(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)
Thursday February 4th, 2016
This morning, just after the tender hour of 5:00am, I sat perched outside of the big meditation hall, awash in the red glow of my headlamp, and wrote this in my journal:
Moon cycles change quickly. It seems only yesterday I was watching it full faced sinking over the hills at the same hour as its now just ascending into the sky as a glowing banana, which I humorously imagine a cartoon monkey trying to reach for.
I wrote this earlier this morning too:
The sun, like the practice, can be misleading. “A clear sunny day, it must be warm out,” we say to ourselves, only to discover that its golden rays were deceiving. It’s still chilly outside! To practice the way of mindfulness is like this too. “Oh, it’s so simple!” we think to ourselves. But then we find out it’s not easy.