Tonight starts Sesshin.
I like extended sittings when there is a lot of "sitables" on my plate. You know what I mean? Stuff that has collected and is either pressing on me, or feels like it's broken loose and is kind of rattling around in the machinery - not quite being addressed.
I know my mind will be on the Shosan at weeks end; but the lesson there is already being unpacked. As I said before, my current challenge is to read the interpreters without too much trouble. It FEELS like a game-stopper if I cannot pull it off. I was not even giving a whole lot of thought to the Q&A content itself. This popped up in my Zazen this morning, and I believe that if my sign was adequate to not worry about, then sure, I'd be concerned about the questions... after all, I was concerned about this day years ago, as I watched each Shuso get grilled like a cheese sandwich!
I'm in awe that our minds do these odd things to us! I'm sure it's something "from the cave" that enabled us to survive in some way. That's the drawback to Mother Nature. It matters not what we want or prefer - it's what keeps us alive long enough to procreate. This lends a certain permission to doubt these things on a fundamental level. Hence, the phrase "Don't believe everything you think!" It's not meant to be the truth - it's meant to keep you alive in some way.
So, we'll see what happens at Shosan. We'll probably do OK, and get through it. I just have this addiction to having fallback plans. For this, there seems to not be one. If I cannot understand the questions, from the interpreter, it WILL come to a screeching halt. Resurrecting my voice in some way will do no good if that happens - I can DO sign just fine. What an adventure! I will try my best and see what happens! Stepping off the 100' pole, eh?
The other thing is Seido's death. It seems I'm feeling much better - but I know that I am "in mourning". I always thought it was a long period of misery with no respite. For some, maybe it is. It will be interesting to see what extended sitting allows to come up. No distractions... day after day.
I wish you all a good sitting. Take care of your bodies at this time. Retire early, and push to discomfort, not pain; pain that might injure. Pushing to discomfort give us information and shows us that we do not have to always be itch free, or perfectly comfortable. It kind of opens the gateway to recognizing things as they are, rather than what we want them to be.
For you newbies - we tend to make an effort to be concentrated on what we are doing, and I may not wave or smile, or engage you at this time. It's OK. That's for form at this time. Solitude within the crowd. Let this, and schedule support you.