(NOTES: Here is some lingo info that may be helpful in reading these posts. Deer Park Monastery is in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, who is often referred to as Thay. The monks who reside at Deer Park are called Brothers and the nuns are called Sisters. The sisters reside in Clarity Hamlet and the brothers reside in Solidity Hamlet, about a 5-10 minute walk apart. The word hamlet comes from the french and means small village. While they are not really villages they are self-containing communities. The visitors who come to stay at the monastery, like myself and Mike, are often called lay friends.)
Tuesday January 20th, 2015
Oftentimes as I’m going about my day and I encounter an especially wonderful moment I think to myself, “I hope I’ll remember to write about this later.” The thing of it is, there are many small wonderful moments and I am unable to write about them all – what a delightful “problem” to have!
This morning after breakfast I walked up the steep fire road. As I went uphill I found the sun just starting to pop up over the mountain. It was so very beautiful, its rays extending out like arms reaching down to alight the hills below. Where the fire road turns from pavement to dirt there is a leveling of ground before it begins to ascend further upwards. At that level spot you can overlook the monastery to the north and east. And when you turn around you can see the sprawling valley to the west, filled with people going about their daily lives in the surrounding cities. Today when I turned around to face the city valley it was completely covered in fog. Only the distant mountains by the ocean were visible. I could not see one house or car or building. I was up high enough that it was clear where I stood but down below it was misted over, as though the cities had vanished. It was an amazing site that I wasn’t expecting to see. Part of me wished I could’ve stayed longer to watch the valley reappear like a picture developing in a dark room. But I could only stay a little while, as our working meditation meeting started at 8:45am.