Walk into the dining room at Mountain Cloud and you will be met by a long table laden with new seedlings, freshly sprouted from seeds planted on a Samu Saturday in March. The seedlings are encouraged by a long, slender UV lamp that hangs above, oscillating on and off according to a timer. When the time is ripe, the young plants will be transferred to the garden, tilled soil that will nurture all manner of vegetables for summer and fall meals.
Outside, trees are budding and dormant plants show signs of life. Snow caps the mountains, a great affirmation. In the valleys, spring is here.
In his Dharma Hall Discourses, Dogen often addresses his monks as ‘seedlings.’ “Planting the seed of buddha nature,” he instructs them to “nurture the wholesome root of attaining the way.” Dogen invites them – and us – to what he calls ‘practice-awakening.’ Sitting in zazen, we express and explore what is. Whether as a seed, a sprout, a bud, or a flower in full bloom, we realize what is already real.
In this season of becoming, join us in the zendo or online as we plant the seeds of practice. Always beginning – and always already here.
With gratitude and love,
Image Seeds, by Christy Hengst