At the recent day of mindfulness on September 28, I gave a dharma talk about opening our hearts to another, to ourselves, to love… and how terrifying that can be. I thought about it for days before. Then I spent Friday and Saturday preparing for the day, searching through notes, books, and my heart to put together some words that would inspire those who would be participating in the day. I also cooked, baked, cleaned, set up the zendo and did many other chores in preparation. By the end, it felt like I’d attended a full week of sesshin.
I knew that in order to give such a talk, my heart had to open to the group. I was scared. And up until the kinhin (walking meditation period) just before the scheduled talk, I thought about asking the group if they’d like to take a nature walk rather than sit and listen to my dharma talk. But I didn’t offer that. Because as unprepared as I felt and as terrified as I was to give this talk, I knew I had to do it. If I didn’t, I knew I would be terribly disappointed in myself. And that would have been worse than falling short in the eyes of the participants. Plus, I was curious about what I might say and learn from the experience.
And now, sharing this with the world, or with whomever chooses to click and listen, is another step in the direction of opening my heart. So, I offer you these words as prayer and hope that you discover something about your own heart as you listen.