dog walk nirvana

04/26/2022 1 By BuddyCushman

Ritual. For these past 14 years I’ve been ‘sitting’ in what may loosely be called ‘meditation’, which I now know and say as ‘zazen’, and with maybe the exception of three or four vacation days or other daily schedule interruptions, I have missed sitting none of those days. Nearly 11 years ago – late next month – I will have added writing what you hear me call my “Morning Pages”, three pages in a wide-ruled notebook, every day. I’ve missed no days since the final days of May 2011. Sliding in between these two activities are drinking coffee and reading or – after the divorce for many months, unable to read – making notes in steno pads, to-do lists to ward off homelessness and ongoing broken-heartedness. So – sit, drink coffee/read, write the Pages. These have become my morning ritual. I bow to them, and I show up with whatever I’ve got that day. Like a Tuesday.

Recently I have become ‘retired’ again – May of 2011 the first time. My only agenda for retirement is live more wildly. Lately there have been medical ‘issues’, and the living wildly thing feels bigger. Part of the wildly quotient is more devoted times of sittings – zazen. Just sitting in the chair on which I now type, not moving, not going anywhere, no goals or tests or lectures in or out, it feels insanely wild and exciting to me. This last week of renewed retirement I have been sitting three times a day – the first morning thing which is timeless and probably averages around 19 minutes, and two others ‘gonged’ at 15 minutes via a meditation app on the phone.

I’m hoping to move the app timer to 25 minutes sometime these next few weeks, and expect myself to begin sitting more often. Since quiet helps, and this living space is small and noise travels when I’m not the only human here, there will be times coming, and especially during my teacher housemate’s summer off, when I will need to flexibly sit in the silence of Maddie the pit bull being taken for a walk.

Did you think the title was just crazy stuff from me?

Would it matter?