Summer Sun (6)

Welcome back to SunnyRoomStudio and my summer series — brief, inspirational posts for your spiritual musings.  Great to have you here in this sunny space for kindred spirits.

Given the exceptionally hot, dry conditions in many parts of the country, I’m wondering if we all shouldn’t be planning to create a Zen rock garden.  They are beautiful in their simplicity, compelling in their tranquility.

As I understand it, this kind of dry garden is made primarily of sand and rock, but cultivated to look like a landscape or an ocean.  The sand is raked into soothing patterns that can also be conducive to meditation.  Stones of different sizes and shapes are integrated into the Zen garden — some with different meanings or symbolism.  The sand (or pebbles) are meant to represent water, while the larger stones are symbolic of mountains, hills, and so on.  And if you can’t make a large outdoor garden, there are small desk size kits that even include a small rake for creating new designs in the sand.

 Zen lives in the present.  The Whole teaching is: how to be in the present; how to get out of the past which is no more and how not to get involved in the future which is not yet, and just to be rooted, centered, in that which is.  ~ OSHO, Zen: The Path of Paradox

I have been reading some books about Zen this summer, in fact, and enjoying them a great deal.  One point, about enlightenment, I found especially interesting.  In a book called Now Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck, she points out how the enlightened state is pure experiencing.  We become the experience, in other words, so we don’t think of ourselves as separate from the experience.  “Practice is about moving from experiences to experiencing.”  Beck also talks about how change is continual … how change is who we are.

Zen taught me how to pay attention, how to delve, how to question and enter, how to stay with — or at least want to try to stay with — whatever is going on.  ~ Jane Hirshfield

If you were to become a Zen master where would you begin?

What would you most want to learn? 

I would want to become deeply familiar (and content) with this idea: Just This.  It seems to me that this attitude, this orientation, has great potential to change our world.

Blog posts by DazyDayWriter @ work in SunnyRoomStudio: all rights reserved.