In looking at the local news this morning I saw that the teacher of some of my dearest friends died unexpectedly. I felt the sorrow rising at this news. Not long after corresponding with one of my friends I spent several minutes on the phone with a lawyer going over some questions about my divorce. A couple of hours after that I received news that our very close knit team was going to lose the support of a very talented team member. By 2PM my left leg hurt from the hip all the way down the back of the leg.
One of my friends stopped by and we were able to talk briefly of the grief he and his congregation are facing and I was struck at the enormity of the loss. It made me think of the absolute, inconsolable anger and grief I'd feel to lose one of my teachers. In this frame of mind I tried to get the Merit List printed, including Reb Aryea's name, and had technical difficulties. By the time I got to the Dharma Center and saw CK standing there I had tears in my eyes even though I'd told Hogen in a tight voice that I was, "OK".
Sitting seemed to help, I felt a little more settled. Perhaps it was just the pain in my left leg that was distracting to the noise in my head. No sudden, painful, horrible thoughts arising in the quiet. I felt very grateful for that. At times I feel fear in going to sit with my Sangha these days, afraid of what fresh agony from childhood will surface in my mind in that deep stillness. When that happens it erodes the feeling of safety zazen gives me -- even if I know I shouldn't hold onto zazen as being safe.
After I was invited to be part of a group recommending guidelines to how we will grow our Sangha, how to reach out to more communities to show them that the Dharma is truly accessible to all in ways small and large. I felt deeply disappointed when I was told I wouldn't be able to participate if I was unable to come for the two days designated to this activity. It is an area I feel so connected to and to be told I couldn't be a part because I was learning to be a yoga teacher felt hard.
I found myself crying for a moment upstairs alone when I put the Merit List back into the Ino's notebook. It wasn't that I felt judged or that the group was intentionally being hurtful. I did believe what I'd told them. I understood they would want to keep the group whole. I knew I could trust my Sangha to make wise decisions. I just felt taut with all the sadness, all the good-byes I've said lately and changes I'm making.
When I came back downstairs after composing myself, or so I hoped I had, JM caught me to say that they wanted me to be part of the group for as much time as I could devote. That they felt it was important to include me since this was an area that so deeply called to my heart. I was very touched and in my tenderness felt tears coming up to my eyes again.
On the way home from the Dharma Center I picked my laptop up from the office (I'd forgotten it when I left earlier) then popped by CK's to pick up some of my stuff. She had tea waiting for me and I sat talking with her a bit. When I tried to say I felt a little silly being so emotional she drew my attention to the whole of my day so I would see that it was a day heavy with sadness and the constant pain-noise in my left leg made it feel very hard.
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