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Edward Espe Brown
Excerpts from Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings: Recipes and Reflections
Stories of Ed's life and practice at Tassajara and with his teacher, Shunryu Suzuki
This selection was not used in the book, but was sent to me by Ed while he was working on it. - DC
FEELING YOUR WAY ALONG
I also learned about 'feeling your way along' and 'finding out what is the most important point' from Suzuki Roshi's touch. Occasionally he would come up behind me while I was meditating facing the wall, and carefully place his hands on my shoulders. I would melt. His touch was light yet firm, open and receptive. My body and being would soften and loosen. My breath would deepen.
Curiously enough his hands wouldn't 'do' anything: no massaging or pressing or adjusting --they were just there. It was immensely reassuring. Sometimes a warm glow would arise in my shoulders and spread out from there. Mostly, I found that because he touched my shoulders, I could touch what was inside: sensations, thoughts, feelings. They didn't need any adjusting done to them either. Space opens up and calmness deepens when the constant fiddling subsides.
Once I asked him what he was doing when he put his hands on my shoulders. "Nothing," he said, "I'm just meditating with you. It's another way for us to do something together." Undoubtedly feeling our way along.
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