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Close to the Ground: Bowing to Spring

At the end of the third week of a monthlong pilgrimage to Korea some sixteen years ago, I was completely broken. Before we began the pilgrimage, I figured that a shaved head would be the most uncomfortable part of the experience. Otherwise I anticipated lots of leisurely visits to museums and monasteries, broken up by long meals of delicious Korean food, followed by green tea and naps. Instead we arrived in a country hit by shockingly hot weather fueled by a typhoon. Instead of being driven around by country hosts, we walked into the mountains by foot or, when we were lucky enough, hitched rides on old rickety buses and an occasional train. Within days I was so filthy that people backed away from me whenever we were in public, sometimes shoving handkerchiefs up their noses. I was losing half a pound a day, mostly in sweat, and was covered by a rash of infected red ant bites, the bites care of a young monk who hadn’t wanted us in his monastery at all, let alone for an overnight. Sleeping three hours a night only added to the misery. I was so tired, I couldn’t even whine. All of my energy was focused on s …

Geri Larkin spent last fall studying the Lankavatara Sutra when she wasn’t meditating, cooking, or taking care of the hermitage.

About the Author

Geri Larkin is the founder and former head teacher of Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple, a Zen meditation center in the heart of...

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This entry is tagged with:
SpringTransformationMindfulnessZen BuddhismBuddhism

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