As per insistent nudging, cajoling and ass-kicking from the Universe, I will fly off on August 15, to the Upaya Zen Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Where I will undertake a three month Path of Service position, which is to say, gardening, cooking, sweeping floors. Meditating for 3 hrs a day. Attending dharma talks etc, and basically…following my foggy and winding path of service, wheresoever it leads.
I am excited, mystified, and of course slightly terrified. I have exactly zero experience of Zen practice – all i know is that you sit in meditation with eyes open facing a blank wall – and I’m not even sure if that’s true. Apparently there is also a lot of bowing involved, but i already have an involuntary bowing habitso that should be ok.
The Upaya Institute is all about the sort of engaged Buddhism that makes my heart rise so high … and I feel like I really, really need some kind of schedule and disciplined practice routine in my life right now … and oh god the high desert, in autumn colours, where Spanish and Navajo will be sounds in my ears … etc. etc.
But also, and really, once again – it is a dare. The Universe throws down the gauntlet. Again.