I often fear the unknown.
But what lies in that space of uncertainty is possibility.
Can I reprogram myself to perceive without a program, without a set of assumptions or judgments?
Thinking about this question, I come across an answer:
“The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all the possibilities.”
Introduction to Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Embracing doubt and the unknown, I head to Daijoji Temple for an afternoon of Zen meditation.
It is cloudy, and the air is heavy with moisture. I meander through a garden of tombs, haunted by spirits from the past…
Demons chasing demons…
History hangs heavy on this weathered wood.
There’s a scent I can’t identify, and a sense I don’t understand.
But I’m curious.
In all my doubt and all my fear, I take a step with the wrong foot first.
Sitting in stillness, but moving on a circuitous path going nowhere in particular.
Three hours later, the grounds are still empty. The crickets swell in all the silence.
I stand on tiptoes to ring the metal bell.
Weighty reverberations and a hollow sky.
I head home with no feeling of closure or certainty.