I recalled my February 18th post when I talked with my aunt today. There I quoted a story ("Real Prosperity") from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones in which Sengai tells a rich man that true prosperity and happiness occur when families, generation after generation, pass away in this order: "Father dies, son dies, grandson dies." This, said Sengai, is the natural order of life.
In my aunt's life this order has been interrupted. Not only did Esther experience the death of one of her daughters last week but she also lost a son to brain cancer many years ago. Now, at 89, she has lost two of three children. It's obvious that these losses weigh on her and bring her great sadness (perhaps even compromising her own health and survival).
Yes, all too often life presents us with timely opportunities to experience and learn from the wisdom of the masters.
For the first time in six years it appears that I may not have enough registrations for a TCC class that is scheduled to begin this week. Though I feel saddened I also realize that here, too, the timing is appropriate. Given the pain and strain on my feet and legs perhaps I have something else I need to accomplish or pursue during the next few months. Though it is not immediately obvious I trust that whatever path I need to follow will soon make itself known.
Tonight's TCC practice came at the end of a very full day: tax preparation, tearful phone conversation with my aunt, six hours of work at the library, an after work errand, and then (finally) TCC practice. I know that my legs and feet feel better since I've taken to practicing while seated. And so, I launched into another seated practice.
The cat lounged on the couch directly in front of me and lazily arched her back and stretched her paws toward me as I circled energy in her direction. Today is trailing to a close and tomorrow--yes, tomorrow--may deliver one foot of new snow to these north woods....