Tuesday, July 27, 2010

back to school

I'm glad I only had two classes, and that curso B is pretty cool and curso C is awesome, because boy, did I not want to be there today. I didn't do a stellar lesson plan, Marcela sent the kids down 15 minutes early--
"I can't take them for an hour and fifteen minutes."
"I know, but I need to start my class. Just send them back."
"So I can just send them back early when I'm done?"
"Okay, I can do that, but that's different from what we were doing last time. You have to tell me." [This is a recurring theme with us.]
--I've got a cold, and pretty much all day I've been thinking, "Wow, four months would have been plenty. Was eight months really necessary?". I'm also considering whether now is really the time to do a practice period at Tassajara: it looks good on paper, because it's rare to have a 3-month period where I'm not working and I don't have an apartment to take care of. But Anna and I have already been apart several months, and have a few months yet to go, and I'm feeling the strain of being away from her and all my other relationships and communities. Tassajara has the additional strain of being Internet-silent; we'd be communicating by writing letters.

When I started sitting zazen a few years ago, I finally settled on sitting for 40 minutes, which I describe as "ten minutes past 'comfortable'." After 30 minutes, I can start to feel a little twitchy, but also my mind runs itself out of energy, like an exhausted fish caught on a line. It's tempting to get up and stop sitting then, especially if there was any kind of emotional upwelling in the first 30 minutes. But the last 10 minutes there's just peace and quiet, and that turns out to be the most important part.

So I'll see how the rest of the school year goes. If I don't go to Tassajara now, it'll probably be a few years before I have another chance; but relationships in the here and now are more important than theories and stories about the future.

1 comment:

  1. All true. The image of the W curve of culture shock/adjustment also comes to mind. I arrived in Turkey in June and left in December, and regret fleeing my discomfort to this day....and yet there is also the fact that we'd be very happy to have you back sooner. Plus, I'll be making enough money to pay rent for us both before we know it ;-) (knock on wood). *hug*