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Lions Roar : January 2003
I LIVED FOR A YEAR AND A HALF recentlyinSt. Paul, Minnesota, practicing Zen with one of Katagiri Roshi’s dharma heirs. Roshi had been dead for a long time and still I missed him and did not know how to complete the relationship that had begun over twenty years before. I was frozen in the configuration we had together when he died—he was always the teacher and I forever would be the student. Now over a decade had passed. I wanted to move on, and in order to do that it seemed I had to move back to that northern state of long winter shadows, a place I left fifteen years earlier to plant my roots in Taos, New Mexico. It seemed I had to go back to that cold place in order to unfreeze. A few months before the move, though, I pulled a muscle in my groin that would not let me cross my legs in the traditional zazen position. This did not please me. I’d been sitting cross- legged for twenty-five years, so my reflex even at a fancy dinner party was to have my legs intertwined on the upholstered oak chair under the pink linen tablecloth. Structure in the zendo had been everything to me: straight back, butt on black round cushion, eyes unfocused, cast down at a forty- degree angle. Bells rung on time. Clip, clip. Everything had order. 32 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2003 The Great Spring Natalie Goldberg moves to Minnesota in winter to search for her teacher, gone twelve years. Will she find him at the moment green longs for itself again? PAINTINGS BY NATALIE GOLDBERG