Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Spell of Orchard Street

First day in Singapore. Both daughters wanted to go shopping. The concierge told us, Orchard Street was the place to go:

Dazzled at first, by the fantastic displays of Christmas lights, and the stupendous, monumental art installations on the sidewalks, our attention soon turns to the shops, many of them. I have never seen so many in one spot, and I wonder who is buying all these goods? I relish the sweetness of my daughters' company, and their happiness in this shoppers' paradise. For a while, I follow them in and out of the stores.

Soon, the mad scene becomes too much for my disenchanted self. I decide to let the girls continue their exploration, and to just sit on the red serpentine bench outside by the subway station. Taking in the moment. The deafening noise from cars, humans, and birds, each trying to outdo the other with even more decibels, leaves little room for breath. All the sensory overload cannot mask the feeling inside, however. Tight throat, and chest, and stomach. I feel trapped. Thoughts of being in a quiet place. A monastery would be nice. I notice the aversion. Healthy aversion to unwholesome environment.


  1. When I was training at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, Eido once said to me, "Here it's very easy to be a good monk. But the point of practice is not to keep it so-called here, but to be able to carry the true eye, ears, nose, body and mind of Zen, everywhere." It was then that I stopped thinking and feeling that practicing in a monastery was superior to any other place.

    The very place where you are is the lotus land, without fail or pause. I know that you have the Mind not just to see It... feel It... Be It..., having had the honor to read the many words you have so eloquently written. Enjoy everything as everything has the opportunity to be enjoyed by You!

    Warm Smiles,


  2. Seiho, you are indeed so right. Traveling with family has been an incredible opportunity, in that regards . . .

    Deep bow.