Getting in from Europe late last Tuesday, on the Full Moon, then wide-awake at 3:30 a.m.: despite the sleepless trip, my body thinks it’s mid-morning. Brilliant moonlight pulls me outdoors, into the breathtaking cold. Like a fish too long out of water I gulp up the incredibly fresh, clean mountain air, oxygen-starved cells drinking it in after the long, airless, nailed-to-a-seat journey.
In ghostly shadows I wander over to Sunrise Point, a great place to pay obeisance to the still-high Moon. I often come here to this open hill with its panoramic view to do zazen and kinhin in the first rays of sunlight, but this is different. Bare branches of the old oaks that wrap this grove reach out and up in the moonlight and I find myself dancing, twirling, as moon and stars and trees and mountains join in. “No person – only cause and effect.”
After weeks of intensified practice, ceremonies and sangha gatherings in Poland, the sheer joy of being wonderfully, wildly ALIVE takes over. Nothing to know, nothing to do and no one to do it – just THIS, turning, thumping, moving, laughing – and finally lying on my back, arms outstretched, held against the cold, vibrant belly of Earth.
There’s no time here, but toes and fingers are finally feeling the chill, and the sky begins to lighten. Now the Moon hunkers down low in the west, dropping into the woods. I stand and turn toward the east: the first gold glints of Sun, always a silent shock and thrill, flash out above the mountains, shedding sparkles over every blade of grass and crisp brown leaf. “It appears on the tips of ten thousand blades of grass.”
Nothing hidden – it’s all right here, now, in full view!
Later the smear of mental fog and deep sleepiness takes over, pulling me back to bed at an inconvenient time. But soon enough the normal cycle will reassert itself. No way would I trade these first magical moonlit mornings for a ‘solid night’s sleep’!
– 11:52 am, February 9, 2015, Sunya Roshi