Virgin Sesshin at Stonewater – a Journal by Julie Webb

August 28, 2015 at 8:49am

23.8.15

Arriving

Shikantaza
Just sitting – the sound of one hand clapping
As I emerge in the tension as invisible opposites
O.

***

Three hours in

Silent and awkward
Clumsy hands
Privacy none
Naked all
So what?
I don’t mind
Do others?
That’s what I’m thinking.
I want to say “I’m not looking, even though I can’t help but see”.
All sleep now
Borrow a book tomorrow
I didn’t bring one ha!
Wanted a rest from words
And
Didn’t want to get a label of “superior”
Old scars
Still lurking then.

***
24.8.15
Dream

Sensei held the door open
for me to go through,
Running towards I stopped to look through
It opened to pitch black
A shaft – long drop!
We looked at each other
And burst out laughing.

***
Laughter

All day no sound
Laughter wanting to leap out
It leapt in!

***
Interview No 1

Gassho
My name is Julie
My practice is just sitting

***
Sick List

High cheeks
She had
Full cheeks
She had
Smile fitted into those cheeks she had
Cheeks never sullen even in death
Young full of flesh cheeks
Remain alive in tears
To me today
Sophie.

***
24.8.15

Paradox

Connected solitariness
Reclusive isolation
With you.

***
Sangha

I am here
That is enough.
You are here too
That is more than enough.
When we are all here –
My God!
Love.

***
25.8.15
Interview No 2

Gassho
My name is Julie
My practice is just sitting.
What is your name?
And what is your practice?

***
Life

Breathing
On your hand
Is.

***
Visible ether

Self-assemblage appears
as hot breath fogs the mirror
No-self disappearing

***
26.8.15

Tenzo

Food tastes differently
When prepared and cooked
With heart, thank you.

***
Lack

My journey into
no-lack,
Under my nose

***

Buddha

On the path
of the Buddha
all along.
Sometimes we just held hands in different directions.
Same path
Big grin
Kissed me today.

***

Friend

My friend
Your tears
Squeeze my heart
And roll down my cheeks.

***

Evening

Exhausted, sore and stiff
Change mudra
Freedom rests in my hands.

***
Full circle

Shoulders screaming
Ring the bell PLEASE!
Just breathe dummy.

***
27.8.15

Final day

A new momentary family
come together to sit one last time,
to clean up, have one last meal,
say cheerio and hug.
That wonderful feeling
I have to want to hold on,
and,
to let go all at the same time.

***
“Unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed”

The car was alien
Where are my legs?
OK I know how this goes:
Take it slow and steady,
Be quiet and attentive.

10 minutes later:

M6, foot down, 85mph
Hozier and Bowie
On full boom
So happy
Traffic police
Bridge
Speed camera.
Sod it
I’m going under
Why?
Because I can!
I shall await the fine along with other junk mail
that will arrive sometime in the future.
Home, with my cat, my cuppa tea,
and a hot soapy bath.
And I shall sit this evening on my mat
to remember my friends
as we sat in the dusky darkness,
and who knows what dreams
will permeate my sleep this new night,
or how in the morning when I awake,
my head will have been turned
a little more than the night before,
Again

***
28.8.15

Sensei shuffle

Sunrise in Shrewsbury
Shuffling feet, slurping tea
Sensei’s in de house.

Gassho.