In Zen there are intensive training periods where you sit, depending on time of year and who you're training with, between ten and twenty hours per day. In Japanese these are called sesshin, but in Korean they are Yong Meng Jong Jin, which means "When sitting, to leap like a tiger". This morning I think I learned some of what that means.
I went to aikido tonight, and totally forgot that there was a seminar going on this weekend that I wanted to get to. I probably forgot it because I'd planned to be busy tomorrow and Sunday (visiting a zendo, having company over, and hauling out to Angel's Camp to look at some property we probably can't afford but is surely nice to look at). So training was a good choice. The teacher, Tres Hofmeister Sensei, is a youngish, high-ranking guy from Boulder, among the most playful aikidoka I've ever seen, certainly the most playful of any teacher. Whoever he's training with, he's completely open and smiling and having fun. He's met me enough times that he recognizes me, and he tossed me around a bit and used me for one demonstration, which was nice. During one technique where it seemed appropriate, I started taking high falls; this is always a mixed bag, since I don't practice them and so I'm not very good at them. High falls are unfortunately a rough thing to be bad at, because landing wrong takes a certain amount of your energy. But that's okay. For some reason I just wasn't scared, so I went for it. (Well, it's not just "some reason", it's the same reason I seem not to be scared of anything else these days, but it's nice to find that translating into other contexts.) I trained with my friend Jill briefly at the end of class, and she says she recognizes people by their energy and mine is now very different; JD said I looked healthier when I got back than before I left. I definitely didn't feel as drained as I usually do.
Mmmm. I have a lifetime of training ahead of me, and it no longer matters how long that lifetime is. Everything I've ever really wanted is with me, right here and right now. Kick ass.