banana so it would became a smoothie. I was forcing my body, imposing an idea of health and not hearing the signs. Now I am adjusting, going back to the middle way and accepting my need for belonging but remembering that when the Dharma Wheel turns, nothing is left or nothing is lacking.