Monday, June 5, 2017

Bow to the Wall



 

A tiring day

Catching up on sleep in an Air B and B in noisy Old Town Square in Prague. In fact lay down last night at 10 and woke up at 5 AM with lights on, shoes on… Then lay down at 3 PM and woke up at 7. That's right, lights on, shoes on... Could have sworn that it was 7 pm and I’d slept for 16  hours!!
But no—just a 4 hour nap. Refreshed I checked email and found one giving me the time for meditation in the Buddhist center two floors up. That’s right—right here. Sometimes life is just so easy! 

But it didn’t seem so before the meditation. On a bus tour that stopped at Prague Castle for 50 minutes, I took 40 minutes just to locate a toilet. What is with Europeans and no toilets?? Then tried to exit the place in the remaining ten minutes to get to the bus before the rainstorm and a long wet walk home. But where was the damn exit?? Round and around I went, with all the castle parts looking the same. A policeman said that there were 4 exits – which one was I looking for? Hell, if I knew!! Finally a lady pointed to the long blank wall. There it is. Where?? I just see a wall. Doesn’t look like the exit I saw coming in!! But what the heck – had to trust someone with the rain coming. And sure enough when I got to the end of the wall and looked just so, there was the opening. Past it
the bus.

Life is uncertain right now.

Specifically, I have no idea where I am to lay my head from June 5- June13. No idea. The tourist office didn’t help—no tours they could find. I will be so tired of the noisy city by then! It in fact is the most beautiful city that I have ever seen but I do miss green. And everything seems like a cumbersome bus trip out of town with me hauling all that  too much luggage. So, just a little anxious! Like another wall with no exit. So it was with relief and hope that I meditated tonight. I don’t speak Czech much less Japanese chants, but there was Kwan Yin with her familiar vase holding the water of compassion. And Peter so precisely arranging the candles, incense, cushions, windows… everything just so. (And so unlike my luggage.) 

In Zen meditation one often faces the wall. Now my wall was a Old Town Square wall, so the mind was distracted in a lovely way by the sun going down, the lights coming on, and the architecture golden. But still, it was a far calmer  mind than the one that tried to find an exit or travel game plan.

They bow a lot in Zen. I can understand bowing to Kwan Yin and the ideal of compassionate service or even to the teacher or each other. But Peter had us bow to the wall.

 

The point being, I think, to bow to that no exit feeling. That uncertainty of pillow-place. Even to the loneliness of traveling alone.

Bow to the wall. It is what is happening right now. And there is a good chance, that like the much needed Buddhist center, an opening will be there