Deer Park, Day 7

Deer Park Flowers

Deer Park Flowers

(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.)

Day 7

Friday January 16th, 2015

6:15pm

I just got back from dinner and then remembered I had a pair of pants still hanging on the clothesline that I had hung out to dry earlier today.  I went out to get them and found them missing.  It was an, “Oh no!” moment, as they were my layering pants that I wear underneath my main pants in order to stay warm.  My main pants are quite thin.  I came back to my hut prepared to start typing and then decided to go back out and see if I could talk with some friends about my missing pair of pants and see if anyone had them.  When I went back to the clothesline one of my roommates was there and she had a basket of clothes with my pants in it!  Hooray!   It is the simple things that stand out to me here.  Like when you have the chance to miss an article of clothing and notice how wonderful it is when it reappears!

Today we had morning sit, stick exercise, breakfast, and working meditation, where I volunteered to clean the bathrooms in our hamlet and outside the big hall.  I was also asked to fill back in the septic tank lids if I had time, as the pump truck had come today and emptied the tanks.  So I filled in the 6 holes over the lids after cleaning.  We had walking meditation after working and then I opted to skip lunch in order to get more rest and take a nap.

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Deer Park, Day Twenty-Five

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Deer Park, Day Twenty-Five 

(written on Tuesday February 4th)

3:30pm.

I’ve not done much today other than rest.  It has been wonderful!  I decided to practice a day of silence today so I am wearing a pin that I made a couple of years ago, and brought with me, that says: I am practicing a day of silence.  I decided, however, to make an exception in my silence in order to write.  To me, writing is both like and not like remaining silent.

This morning I slept in and woke up around 6:00am!  The latest I’ve slept since I’ve been here.  I did some sitting meditation, had some tea, got dressed, and then decided to skip breakfast, on account of not being at all hungry, and return to bed.  I fell asleep for almost another 2 hours.  How splendid!  I had nowhere to go and nothing to do and my body told me of its need to rest, so I did.

After I woke up I went for a short walk to the standing Buddha statue in the Oak Grove.  I visited a hammock along the trail and enjoyed rocking back and forth beneath the trees.  On the way back to my cabin I collected some peppercorns from one of the pepper trees alongside the parking lot to bring home.

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