Yesterday, I went to Stinson Beach. The fog was in, a soft, warm fog, and the sand and water were the perfect temperature for bare feet. The tide was low, so I could walk further south than usual. I was alone, the fog curtaining me from far sight, which allowed a deepening of sight within.
That treat has me here, not bothered by the noise. I come across a book I haven't opened for awhile, Where Light Takes Its Color from the Sea by James D. Houston, who lived in Santa Cruz. I'm heading down that way tomorrow, meeting a friend in Half Moon Bay.
One essay begins with this quote from Jack Kerouac, in The Dharma Bums.
One night I was meditating in such perfect stillness that two mosquitoes came and sat on each of my cheekbones and stayed there a long time without biting and then went away without biting.
I picked up a friend in Muir Beach today and took her to the Marin Airporter. We started talking about Reb Anderson, a Senior Dharma teacher at the SF Zen Center. He speaks about "beings with agendas other than our own." That is to give us equanimity when we deal with flies, mosquitoes, and snails. She said his latest talk was on viewing ourselves with compassion which leads to play and play leads to creativity.
Houston has an essay titled Clay, written in 1968. It is about the master potter Marquerite Wildenhain who has written a wonderful book Pottery: Form and Expression. She writes:
Technique alone, without any moral and ethical point of departure or aim, has brought us to the very edge of a universal catastrophe that we have in no way overcome. To achieve this necessary future victory over ourselves and the terrifying world that we have created, we will need to find again a synthesis between technical knowledge and spiritual content. It is not a question of the crafts only, the problem is as wide as the whole of human civilization.
Will who is working on our house, and has worked here before is, in my opinion, a Zen master. He approaches the task as a whole and as creatively as possible. He synthesizes "technical knowledge and spiritual content". We are blessed to have him working on our home.