start here

This is my study/art studio/ mat & cushion storage room.  It’s getting a bit complicated sharing with 40-some buddha drawings.  I’ve caught myself nipping a swear word or two on the tongue-tip when I trip over the various sheets of paper, ink splotches, and other detritus of my practice.

It’s all practice.  True enough.  Yet sometimes I wonder, where would I start if I were to start now.

The topmost bookshelf on the right are Zen books, the next are Theravadin, Insight Meditation, Tibetan books.  The third shelf holds books on Taoism (Pooh and Piglet too) and most of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books.  Under all that are books on Arthurian lore and on the adjacent shelves are Buddhist-y novels, volumes on the I-Ching, and haiku.  Under that are the zafus and zabutons stored for all day sitting sessions we hold at the farm.  On the shelves out of sight are volumes on Zen art, Heiga, Jung-y stuff and various poets from Dickinson to Merrill to Billy Collins.

If I were to start now… this wouldn’t be the place.

On the desk are books on Japanese for Beginners (an erst-while class I took hoping it would help my art), CD’s of dharma talks and photographs, the computer and a great view out to the rose garden if you tilt just left of the printer.

If I were to start now, this wouldn’t be the place either.

Kitty-corner between the writing and art tables are plastic tubs filled with (I think) stuffed animals.  An erst-while romance with making it big buying and selling Beanie Babies.  With the Beanie Babe Bust, the little beasties were consigned to storage limbo.  I want to leave a note on my death bed that says: “After they find the body, check the rubber tubs.”

I’m definitely not starting in this place – despite the allure of exposing the role of Ty products in the manifestation of greed.

The art table is a vast glass top on two saw-horses that once served as a dining table back in the days when the “I got this on sale at the nearby construction site dump” look was in.  Now, it’s taken on a quiet elegance with felt pad, brushes, and ink stones.  Lately, with inspiration from various blog-practitioner-artists, I’m starting to feel more and more at home here.

It may be a place I would start. But I’m not sure.

In this 10 x 10 foot space, I find it fascinating that all the things the search for practice has brought me to are not necessarily the things I would use as a starting point for practice.

Thank you for practicing,

Genju

3 thoughts on “start here

  1. ah, a rich and varied practice indeed, including the Beanie Babies. Perhaps a series of posts where each baby embodies a Zen teaching. Perhaps “The Beanie Babies Hit The Eightfold Path”

  2. Where to start when already in the midst of it? Indeed..Clearing my space at home, like clearing the mind, stuff keeps on trekking in and I have to haul it out. Some stuff I cling to, can’t let go of it. Not yet. Maybe in time it will all settle again….

  3. I agree with zendotstudio – Beanie Babies as the path.

    And, parenthetically, we cleaned out our garage over the weekend. Goodness, what a lot of stuff can accumulate in a relatively small space! And most of it unnecessary, both in the acquisition and in the retention.

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