temple diaries

by 伊凌 yi ling

I realized I’ve never truly diary recorded my thoughts on leaving amerikkka and the opportunity to leap out of the dream and the rationalizing. Maybe writing this biography for the senior nuns will be an opportunity to do that.  Somehow being in the middle of the transition while writing xin meant I wasn’t able to write that layer as vividly. 

That phrase 保留 has been making me think on this day of shookness during the thrilling lunch dharma talk. This self respect as a 道人 is so different in relation to the 心, to go via 道 and not 心。it blows past the 傲慢心 of identities…and I wanted to shout amen. But this isn’t a Black church. And I really think we should consider letting amen or hallelujah versions in Buddhism to be exclaimed. Cuz maybe the road would just be a bit less lonely. I ran after 大師父 today to ask him why people were so contained and if he had ever seen the thrills of a pentacoastal church.  He laughed and said, “not yet. But the joys of a practitioner are more subtle, more inner.  As a lotus first grows by depending on the water source from outside, eventually the water is able to be purified and sourced from within the lotus stem.  That is the joy you will experience as you travel this path.”

Still I found some collective joy in sharing how thrilling it was to hear the truth–one of the shifus I’ve been working on kitchen duties with has been tense with me due to her friendship with the jingren that left.  I’d responded to it all by keeping to myself, in my own sort of tense discomfort. Yet in the wake of hearing such brilliant truth, a wave of joyful gratitude opened up my xin, and I apologized to her in front of our crew of aunties for my own self-preservation and mistakes during our work.  She somehow was taken aback but laughed and said we were all doing a great job for our first times serving 60 some people.  Her tension also abated some, which is wonderful to see.

Yesterday I was too late to go to 2pm meditation, and hearing the chanting start, I snuck back downstairs and slept. Woke to hear 覺觀 Shifu, one of the older nuns also from Pingtung encourage me to pick up my xin with more 精進–that it takes everyone time to adjust but that urgency would be a strength of habit for continuing in the future walk.