SOTO ZEN

The gong reverberates, its depth hangs in the air, fades like a slowly retreating army.

The zafu is at once coarse and caressing, nestling me as I settle down into becoming one with the earth, the zabuton, a fluid translator.  The mokugyo’s rhythm lies deep within my chest. The incense settles on my tongue, an acrid sweetness, and there is absolute silence where my breath is an onrushing freight, passing quickly and departing to clear the way for the next, and the next, until even that fades and there is nothing, and there is everything, and there is me and not me, you and not you, and here is no longer.

The gong reverberates like a single hand clapping.