(Helpful Info & Terminology: This is part of a series of blog posts written during my recent retreat stay at Deer Park Monastery, located in southern California, in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Due to not having had Internet access I will be posting two days worth of my writing each day from while I was there on retreat.
Laypeople: Also called lay friends or laymen and laywomen, are all of us who come here to practice but are not monks or nuns.
Monastics: The collective group of both monks and nuns.
Clarity Hamlet: Where the nuns, also called Sisters, reside. Laywomen stay here as well.
Solidity Hamlet: Where the monks, also called Brothers, reside. Laymen and couples/families stay here as well. (Clarity and Solidity are just a short 10-15 minute walk in distance from each other).
Thay: Refers to Thich Nhat Hanh, meaning teacher in Vietnamese)
Sunday January 24th, 2016
I just returned to my hut from watching the full moon rise over the mountains. Mike and I watched it together on the aptly named Full Moon Deck, which sits below the large stupa near Solidity Hamlet. I had asked, and received, permission to eat dinner with Mike in Solidity and after we were finished we took a stroll to watch the glorious show. It was so incredibly lovely to both watch the moon slowly ascend into the sky and sit with Mike wrapped up together. It was a cherished time and ripples in my heart.
Watching the moon rise was made even more delightful due to the fact that I had watched it set just this morning over the opposite side of the mountains. Moon cycles change quickly. Just yesterday I watched the moon set around 5:15am. Today the moon still sang in the sky when the gong and morning chant began to start our sitting meditation at 5:45am. I had a prime viewing seat on my cushion this morning and continued to watch as it set just outside the glass doors in front of me, through the thin branches of trees, at around 6:15am.
It’s growing late (8:30am is late to me now!) and I had only a short nap today so I think I will sign off for tonight – and besides, how do you follow up such splendid talk about the moon?!