The Saturday newspaper runs a Wordplay section every week. One part is a quiz to guess the meaning of unusual words. I don’t catch it every week and it doesn’t always spark my inner word- nerd. This week, though, a lovely word popped up.Shikantaza is one of those words, a firework of a word; it could go off in any direction. Street Food, the art of folding tree branches into mysterious shapes, a high fashion garment, the possibilities are endless.What it is, though, is Zen Meditation involving sitting and thinking. I do a lot of sitting and thinking , often adopting other positions too. Already I’m anxious to find the word for Zen Meditation while leaning on a wall. Thinking is one of my favourite activities. I also like to meditate which is the opposite of thinking.I’m not particularly good at static meditation, intrusive thoughts are the fuel of Ponderings why would I want to banish them?I’m more inclined to meditate when doing onerous tasks or when doing something that is regular and repetitive.
This morning I did a very familiar walk that, recently, has been very conducive to a snippet of meditation and sometimes if a bench can be found some Shikantaza.
Today there were loads of people about, quiet contemplation, of any sort, was not possible.It was very easy though to concentrate on the buzz of busy bees on spiky plants and feel wistful about the quieter days of lockdown.
Busy bees are buzzing in these next three pictures but unlike this singular chap above they did not stop to pose.
Too many humans, and not enough busy bees, I suspect, are a major part of the problem expressed on this embellished piece of slate, found later in my day.I found this pebble hiding on the edge of a field, while walking again, Another thing to contemplate. The message is compelling after such a pretty walk this morning.
It’s also been a day of thinking; time to sit down and turn it into Shikantaza.