No more numbers please
I guess you could say a switch went off, because this week I suddenly decided that I couldn’t stand the sound of numbers in my mind any longer. Counting breath is such a good place to start (and to return when you wander), but I just couldn’t help but notice that the numbers were making their own noise. It’s been three years, and it has taken this long to bug me, probably because my practice has finally reached 20 minutes. During face to face teaching, you are supposed to announce what your practice is, and I always wondered how people determined what that should be — whether the counting, following or being the breath. Now I see that you don’t decide, the practice decides it for you. I guess that is merely another reason why zen just defies logic and remains a mysterious process. I like the unpredictability of it all. Besides, why get attached to numbers anyway ;).
So, you have probably been wondering how my back is doing. I would say it has improved a lot because I stopped going to physical therapy. However, I also just re-injured it trimming the top of a giant azalea bush on a ladder at the Japanese garden. So, it looks like I have a lot to learn about taking best posture practices onto three legged ladders. I remain the Grasshopper Gardener.