Thursday, December 22, 2005


Rohatsu sesshins always seems to mean visitors. Visitors mean new snoring to listen to and winks and nods as if that isn’t communicating. It also usually comes with cold weather in the mountains.

Before the sesshin starts, Monk Ki welcomes the visitors and gives them assignments.

“Welcome to Grit Mountain. Here for the sesshin?”

“Yes. Is it hard?”

“It just requires sitting around. Some folks have no problem with that. Have you done this before?”

“No. My friend Anama Li told me I should try it. Are you Monk Lee?

“I’m Monk Ki. It has been a while since Anama Li visited. How is she?”

“She is fine. You sent her an invitation.”

“Mailing lists. Computer generated. Everyone gets one.”

“Don’t you think maybe there was a cosmic reason?”

“I haven’t given it that much thought. Are you here for the whole week?”

“Week? She didn’t say week.”

“It’s a week.”

“Suppose I can’t survive that?”

“You’ll leave. We’ll stay. The sun will rise. Any special needs?”

“I’m looking for something special.”

“I’ll put you in the east dorm. The sun lights it first. You’ll be able to look sooner.”

“For what?”

“You said you were looking for something special. Maybe you’ll find it.”

“That’s sweet.”

“Work preference?”

“Secretarial. Opening mail. Writing notes.”

“We don’t do that. Kitchen duty.”

“I don’t know how to cook.”

“See, you’ll find something special.You can be a cereal killer.” Monk Ki smiles.