Koan:
I went to a hermit’s cottage and asked, “Anybody in? Anybody in?”
The hermit lifted up her fist.
I said, “The water is too shallow for a ship to anchor.” And I left.
I went to another hermit’s cottage and asked, “Anybody in? Anybody in?”
This hermit too lifted up her fist.

I said, “Freely you give, freely you take away, freely you kill,
freely you give life.”
And I made a full bow.

My mind is always making up stories to explain its stories, or to explain the feelings I have, the judgments, the reactions. One day I look around and everything looks grim. The paint is peeling, the floor is dirty, I’m living in squalor. I probably deserve this, too, for being who I am. And then the next day, or a few hours later even, everything looks different: I’m full of bright hopes and appreciation, my body is happy to be here. The peeling paint is picturesque. We’re all in this together, it’s an adventure.

It’s good to notice the way my opinions aren’t really attached to anything solid. I feel what I feel, and that changes. Then I can see there’s something larger going on. Where praise and blame were taking up the view, awe might appear. This could be a good thing sometimes.

Come join us, a summer evening at the creek. Noticing our internal hermits. It’s community night so bring something to eat or drink afterwards, if you like.

(Stay tuned for live stream link for this talk as scheduled – next live talk is August 5th 7-9pm)

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