30 minutes of sitting, Matthew gets up slowly and his legs are numb.
Only two candles illuminate the practitioners who, one by one, stand up and join the row for the five minutes of Kinhin (walking meditation in Soto Zen Buddhism).
The forearms horizontalize. His right foot wisely moves forward and, as it gradually receives the weight of a breathing body, presages a little of its regained stability after this half hour of sitting,
Matthew’s gaze quickly travels through the faces and stops on a stranger’s…
He didn’t hear him come in and never saw him at the dojo before that day.
Handsome man, about thirty years old, confident: nothing in his pace suggests that this is the first time he walks among dojo goers.
Suddenly, the features start taking shape to Matthew’s eyes : this man is the master.
The seventy year-old master walking among them, the same that is present every single day of the year.
He is moving forward, peacefully placing half-steps to accompany his breathing.
Was it the candles that, by slowly swaying, drew the shadows of his face in a certain way ?
Or is it the essence of this being that shone through this surprisingly rejuvenated expression ?
Or the four-decade long practice, suddenly manifesting to the one who looks ?
For himself alone, for no one..,.
What about the others ? Have they seen what Matthew did,
Are they also rubbing their eyes ?
©FJ July 2021 – All Rights Reserved
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