Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Could Really Go For Some Bacon About Now!

Hello my lovelies,

I have now been at this ZenFarmAstary for over 6 weeks, staring at a blank wall and dealing with inanities, insanities, insecurities, inequanimities (and other 'i' words too)... I am now on the home stretch of this little adventure in emptiness, which will come screeching to a ceremonious halt on April 12th after 7 days of sesshin, which I believe is Japanese for "sitting all day every day for days on end until your head explodes."

Just in case you were wondering, here's what my typical day consists of:

I've been feeling a little sketchy lately
I get up at 4:00 (and not I'm not talking about the civilized afternoon kind of 4:00, either! This is pre-rooster temporalism.), at which time I attempt to dance/stretch/splash/will myself awake in order to go sit in the dark for a couple of hours. Usually, there are copious amounts of caffeine involved...fortunately, hopped-up beverages of all sorts are bountiful here.

Sadly, I have yet to perfect the art of sleeping while sitting in the Lotus position.
There's a Japanese monk named Yuto who sits beside me in the zendo who is a master sit-up-and-sleeper, but he hasn't been able to convey any useful pointers about how to nap without falling over onto your neighbor's lap (and man is THAT embarrassing!).

Around 6am, after the sitting business, we do a boink-load of full prostrations, which is awesome. It is awesome not because I love bowing down (which i most definitely do not - i've got real issues with that stuff), but because it's really good leg exercise - squat, bend, lower, raise, unsquat,, are my thighs strong!). Then we chant in a monotonal pseudo-satanic japaneezy kind of way, bow some more (you go, glutes!), go clean some toilets or mop a ceiling or rake rocks or some such activity until a bell rings then it's time for food and on and on like this throughout the day - sit, bow, chant, food, work, sit, bow, chant, lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum (well, until 9pm - seems like infinitum sometimes). There is also some zombie-walking thrown in here and there for good measure, which I actually really dig...any excuse to move like a freak!

Alas,  although I am soon leaving Green Gulch, I am not yet returning to Austin;
I'm heading back to Tassajara for a few months... and here's the deal: it's off-grid and wilderness-bound.

Ain't no computer, ain't no cell reception, ain't no easy way in or out, and the valley's too steep for the pony express. That leaves the good 'ol u.s. postal system, smoke signals, and a single outgoing phone line that occasionally works.

So here is my request: if you'd like to stay in touch, send me your address via computer asap (before the 12th) OR send me a letter with your return address to :

Jean-Marie Dwyer
c/o Tassajara Zen Mountain Center
39171 Tassajara Road
Carmel Valley, CA 93924

Write me and I'll write you back!
Try it - it's fun (really)!
AND if you include some dark chocolate or something equally exciting in your mail, I will also throw in a free mystery gift (while supplies last...)!

So that's that.


In other news...
It has been raining here.
A lot.
Radical Super-Saturation, dude.

The other day I  went hiking by the beach and tried to scramble up the side of a hill but instead of solid ground it was pure soft squishy mud disguised as solid ground and we're not talking a little bit of mud here people and I ended up stuck in muck up to my calves but that's pretty much par for the's just not always so literal is all :)

However, in the past few days the climate has magically transformed into a sunny and glorious spring.
Hanging out here is like walking around in a postcard.

Bucolic, 'tis...

There are also lots of critters, including some really large, slimy, and poop-shaped-and-colored banana slugs, which I personally don't find so bucolic, but then again, they might not think I'm so hot, either...

Ok, that's all I've got for now.

I'll do my best to get another post done before I go radio-silent again.

And remember: every time you write me a letter, a kitten gets it's wings!



bucolicism, part deux