The “thingness of things” caught my attention. Despite the language and words we use, there is always something hidden that is unknowable and unspeakable. Ted Aoki referred to it as the “isness” of a particular phenomenon. With humans we might call it their “whoness.” It is what captures our hearts in the work we do when we slow down enough to be in each ensuing moment. We never have the words to describe fully what that thing or person is. Usually, it is the part we love the most.
POSTCARD #81: Newcastle: Five days in a Buddhist monastery in Northumberland, sitting meditation in the early morning and last thing at night. The photo above was taken at 5.15am. I wanted a picture of the sunrise and didn’t see the sheep in their places next to the wall – slightly startled by a human being leaning over into their enclosure and the click sound of the phone camera. They wait to see if he comes back, forget about it and only the fragrant grass remains… early on a summer’s morning.
After that I’m in the Dhamma Hall, sunlight shining through the roof windows on the Buddha statue, benign and welcoming. Monks with shaven heads sitting on the floor, faded tangerine-brown robes, flowers, incense and candles. Focused on the silence, watching the inbreath/outbreath, seeing the thinking process coming and going. Fragments of a thought pieced together from associated thoughts, memories…
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