day 3

Today, the first day of post-sesshin daily practice. I asked my teacher how much was enough. She recommended 25–30 minutes. That’s more than some recommend. Some will say 10 minutes a week is enough, and it’s much better than nothing. But this is what she thinks is best for me, so on we go.

A good sit, today. A bit too much thinking going on. At one point, I fell into the most dangerous of traps: having a bright idea. Working further with “who am I” I thought it might be “interesting” to try to describe myself in words that I wouldn’t usually use but which are no less true – “gardener” for example. And maybe that might be a semi-useful thought exercise out of the realm of practice, but I rather suspect it to be almost entirely self-absorbed twaddle.

Trying a bit harder to let the thoughts go as easily as they come, I did alight upon Stanley, one of our whippets, about who we received bad news recently. Pondering how much Stanley we have left, thinking about what I am to Stanley and Stanley’s needs seems a better use of my time. But I should do that thinking after zazen, not during. Our lovely Stan.