Monday, April 25, 2016

When I wash my feet ...

"When I wash my feet
May all sentient beings
Attain the power of supernatural feet
With no hindrance to their practice"

Jiko's prayer in A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

The influence of a good re-read toasted my dreams to a delightful state. Crisp, satisfying even without the garment of clarity: I don't maintain the details but remember how I felt. The prayer here is from Ruth Ozeki's novel A Tale for the Time Being. The Japanese school girl Nao has written a journal. The details of her summer with her Great grandmother Jiko are part of her journal. Jiko is a hundred and four year old Zen nun. Part of what young Nao learns is every experience is an opportunity for gratitude, and ceremony.

The girl writes to a stranger she knows will become an intimate friend, across time. The reader, Ruth, Ruth Ozeki, steps into the novel to become the time being to become that intimate friend.

As I re-read, and re-member how to walk again it was a gift to find the prayer above. A way to thank the writer, the Zen Nun, and the dreams that remember my name when I forget. A way to recognize I am a time being.

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