There is a reason I was bringing up the Ikebana topic, something else I don’t want to forget. I used to work in public television, and one of the PSA’s I was working on was for Asian Heritage Week. I ended up interviewing a woman in the area that is well-known for her Ikebana. At her house she worked on an arrangement on her dining room table as her husband snapped photos. He was so interested in media and documenting — it was really funny. She remained quiet and patient, pulling out stems and looking at them, trimming and shaping. It probably took her an hour to do the whole thing, and she did apologize feeling as though she rushed a bit. I hadn’t felt that at all — in fact, it was such a nice rest to watch her. I told her that I had an interest in zen, and that I could see there were many things that were similar in what she was doing. The idea of simplicity, letting perfection go, breathing, being present and aware. Of course there is also the aspect that it takes years of practice. When I told her this she seemed to look down as if upset. I thought maybe I had offended her — had I gotten deep too quickly on her? What she told me really startled me — she said that her father had been a zen buddhist monk and she had never realized the connection before. She wiped her face with one of her hands and I realized that her father had been important to her and perhaps put into a place that had been forgotten for some time. I also remember it was hard for her to smile with her flowers for the last video shot of the day. However, I know that was partially her being emotional at the time. Did her father try to teach her these lessons, or did she just find them within her own experience? I don’t know. I gave her a hug afterwords because I know that we had discovered something that day. I still think of it when I go to the monastery because I realize that was one of the best introductions to the meaning of practice I ever had. Everything around us is practice if we can see it that way.