Okay. Fast forward to Tuesday May 19th (still the year of perfect vision, 2020)
AND of COVID-19.
As of this day, The Washington Post reports that 88,000 people have died from this disease in the US out of 1,480,000 reported cases. [Taking a deep breath…affirming that I am still able to ].
The country’s earliest fatality was thought to be a 58 year old man near Seattle around February 29th. (presumably in the elderly nursing home in my town of birth, Kirkland, WA. across the lake from Seattle. Subsequent findings ; tissue from two people who had died in early and mid-Feb. in Santa Clara Co. had tested positive signaling that the virus may have spread in the country weeks earlier than was previously thought. That’s the info we have today. More information from different sources gets uncovered daily. This gets filed under the huge but underutilized file named EPIDEMIOLOGY. Perhaps it will change the way we live, recreate, shop, educate, communicate, travel, congregate, VOTE….basically everything about current life in the 21st century. There have been plagues throughout the millennia. The Black Plague, the pandemic associated with an avian flu that infected an estimated third of the world’s population at that time. It took at least 50 million lives. About 675,000 or those in the US:https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-pandemic-h1n1.html
Coming back to the present moment.
Taking a deep breath.
Listening to the sounds at 7am outside my window…a symphonic assortment of bird calls from the mesquite bosque that is the 9 acre Rascal Ranch where I find myself at this place in time. I’m 67 yrs old, 68 in 95 days. The clock is ticking. It’s ALWAYS ticking. Am I (we) willing to sit still long enough to listen?
I think that is what meditation practice is for me. And it is a practice. And most likely will never be perfect, unless it is.
Sitting ” zazen” is the traditional name associated with silent focused meditation. A community of peers, who have traditionally come together to support each others’ efforts in this direction is called a “sangha”. It is one of the three gems of Buddhist practice. The other two being the teachings of the Buddha or “dharma”, and the Buddha. I have belonged to a sangha; the Cochise Zen Center for a year and a half about. With the rise of COVID, just about 6 months after we had moved into our new space in Bisbee’s Brewery Gulch neighborhood, we went to a ZOOM format for our various meetings.
From Zazen to ZaZOOM.
You heard it here first.