Perhaps it was rude to look at the woman’s face as she dealt with the bank deposit. It was a glance, rather like noticing detail on a mountain side. You know how it is walking along taking in the gullies and streams and the rocky outcrops, perhaps catching a movement in the brush? In this case I briefly scanned the lines and grooves of a skillfully made-up, middle aged, face. Nothing was moving, the expression impassive. Transaction completed we met, smiled and I turned and went on about my business.
The young chap behind the till at the computer shop turned out to be the owner! The lad who had fixed my computer appeared in his The Computer Shop top. Fresh faced with a steady and considered manner. Faces, faces and more faces. Expectations, assumptions, interest, beauty, dignity. All taken in at a glance. Images that can be recalled, however for the most part forgotten. Snapshots.
One of the rules of the meditation hall is not to look at another’s sitting place. Literally, one does not gaze around and look at other people as they sit. Not even a glance, unless it is ones responsibility to do so. Leaving the formality of the hall the teaching informs one’s day. Engage with others, yes. Gaze into their sitting place, no.
No need, no point and ultimately not possible.
This way stands one in good stead on the high street, in the airport or where ever. It all may seem cold and indifferent however that is very far from how it is.
For Mike, the original owner of The Computer Shop, who died on Tuesday.