I spent some time today working in the Aphrodite domain. This is one of my favourite occupations these days. The beauty of the space and its seclusion, the sense of sacredness around the special may tree, the great old oaks on the periphery and the fact that the space creates a kind of sun trap all contribute to this being a restorative place to spend time. There is always something to do there - cutting back the invasive thorn sprouts, tidying around the trees, or moving stone with a view to gradually adding to the sense of a sacred precinct. I have to pace myself and not do too much which also means that I can take time to enjoy the place. I have to be particularly careful about not lifting heavy things, but it is good to keep on the move at a gentle pace.
Back at the house I spend much time reading and writing. I am working on a commentary on Dogen's text, Genjokoan. It is quite challenging, as are all Dogen's writings. I have quite a number of translations of the text by different scholars and some commentary. It is quite clear that in detail the scholars are often not in agreement about what Dogen means or why he says this or that, so it is an interesting exercise. I find myself often revising what I have written and going back over sections. This is a rewarding process, pushing me to deepen my understanding both in the sense of grasping his interpretation of Buddhism and in that of empathising with the Dogen himself in the context of his time and his own spiritual struggles.
Wonderful - thanks Mat - nice to hear.
It will be a pleasure to see you here, Barbara. Yes, life here is rather special. Thank you.
I so enjoy reading about life at La Ville au Roi. It seems peaceful and beautiful. My life is good and I'm aware that I've been worried about a close family member for the past two or three months which affected my 'being in the world', - not so peaceful or beautiful. However, nothing stays the same and things appear to have changed for the better. So I'm able to appreciate the smaller things once more. Like a cuddle from my son. (Who's 19 and home from uni!) (Maybe that's not so small).
I'm currently writing my reflexive study for my MSc in person centred psychotherapy and have enjoyed referencing some of your work, David.
I hope I come to see Eleusis some day!