Monday, March 24, 2014

Celebrate: 2 Years of Sitting

There is a group of us that gets together on Fridays.  We move a little, read a little, and sit a little.  It's not much really--one hour out of the 188 that accrue each week.  And even that tiny slice of time, sometimes we miss it.  We even let ourselves take the summer off.

In our 24/7, always on environment, such a part-time occupation hardly seems worth mentioning, and yet, that 1/188th of the week, repeated over the course of two years, has become a nourishing habit for a small group of us.  If one of us is sitting on a Friday, we know that we will have a partner to sit with.  We are in it together, and that feels good.

We celebrated with yin yoga, zentangles and pink champagne.  Someone who had never led before, took a turn being "in charge."  She was lovely--her voice sounded like a flute.

We'd never done zentangles before.  Our leader showed up with a library book and some supplies:  square paper, pens and pencils.  The instructions were simple.  Using the pencil draw four dots, one in each corner.  Then four lines connecting the dots to make a border.  One pencil dot in the middle and then three pencil lines dividing up the interior space.  Using the pen, you filled in each of the quadrants with whatever kind of doodle struck your fancy.

What amazed me was how beautiful these pieces came out, it is the same way with our sitting.  One of the biggest surprises, to me, of our weekly meet up has been just how beautiful it is.  Always.  No matter what.  Someone arrives with a stem from their garden.  We try a new move.  We light a candle or two, read something sage or gorgeous, and then we sit quietly.  The zentangles seem to capture this kind of beauty too.  A few lines and some doodles on the same sized paper--in black and white--done by a group of folks who are not visual artists--who would have thought it could be so beautiful?

I think both the zentangles and our weekly sitting are pointing at something about creativity.  Both practices suggest that holding a specific kind of space (a simple paper square, or an hour in the week) and showing up with open willingness results in something.  To me this something often looks like beauty.   I think it is related to what Suzuki Roshi calls "nothing special."

"So if you continue this practice, more and more you will acquire something--nothing special, but nevertheless, something."


  1. Love this: hold a specific kind of space and show up with open willingness. Yes! Applies so perfectly to writing. A great reminder. Thank you!