Just back from leading a month-long sesshin with John Gaynor, Valerie fairly sparkles to convey some of its flavor: a flavor of disparate hours, places, perceptions brought radiantly close, though no less of a rainbow for that. What are some qualities of this radiance, qualities our sitting might open onto? Equanimity, for instance, born of oneness. Equality – each thing whole, complete, and absolutely equal in value. (“How could it not be!! We’re so very wrong about this”). Unconditional joy and gratitude – which include but easily exceed our joy and gratitude about this or that.
We also get some charming tidbits of John Gaynor’s teisho – about his practice, for instance, of ending each day’s sit with a quick review of 3 thematically linked koans, to check how alive is his feeling for them that day: “every day is a good day,” “the ten directions are one bright pearl,” “I use the 24 hours.”
In short, Valerie evokes from many angles what overflowing support we have, from “ten directions,” to “use the 24 hours” and not be “used by them” – intimate with all, free from alienation.