Day 17 down


We had a free day because we’d shaved each others’ heads in the morning with single-bladed razors, guards removed. It was a ritual, every two weeks. We’d all received a bag of snacks and fruit after and wander the mountains, or sleep, or whatever. I couldn’t lay down because of the stalker. He’d always bother me, pretending to do things around me so he could watch me. If I caught him, he’d sit still and wait for me to fall asleep. Completely out of his mind. I walked for an hour and found a granite slab to lay on. I just needed the space to rest. The stalker, of course… violent and sad and true to the mark.


I talked to a few good friends that I found in the forest. I told them about giving my life, putting it down to survive my entanglement with Tae. I didn’t tell them who it was. Of course everyone knew each other. I couldn’t mention anything about her until I had her approval. The stalker made me nervous about my behavior toward her – always someone crapping on the floor of my life. My friends listened quietly. They didn’t know what I was going on about, but they could tell it was important to me, enough that I would abandoned my life.


It was good being with them, sharing some of the things I was going through. I mentioned the crazy things that were occurring on the cushion. It baffled them. The deep practice mode was completely invisible. They didn’t know about it. Nobody knows. Why should they have believed me? But, if they thought I was crazy, it was a good crazy. It was all right with them.


Day 16 down


A difficult start, I worked all the way through the morning rounds to again shoulder the dissolution of the bond with Tae. The day-off had let some of the darkness back in. It hung on me like the inclement weather. The only way was through the One, where the great peace continuously flowed. In the One Mind I could live without her, without anyone: no teacher, no art, no music. If I hadn’t had the breakthrough in the desert, impossible! No one could do it without developing a deep practice… but without it, my bond with Tae never would’ve occurred. To the amount, the degree.


A difficult day: sultry hot confused let-down love sickness mental noise. The day-off had scrambled the circuitry, a resurgence of what commonly ruins empires and lives. It wasn’t fair to be both human and inhuman. There were parts of me that were never affected by Tae’s killing silence, and parts that had long since fallen to the ground. I couldn’t remain with either. It was painful to be broken apart, not knowing which way to heal. It would make a big scar if things turned bad. I imagined how she would be when I saw her again. Probably she wouldn’t care so much. She’d be mystified by my emotional outpouring, angry. I’d have a few moments to express impossible things. It wouldn’t work. Whatever was said, the sound would be muffled. The tears would come, waves of grief. She would leave.


The darkness that waited, it would be something profound. I’d be broken, again, into shitty pieces of a lifetime of unfortunate turns. But she was very close to me. Some things she would understand. She had a way of operating beyond her experience. She could sense when something was needed, when the need was not her own.


It was a bad day, still, the mood began to lift by the afternoon. I found a big straw hat and covered my face with it. Collapsed on the floor, I enjoyed the first real nap in a month. No weirdo stalker vibes. Living with a stalker provides many unique challenges. The weight of aggression, which consumes the lives of many Zen worthies – I had to carefully look at how things were aligning to remain impervious. But Jibul was back. I’d picked him up at the airport just before the ango. He was doing three more months is a haengja at a small monastery in Incheon, then he would transfer to Musangsa and ordain through mysterious means. A wizard might help balance out the opposing forces.


Day 15 down


A day of clearing the emotional field. Today I understood that the great love, great peace of the One Mind was the true emotion. Our attachment and desire for heightened states created closed loops, which couldn’t sustain themselves. The systems we’d developed to cope with these closed-loop emotional crises didn’t address the fundamental problem. But it was very difficult to connect to the One Mind. It required a deep sacrifice, a whole life. Nobody could do it, as this putting down a life had to be supported by a framework of long practice. Really it was beyond my abilities. I had to die and come back from the dead. Though I turned radioactive, and things were coming to pieces around me, some part of me remained impervious.