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Close to the Ground: Even in a Brothel


Photo Credit: Surovtseva/Thinkstock

When I first started out on this meditation path decades ago, I was awed by the people who would show up at the Zen Buddhist Temple for the 5:00 a.m. services and sit like mountains. Meanwhile, I was a regular Sound of Music Maria, tripping over the ties of my robes, falling asleep in the meditation hall, forgetting the words to chants I was supposed to be leading, and making up my own chanting practices.And yet.All of those mountain buddhas are long gone, and here I am still head-over-heels in love with this path, heart wide open, grateful for every timeless minute of every timeless day.Looking back, on my lowest days it was remembering the stories of the awakenings of other misfits that kept me going. As one example, Soma was a woman who lived more than 2,500 years ago. The mother of 10 children, she began her married life with a man who was deeply devoted to her. Over time, though, his devotion wavered until he decided that he would rather be a monk. Soma was a good sport about it but when all of her children also abandoned her—that was another story. She was furious, lonely, and just plain miserable …

Geri Larkin is spending the summer perfecting the fine art of painting temple walls.

Geri Larkin is the founder and former head teacher of Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple, a Zen meditation center in the heart of inner-city Detroit. She is the author of many books including Stumbling Toward EnlightenmentBuilding a Business the Buddhist Way,Tap Dancing in ZenFirst You Shave Your Head, and The Still Point Dhammapada

This entry is tagged with:
BuddhismColumnistsGeri LarkinMonkhoodEastern Philosophy

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