Just got back from a weekend-long monastic retreat (focused on mindful eating: more on that in a following blog post) and can report that much zazen was energetically sat. At 4:30am yesterday morning, I was up, sitting zazen outside in the crisp cold of an early Oregon autumn, in the pitch dark with a stunningly bright half-moon hanging behind the translucent UV-blue clouds, and every star in the sky encouraging me to "wake up"! I sent out my intentions, and included all my Weirdness-following friends. One thing that came up for me (thanks in no small part to the aforementioned moon) was the issue of the waxing and waning of practice at times, and specifically the energy required to keep up a good daily zazen/shikantaza practice. My tip to you all: don't be discouraged if you fall off the zafu. Be gentle with yourself. Just get back on. Be it five minutes or a half-hour is no matter. As Dogen-zenji stated, "Do not waste your time by night or day."

Keep at it. Your practice is quite literally of the utmost importance to all beings throughout space and time...

-bows of gratitude-