On your Marx, get sit, ho!
Pedalled over to Ed Brown‘s Wednesday evening Zen group sit-uation, after a day of typing furiously. It felt great to catch all the supper smells in the air (seven-fifteen is a great time to see what’s cooking in the neighborhood) and leave Taj Myhovel behind for a spell.
The transition from cold-dark-dangerous evening ride to warm-soft-lit-safe Zen ritual is pretty extreme, and coming in a couple minutes late is also jarring to the others, all perched on pillows facing the wall. I slid into the one remaining round cushion smoothly. Three whacks on the gong, whose tone causes much resonating deep within both my head and my interior and makes me think of monasteries in remotest Orient.
I sat straight, closed my eyes and let my blood slow. It became evident from the noise around me that I was in a gastric jungle, with animal sounds creaking and howling softly all around. Long trickling notes and leonine growls percolated through my concentrating on Not Thinking… whereupon I thanked my gut for being utterly silent . I chastised my smug self with a “what if YOU were the source of the music, silly? Wouldn’t you want a little understanding?) At which my own stomach volunteered a retort, and kept at it for quite awhile in solidarity.
The half an hour? Forty minutes? I don’t even know! It went fast. Then he did a short, booming reading from some dude about karma, about sensory input, and our emotional reaction to these stimuli, this last is where we have the opportunity to choose how to react to whatever happened. If I try to keep describing this, I will sound as incomprehensible as all the Zen (and for that matter, any other philosophical/religious texts) stuff I hear.
When he ceased speaking it was time to rise (s-l-o-w-l-y in my case, cuz me legs have frozen in that kid’s kneel with the knees splayed a iittle bit out. Then we walk very slowly around, lifting foot (ooh that is nice to stretch them but ouch!) carrying it a step ahead and c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y putting it d-o-w-n. They are so stiff OK let’s see if I can keep from bobbing like the woman in front of me, yeah….glide across the floor–er, lift, carry, place…I’m probably supposed to be thinking lift-carry-place, not how can I be more smooth. This exercise is to get us in the habit of just putting a foot in front of the other, regardless of what Life lobs atcha. At some point i’m thinking, “Ed’s only halfway round the room from his position! We’re going to be here forever!”
But no, he was bowing, and we were thru with that part, and starting the sit and gossip part.
Ed said that some of his friends are ‘warning me about getting ruined, or changed anyway, by fame”…
The white haired gentleman in the corner piped up, “Well, it’s nothing. I was famous in Indiana…and as soon as moved to California, I was anonymous again, no problem, and I kept it that way. ”
I added, “you get to be famous when you want, Ed, at events an’ stuff, then return to your life and be a nebbish. Best of both worlds”.
He mentioned his schedule for the rest of the year (not in town most of the time) and then said he was attending the Bioneers Gala this Sunday…I’d heard about this conference a time or two, people flying around the world to convene about glow-ball worming, right? Eating organic, and abating Our Big Problems? Anyway to me “Gala” = opportunity to dress up and possibly scarf some serious grub.
Any time with Ed is precious. He is a character, totally himself. We know this is a state devoutly to be wish’d. Schmoozing at a Gala should be a major blast. We could play roles. Or we could just observe everyone. Or, most likely, I will observe while he is lionized (we hope…as opposed to ‘dogged’ by pestering paparazzi).
I imagine this, could be wrong, but he did tell us that being at public events “drains his battery”.
So opposite my own battery charging system, which basically states: get out of the house, find some people to do something with!
Then he pulled out a zenny newspaper and checked the spellng of “Yoctosecond” which is a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. In the way that filosofs do, there gets to be these tiny increments of time, beginning with the huge: every minute has 65 ‘instants’.
Then there’s the attosecond (the time it takes an electron to go round the proton)…then a leptosecond (order of magnitude faster) and then the Yoctosecond. Appears the math professors have been hitting the Marx brothers reruns pretty hard. All the serious Greek names have been taken. Or, there is something inherently comic about tiny time increments.
Last was the “ho” moment, uttering a long drawn-out tone, saying “HO!” in a most emphatic way . People tossed out the name of people dear to them, for this Ho to be “for”. I think of Carol Cunningham, who only has Old Age but I want her well, and whole.
Rode home knowing two people in the room besides Ed: Tova, a masseuse who traveled the globe with the mtn bike circus, I remember her in Budapest…working with Susan DeMattei’s team? Maybe? Or GT? Very classy lady. And Susan Kelly who told me she was a WOMBAT in the 1988 or 9…impressive. Up my street, a bright crescent hung right over the trees at the far end, our end of the street. Not used to seeing a moon hanging there. I’m used to seeing the moon from the ladder of the treehouse, and it’s usually in the west. This moon was definitely in the south. I’ll check the web to see if they’ve moved the moon.
Roll bike into driveway, bound up the stairs and flip open my New Vice (you, dear rider). And ignite the radio.
Oh, this is funny. The guys on KPFA’s “Dead to the World” show–primarily Dead music, but lots of other good seldom-heard stuff. (Dave Gans and ….?_) are losing their place, stoned out of their minds, ‘been reading the ‘marijuana textbook’ giggle giggle. Makes me think of college radio…they’re going to play the Gollywogs (early Creedence) and next the Beau Brummells….”She’s Coming”.
But my blog, it’s nearly done! I’m pooped. Neck has a crick.