The Hazy Moon at Home
Photo/essay by Angie Shinnyo Nickol
The idea for this photo/essay came up during Christmas dinner at the Hazy Moon. The following photographs show how the Zen Center manifests at our place in Germany.
Maezumi Roshi talked about the kitchen being a continuous testing ground.
At every turn we express our inner state: by sloppiness, by being meticulous, by avoiding work or seeking it,
concentrating or daydreaming, being calm or tense, and so on.
A beautiful picture was taken in the kitchen of the Hazy Moon during Ango. You can find it in our kitchen at home:
It keeps me aware of the fact that the kitchen provides a wonderful but also challenging opportunity to practice mindfulness - moment after moment - while conditions are constantly changing. Furthermore, the photo creates a calm atmosphere and has a soothing effect on me. Especially early in the morning, the flame seems so vivid; it almost looks like there is an actual candle burning.
Anybody who has been fortunate enough to attend a sesshin at this magical place in Los Angeles has probably read a sign saying this:
Seeing that at home every day is a good way of reminding myself how precious and profound it is to practice silence and to pay close attention to the words I say.
The same goes for the little "Learning To Be Silent" story below (which you can also find at the Zen Center).
I don't know exactly when this "tradition" started, but every time I stay at the Hazy Moon for sesshin, I seem to get another mala to take back to Germany. For me, they are powerful reminders to stay awake and practice on a moment to moment basis throughout the course of the day.
The connection to the Hazy Moon and the Sangha cannot really be described in words but may be expressed in several photographs of our "home zendo."
Roshi recently said "Dharma is thicker than blood." This is exactly what it feels like every time I come back home to my family at the Hazy Moon.
Also by Angie Shinnyo Nickol: Far away.. and yet so close
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