Thursday, August 22, 2013


I tell her that her work is sacred. She asks why. I feel uncomfortable and don't want to admit that my litmus test for sacred is when my heart goes thump in a certain way.

I think of the passionate DH Lawrence who differentiated between ideas and experiences. He says that we like to make experiences into ideas so we don't have to feel them. I do that, fitting ideas neatly into a square hole. But experiences are all over, bursting into the sky and running down our legs like the dribble from a melting ice cream cone.

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I attempt to deconstruct sacred. I ask “what makes something sacred.” That's easier for me than telling why I think it was sacred. I fool myself into believing that taking something apart is a more intelligent response. She stops me in my tracks, yelling “whatever” as a referee would yell “foul.”

Our zen patriarch Dogen said there was no place to spit. After being rebuked for stacking some chairs under an altar, I learn that some spaces are more sacred than others.

I remember the rubrics that some teachers use, assuming that if a student fulfills a number of expectations they would have a good essay. I rebel against the idea, and realize that one could do everything right and say nothing, and they could do everything wrong and say much.

When I label something good I acknowledge that I’m touched in a special way. I’m slowed down and realize what is important. Suddenly there is quiet. Everything glows. I feel an energetic breeze. I see goose bumps on my arms. Big ones. I want to step very carefully, not to disturb anything, hoping I can stay in that space for a moment longer. I become sacred, watching time and space collapse into the here and now.

That's sacred. And when zazen is over, one meditation leader rings the bell twice, as if a walking meditation is to follow. But no, it’s to let us know that as we walk back into our lives, we are just moving to another sacred space.


Anonymous said...

That description of this aspect of your life was very touching to me. h.

Anonymous said...

How does your heart go "thumb", is it emoting about squashing a bug with a certain finger? H.

Kim Mosley said...

H, you get the grand eagle award. Thump, not thumb. I guess my editors need some canning.
to strike or beat with or as if with something thick or heavy so as to cause a dull sound. 2. : pound, knock.

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