"Wow! Did you see that?" We both said with one voice as the star shot out of our eyes painting a brilliant glowing line across the galaxy for an instant. I leaned more into my girlfriend's soft love and more into the bench that her son made a couple years ago. Back when he built it, I thought it looked a little too deep and leaned too far back. Right then, I knew what it was for.
It seems whenever I spend time with the stars, it's as if I had forgotten about their sparkle and about the wonder and curiosity that I feel just by looking. Unimaginable numbers of twinkling dots. Some all by themselves in a dark field. Others gathered together in clusters like a sangha creating a glow that shimmered in my beautiful Kim's eyes.
I took a sip of the dark red wine feeling the warmth as it dissolved into my blood. We were talking about serious relationship stuff. I felt so close to her in that moment. Not close, something even closer. Closer than intimate. Closer than oneness. Closer than close. I just leaned in and watched. Everything disappeared as another one exploded and streaked by in a brilliant red. "Oh my God!"
During Service at sesshin the ino chants "May our sincere vows to accomplish the Enlightened Way be realized together..." drawing out the errrrr in a beautiful sing-song invitation to begin to mix our voices and our breath into the words of a sutra.
For me it's a practice to let out my whole being in a voice, in word, in a sound. To mix it all up like in zazen. Without pushing away the forgotten word or missed cue nor grasping the oneness of harmony or the openness that silent retreat fosters. Letting it go and being free with it.
Each aspect expresses itself fully. The candles and incense, each person, our voices, the harmony or dissonance, the words, the bows and for me the tears all are just being exactly themselves. The large bell that resonates through the hall goes through my heart and all the hearts in that zendo and sometimes it feels like all the hearts in the universe. That for me is when the ancestors are chanting and bowing and sitting zazen with us. That for me is sangha.
Me and Kim leaned into each other and sipped and watched. We felt the warm rush of the vanishing streaks of light and the rich red wine as they dissolved into our blood. I am starting to realize that the shimmering glow in my beautiful woman's eyes wasn't a reflection of the shooting star, it's the source.
Everything always simultaneously happens. Sangha is the practice.