Ending, Beginning, Returning

Photograph taken from Blencathra, the forth highest mountain in England.

As the time comes closer to leave North America and return to the North of England my mind has been turning to the green uplands, especially the fells of the Lake District, Cumbria. So it was especially heartening to receive an email from my monastic walking companion who’s been awalkin’ where I first saw, and fell permanently in love with, high rocky places.

I look forward to traipsing the moors with you again, which will probably be even more fun than the dream walk I made yesterday. I climbed the 4th (correction – 18th highest) highest mountain in England!! – in the Lake District. It was blummin’ foggy up there (2800 ft) but well worth it (the climb).

Tomorrow is a traveling day. First sliding down through the verdant mountains to Redding and then slithering through the liquefying heat of the Sacramento Valley to the Bay Area.

Before that journey there will be goodbye’s to the community here at Shasta. It’s customary when visiting a Buddhist ‘establishment’ to offer incense and make (three) bows at the main altar and again when leaving. The formality of such occasions helps to bring to the fore the beginingless and endlessness of practice. And the endlessness of bowing, of gratitude.

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5 thoughts on “Ending, Beginning, Returning”

  1. There’s something quintessentially English about that landscape. Sounds like you’re returning. It’s been good to share your journey. I’m returning to Singapore on Friday.
    Safe travels
    In gassho

  2. “First sliding down through the verdant mountains to Redding and then slithering through the liquefying heat of the Sacramento Valley to the Bay Area.”

    Beautiful sentence!


  3. Michael, I think you are the only one who notices my literary efforts, or perhaps appreciates them. I’ll probably look back over some of my efforts and squirm at their pretentiousness. But maybe not. You must surely qualify as a loyal blog reader.

  4. Walter – and I’m glad you appreciate the landscape depicted just as much as I do.

    Now in the East Bay, San Francisco. My slithering through the Sacramento Valley went so fast I hardly noticed either the heat or the parched landscape. Likewise coming down through the mountains to Redding from Shasta. The company was good and the conversation flowed almost uninterrupted from start to finish of our journey. The sangha is a treasure and no mistake.

    You have a decent flight on Friday, I’ll be in San Francisco where I hope to take some photographs and meet a long time sangha friend.

  5. may you be well, safe in your travels. i am not quite sure how i found your page but it will now be “bookmarked.” i was returning from my walk to the beach listening to Jack Kornfield’s talk on being a Bodhisattva. upon reaching home, i did a quick “google” search of Zen Master Ryokan. from there to here, somewhere in between is how i found your page. i look forward to your next posting and i also look forward to reading some of the past ones.

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