Heart of Life/Coeur de la vie: Day IV

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Heart of Life/Coeur de la vie: Day IV

Today, June 21, is the longest day of the year. And it’s a day that I particularly love, particularly in Paris. The city is at its best this time of year, tree-lined boulevards and parks flourishing, café terraces full. Which doesn’t mean that all is « well » for everyone: Refugees and the homeless also wander the city, air pollution is suffocating sometimes… The sun rises early and sets late today for all of us, without exception.

For me, circumstances require that I post something here earlier than usual. If I don’t do it now, I won’t be able to come back to it until mid-afternoon at best. First, I’ll take the cat to the veterinarian. Then must head to meetings, followed by a lunch. All of it, I intend to do with care, with sincerity, remembering just now what Suzuki Roshi writes, that « …it is enough if you do one thing with sincerity, » because, he notes, it is in this « limited activity » of our daily lives that we can « find out the true meaning » of ourself. Like William Blake, Suzuki, too, says, « If you pick up even a small stone, you have the whole universe. »

It’ all here, all now. It’s all you. You are the whole story and all of its parts.

 

 

By | 2018-06-21T07:38:00+00:00 juin 21st, 2018|Retraites au coeur de la vie, Textes|12 Comments

About the Author:

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Enseignante Zen et poète, Sensei Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell est née et a grandi à Minneapolis, aux Etats-Unis. Arrivée en France en 1981 pour étudier la littérature et l’histoire, elle y est restée, s’installant à Paris, où elle élève ses deux enfants et gagne sa vie en tant que journaliste. The Zen teacher and poet Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist.

12 Comments

  1. elizabeth 22 juin 2018 at 10 h 56 min - Reply

    back again …what a confusing days .
    Finally selling my house ,but leaving « my » team not happy
    hard to handle
    Try to be aware of these feelings ,what is the true meaning?

  2. céu 22 juin 2018 at 10 h 01 min - Reply

    Bom dia!!!
    « …it is enough if you do one thing with sincerity, »

    Sinceramente que desde o inicio da semana não me larga a ideia do « churrasco » (chicken) que foi comentado num post seguinte…, não me largou a ideia quando cozinhei o berbigão da Ria Formosa para o Xerém que ofereci a amig@s no dia do jogo Portugal-Marrocos (gosto de futebol) …não me largou a ideia quando conversei com várias pessoas no mercado biológico de Setúbal onde vendo, uns são crudíveros, outros vegan, outros comem de tudo um pouco e tentam comprar o mais conscientemente que podem e sabem (incluo-me nestes) … A velhota do café que me dizia que quando morresse gostaria de ser cremada pois acha que se for para a terra vai envenenar os bichos 🙂

    lembrei-me do ano em que durante 6 meses fui responsável pela apanha de vários canteiros de courgete e ao fim desses seis meses quando elas foram arrancadas me senti a perder alguém de quem me tinha de despedir

    Lembrei-me de como trabalhava muito acima das minhas capacidades físicas e era remunerada muito abaixo das minhas necessidades básicas

    Muitas questões se levantam e se cruzam e é boa a reflexão sobre elas
    tema muito sensível e que, na minha opinião só temos a ganhar em tratá-lo com palavras cuidadas e sensíveis

    « …it is enough if you do one thing with sincerity, »

    Era isto que eu queria fazer hoje com sinceridade, está feito
    é tão cedo ainda, talvez consiga fazer mais alguma coisa com sinceridade

  3. Hugo 22 juin 2018 at 7 h 52 min - Reply

    « …it is enough if you do one thing with sincerity, » says Suzuki Roshi. I can’t stop feeling overwhelmed by everything I have to do. Marking assignments. Read exams. Reply to students. And clients. Cooking as well. Playing with my son. Caring for this new house. Keeping my week vows. Or deciding to break them. It’s a never ending job. How to find peace? How to make it simple? My wife always says how easy it is. I’m the opposite. Always seeing how hard it is. How challenging. And what says our son? He’s younger than us. Probably, less conditioned than us. Most definitely, wiser than me or his mum. Play with me, daddy! He says. Or he just throws something and shouts: Go, doggy! Get it! I connect with the true essence of this retreat. Stay wherever you are. Doing what you have to do. With whoever is around you. Or like Lingzhao, Pang’s daughter, says « neither difficult nor easy. It’s like the teachings of the ancestors shining on the hundred grass tips. » And dead leaves that fill my house gutters. And sounds of cars and buses passing by in the busy road. Black cockatoos singing. And my phone ringing.

  4. Filipa 22 juin 2018 at 0 h 03 min - Reply

    South of Portugal. The TV is on and I’m trying to keep writing without feeling distracted. It’s so hard… my partner keeps talking to me, hard to keep writing. I’ve asked. But should I be here writing? Or shouldn’t I? I feel I’m trying to do 2 things at the same time and not sharing with you “with sincerity”…

    I’ve been picking up garbage at the beach… and I sometimes wonder what is the point? It’s so little, compared with al the garbage there is to be picked… I’m not sure I’m doing it just because I feel like, it’s inconvenient but I do it anyway. And this I do it with sincerity… so it must be right for me at that place and time. Ah. Good to find this!

  5. Isabela 21 juin 2018 at 23 h 46 min - Reply

    papoula íntima macerando crescente

    cedo demais
    você se assoa

    ruivinho tagarela
    libero

    abro para você

    aviões tecem camisa celeste,
    na caixa
    de papelão
    das almofadas
    que demos
    a você
    no seu aniversário,
    o ruivinho,

    você, com que jantei ontem,
    conversando
    com o proprietário
    no estacionamento
    felina tartaruga dormindo
    gato cinza dormindo,
    o ruivinho
    libero

    « A menstruação quando na cidade passava
    o ar. »
    dobro quase os mesmos versos de ontem,
    « o mundo em chamas por aí »
    discreet music

    a camisa celeste desaparecendo
    gotas no pára-brisas
    e nos vidros traseiros,
    menos frio que ontem,
    manobra tão difícil,

    tigrada no meio da borda
    do impasse.

    bicicleta,
    (quase a mesma paisagem dos outros caminhos da semana),
    passagem de nível,
    tronco de animal,
    bosque,
    frente clareira no vale,
    caminho do sentido,
    bicicleta,
    penas atropeladas,
    sem flores selvagens laranjas

    até o asilo privado
    num vale,
    o sena e o marne próximos

    você pergunta
    quando vamos conversar,

    embaixo dos meus horários,
    com esferográfica azul
    voltou ilisível,

    diz o valor do ambiente,
    a brisa da gentileza,

    corrente de ar desanuviando
    você pantera,
    vocês também,
    nós almoçamos fora,
    um ninho de janela,
    tira poeiras da grisalhinha,
    falo da tartaruga,

    sustenta…
    seu nome

    quente,

    vento frio

    penas no mesmo lugar quase,
    o tronco atropelado,
    tigrada quase no mesmo lugar do outro lado,
    você me ajuda a manobrar,

    coberta
    medito no mesmo lugar quase
    no mesmo horário,
    cinza atrasado,
    pássaros novos
    água-viva escorre,

    tropeço na tigrada,
    todos os gatos cósmicos,

    como fora
    com tartaruga,
    cão,

    algumas folhas amarelas na figueira da janela,
    teias abandonadas nas plantas
    da janela

    não vamos ao seu show

  6. Jennifer 21 juin 2018 at 21 h 41 min - Reply

    During my sit tonight anger came….what is it? What does it make me want to see. It comes quickly. Like waves in the ocean. It arises, crests, falls away. What is needing to be seen? Cold wind and rain, the sea calls but I can’t just run in. It’s too cold. Found a wet suit in the garage. I put it on. Went into the sea- strange to not feel the cold. My head cutting through waves, my body encased in rubber. Can’t wait to do it again tomorrow. Today is my sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday Michelle…….

  7. Hilde 21 juin 2018 at 20 h 24 min - Reply

    Netherlands. First part of the day didn’t pass very mindfull; even doing two things at the same time, knowing that i was doing so… Second part more mindfull. Just came back from a celebration of the international yoga day, in a park near my house. Not a lot of people, but Full with love and warmth (even though we were all shivering because of the Cold temperature. Now feeling Full with gratefullness, being able to participate in the retreat and in the yoga event. Enjoing big inner peace. Namaste.

  8. Joanne 21 juin 2018 at 18 h 55 min - Reply

    In Southampton this morning, split second perfect timing, so fast everything was clear like detailed slow motion. Everything got covered: opening up to fragility of welfare cuts one moment, and all the right people showing up the next moment on the phone, in tumbling emails, directly practical, so entirely blessed. Out of an abyss of anxiety, love shoots forward without rush. Clean and straight, raining ideas and clarity on what to do. Later, the sun-lit magnolia tree rustles in tickling breeze whispers. A sparrow stabs hungrily into a dense suet ball, wholly unafraid of large colourful waving prayer flags, eyes darting all over the sky. Suddenly wings fluttering, noisily buzzing, as the bird drops wholly surrendered into gravity, alighting on the brown-burnt grass. Now, still later, tinnitus fills my head and neck after chiropractic. My tongue vibrates under the root, tremors surging into my throat, my rib cage throbbing after sitting, and I am not my breathing, not my pain, only gratitude. Everything is in place. The brass incense bowl, at one point, catches the sun in one gulp.

  9. Adrien 21 juin 2018 at 17 h 51 min - Reply

    The heat is on in Pont-de-Barret.
    Just came back from the local market, the weekly social event of the village. There, doing one thing at a time is a challenge. Picking vegetables, waiting in line, chatting with everyone, being interrupted by someone else, should I get this, that? That much cheese? Oh well, it’s so good anyway, resistance is futile. Yet I sincerely love that cheese, the couple who make it, he had to run off to play a concert in a nearby village, the musical shepherd. He’s clearly working from the heart, doing lots of things yet one at the time and wholeheartedly. That’s clearly why I admire and respect them, among other reasons.
    Just made a potato, young onions and egg salad to empty the fridge before the market. When I cook I’m fully there, diving into the chemistry, multitasking towards a multidimensional experience, aesthetic, multi-sensory, multimultimulti yet all converging towards a single moment, that first taste from which the verdict will come, often satisfactory, sometimes a little more salt or olive oil, and other times to be re-explored at the next attempt. Being in the kitchen, doing one yet several actions, sincerely, several ingredients transcending towards unity of the whole (salad, dish, etc.) and amazing grace of the senses and primary needs. Bliss!

  10. Juan 21 juin 2018 at 17 h 28 min - Reply

    Famalicão, Portugal. End of the workday.
    What a hectic week, first Germany, back to Portugal, late on next Sunday, Africa. My heart always in the retreat, I managed to take a few minutes to write today.
    End of spring lovely in Bad Nauheim, nature blossoming, woodpeckers pecking, blackbirds singing. The sun and the clouds playing. Wherever I looked I could find a new plant or animal, all very close to people, without fear, contemplating.

    The vow challenge had delightful results, the aggressors expecting aggression and receiving compassion made them feel uncomfortable, then lost and finally, everybody relaxed.

    Back to Portugal, Wednesday with an early sudden trip to Lisbon and back to the Office: meetings, work, feeling tired. During the trip, a radio broadcast elaborating on W.B.Yeats « Leda and the Swan » in a very graphic way.

    Thursday, more of the same routine. Feeling anxious about Africa. Strange Solstice day with Sun, clouds, heavy rain in the afternoon. Everything moving so fast, the blurred boundaries of life disappearing.

  11. Telma 21 juin 2018 at 17 h 08 min - Reply

    « it is in this « limited activity » of our daily lives that we can « find out the true meaning » of ourself.

    Hoje a Primavera deu lugar ao Verão, e o crescimento dos dias começa o caminho de regresso ao ponto de partida. Acordei e assisti ao início da trovoada. Relâmpagos e trovões ainda longe, e depois a chuva. Sentei-me na almofada de frente para a parede branca onde está encostada a caixa que suporta o meu altar.
    No meu altar há um copo a servir de jarra para flores violetas colhidas no caminho de casa. Flores silvestres.
    Há um budha branco que me ofereceu a minha mãe. Há uma taça de madeira de acácia com água dentro. Há uma vela « tealight » pequena. E há uma pedra.
    É uma pedra que apanhei na praia para onde vou desde que me lembro de ser gente. De tanto ter sido embalada pelo movimento do mar e dos seus dedos em forma de onda está redonda. Imperfeitamente redonda. E é a imperfeição que tem que lhe permite estar pousada na madeira da caixa do altar sem rolar e sem esquemas de « travagem ».
    A imperfeição da pedra está perfeitamente apoiada no altar.
    O que me fez trazer para casa e guardar a pedra, foi a memória partilhada de aventuras, tombos e choques.
    Na minha mão a pedra é perfeitamente redonda, e inevitavelmente quando lhe pego a minha mão ganha a sua forma e a imperfeição que lhe serve de base no altar é imperceptível. Apenas vejo a viagem que fez até ao momento em que sou com ela.
    E pensando melhor, nestes anos que existe em minha casa a imperfeição dela aumenta como se estivesse a derreter-se na superfície plana em que assenta, como se quisesse ficar ali para sempre.
    Parece parada mas continua a viver a viagem que começou numa origem que é princípio e fim.

    Like William Blake, Suzuki, too, says, « If you pick up even a small stone, you have the whole universe. »

    A pedra tem mais sabedoria que eu. Ela É. Eu umas vezes Sou, outras vezes faço por Ser e outras ainda só faço.

    Seja a minha prática o mar, para que um dia eu como a pedra não fuja da imperfeição capaz de me repousar.
    [May my practice be the sea, so one day like the stone i stop running from the imperfection on which i can rest.]

  12. Manon 21 juin 2018 at 13 h 16 min - Reply

    Tübingen, Allemagne 14:15
    Je suis assises dans la salle d’études de la résidence étudiante. Elle a une grande baie vitrée qui donne vue sur le jardin de la communauté. L’endroit est très lumineux. Je regarde à la fenêtre les fleurs de guimauve, les plantes aromatiques et l’arbre planté quelques jours après la mort de Mariya, décédée à 25ans dans l’Himmalaya. J’aime cet arbre. Il me fait penser à elle.

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