Some time ago I quietly departed Treeleaf. Not because of anything that happened, nor anything that was said, but because I had learned of a local Soto Zen Sangha in my city and thought it a good idea to try and practice in a non-virtual setting. I had also fallen behind on the forums and my participation was waning, so I felt a fresh start was in order.
Sitting quietly in a Zendo with others is a wonderful experience. The resident priest is a wonderful man, and I felt part of their community. As time went on I wasn't able to go as much as I'd wanted due to it's location in the city to where I both live and work. Again I found myself sitting at home, not able to make Zazen at the Zendo nor any of the Saturday Dharma talks. This carried on for a while, but again I found myself feeling like I needed more then my quiet corner.
I spent some time in reflection, trying to decide why it was hard for me to find my place, why I so discontent. I found myself going back and forth. Do I want to try the Zendo again? Do I want to just sit alone? What should I do? I found myself in paralysis by analysis and for months did nothing.
In that space of indecision, my personal life had stress introduced in the way of a home move to another part of town closer to work, and even further from the Zendo. I tried to ground myself by re-reading "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind". It was then that I realized I had filled my mind with noise and non-sense. I had fabricated problems that didn't exist, and built walls that weren't there. I trapped myself in an invisible prison, and for no reason.
That night I took my zafu in to my room and sat for the soul purpose of sitting. When I sat, I sat with the local Zendo, I sat with all of you at Treeleaf, I sat with all beings everywhere. I wasn't here, nor there. Online, or offline. I just was until there wasn't even an "I" anymore. Getting up from that sit I realized that I had even made up the idea that I was wandering at all, while looking for where to sit. I hadn't actually gone anywhere.
In fact, I hadn't even left home.
So with all that said, I figured I would come and say "hi", since I've been here all along, just quiet.