Deer Park, Day Twenty
(written on Thursday January 30th)
I just woke up from a long nap in preparation for staying up late tonight. In half an hour there will be a special video dharma talk from Thay recorded earlier today from Plum Village for TET. We will be away from our hamlet for the rest of the afternoon and evening but I didn’t want to miss a day of writing.
This morning I got up around 4:30am and headed to the dining hall for some study time, as I like to call it. I’ve been reading Thay’s book The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching mostly in the mornings and taking notes. I’m reading to learn and not for simply pleasure so I call it studying. The book has been very enjoyable. I think I may have read it many years ago as well.
I did some sitting in the small hall for about 45 minutes before breakfast. Some of the windows had been left open over night and it was quite cold. I went for a short walk down the road and wrote:
When I’m walking in the woods on a narrow trail
My attention is downwards on my footsteps
To traverse rocks, roots, and uneven ground
When I’m walking on a paved road
My eyes look up to see my surroundings
The trees, sky, and flowers
My ears open to hear the birds and my breathing
For working meditation I did almost two hours of sweeping around the dining hall and up the road to Thay’s hut. I studied a little more before eating lunch and then took my nap. And now I am off to enjoy the festivities of New Year’s Eve :)