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Lions Roar : July 2017
very patient. I felt sick to my stomach with embarrassment, gratitude, and can- taloupe chunks. So that was yesterday, the rehearsal. This morning we’re doing the real oryoki, right here in the meditation hall, in our robes, kneeling on our mats. Hosho is next to me again, but he’s leav- ing me be. And I do pretty well—in fact, very well. Thanks to Hosho’s help yesterday, I feel confident enough about my bowls and utensils to relax and fully concentrate, putting heart and soul into each little bit of oryoki business, setting this bowl exactly next to that one, spatula precisely over here, chopsticks lined up thusly. The servers come around offering oat- meal, apple slices, and orange juice. To be on the safe side, I show with my thumb and finger—small portions, please. Then there’s some chanting: As we desire the natural order of mind, To be free from clinging, we must be free from greed, And so on. Then we start eating. And oh my God, the oatmeal, it’s so oatmealy! And the apple slices, such appleness! I’ve never tasted food so clearly. Now I wish I took a little more. But, see, that’s greed, that’s clinging to the experience instead of letting it hap- pen and pass. On the other hand, taking too little—that can be greedy too, greedy about being non-greedy. I think I might be closing in on my koan here, on the meaning of “just enough”: something about, first of all, on the one hand... Ah, just eat. I finish with the others. The only hitch comes at the very end when we have to tie up our kits. Once again I’m unable to make my knot look like a lotus flower. Practicing yesterday with Hosho, I did it perfectly—twice, to make sure. But now, when it counts, when it matters... “Never mind,” he says quietly. “Just leave it.” ♦ simplysitting.com f ind true center the ultra lightweight meditation seat that breaks down and reassembles in one swift, magnetic motion for easy portability patented pedestal design promotes perfect posture, balance, and breathing the evolution of the meditation bench handcrafted and curved for comfort “groundbreaking.” “a total game changer.” “unexpectedly centering.” LION’S ROAR | JULY 2017 25 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE