SUNDAY 20th Mar ~ A Community of Four

Today Josephine arrived to stay with us a couple of days so temporarily we are a community of four. it is said that you need four to be a sangha, so that's good.

This morning we had a thick mist so we ate breakfast indoors. The sun did not get out until about midday, but then was very pleasant. Because of the cold start, I did more writing. The Dogen project requires a lot of concentration and reflection. Generally, after studying a section and then sleeping on it I find new insight which is a fascinating process. The text is not easy and most of the existing translations and commentaries take it that it contains reference to many established Buddhist doctrines, but it seems probable that Dogen's take on those ideas was not always conventional and there is often much controversy about his deeper meaning. I also think that the text has a large autobiographical element. It is not so much Dogen saying "This is what I know about this and that," and more, "This is what I discovered through my own practice." It was also nice to be able to do some reading in the sun.

When Josephine arrived we had tea and then all went for a walk to show her a bit of the property and introduce her to some of the goddesses. Then she helped with some cutting of the big lawn out the back. This is the first time is has been cut this year so there are a lot of flowers mixed in among the grass. Some get cut and some left. Very nice to have a visitor who is so willing to help out.

As evening comes the temperature drops. We have reached the stage where we don't light fires until early evening, but we do need them then as it gets quite chilly, especially on cloudless nights. The compensation, however, is in the glory of stars and the flood of moonlight now that Luna is nearly full.

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