I’m heading back from my fiftieth college reunion. There were about 100 of us including spouses. We were told sixty-seven of our class had died since we graduated in 1967.
Normal reunion events happened from wine tasting (for others) to tours, lunch and dinner with the President of The University of North Georgia. When I graduated we had about 1,000 students, now it is 19,000. When I was there I was a member of the Corps of Cadets. All residential male students had to be in the Corps at the time. So we were 800 and there were also 200 women who at the time could not be in the Corps. North Georgia College (NGC) was a unique Essentially Military College, like the Citadel, VMI and Texas A&M, of course we were/are much better.
Over the weekend, I experienced a phenomenon I’ll call “Layering.” It was looking at the here and now but seeing the then and there. As an example I am sitting at a gate in the airport where the ceiling tiles are removed exposing the soft underbelly of ductwork, electrical lines, light fixtures, and assorted dangling lines. Yet I can see tiles if I look at the space in my mind. So on Campus I saw 1967 and in certain places I felt 22, and the 2017 classmate faces would shift (on occasion) to their yearbook 1967 look. This continued throughout the days on campus.
It is all still there. That is my point, all of it is still there. The question is where is there? Dogen might posture there is always but where isn’t, that is why we can be there at ANYTIME. I believe this is important. As a portal of the universe this being (me) is experiencing. That is why someone can say do you remember when we carried a Nike missile from the armory to the Professor of Military Sciences house’s front lawn and Shazamm we are all there (1964, I “think”). This is a shifting from foreground to background in a way that seems effortless.
In Zen we are less surprised phenomenally with these see through layers, as they just seem to happen. So what do we do with phenomena? Expereience.
Before my Mother died her dementia allowed her to remember the events of 1955 when I was ten and we lived in a small sub division in a small town with about a million kids! She was at home “there” and we stayed there in our conversations as I learned more and more about her and me and that, then and there.
Great is the meaning of birth and death…
Please note that we have now have a way for supporters to make contributions on our FSZS website: www.falmouthsotozenangha.net. Many readers receive weekly Dharma notes and you may wish to help us continue our work as we near our seventh year celebration. Remember we are a 501c3 through the STO and contributions go tour rent at UUFF and to support the Silent Thunder Order as well as our basic materials and supplies. Any amount is appreciated...
Dharma Talk for Tuesday September 19, 2017 is "Layering "
As continued outreach in the Falmouth community, I will be working on a "Connectivity and Relationships" as a central feature of a group discussion fellowship on remaining sober and not using, as a path to address alcohol and drug abuse. More about this as it unfolds...
Please Add to your Calendar:
On Saturday November 4, 2017 will:
Have a Zazenkai from 6:30 AM until 11:00PM
11:00-11:45 we will prepare for three FSZS members to take Jukai or Precepts
12:00 Jukai conducted by Taiun-Roshi, via Skype from Atlanta
12:45 Lunch and Celebration of the 7th anniversary of the founding of FSZS
DATES SENSEI IS AWAY: Sangha Services will be lead by different members who have taken Jukai.
In November I will be away on a 30 day Priest's Ango or teaching sesshin, but will Skype in Dharma Talks...
November 7, 14, 21 and 28