Heart of Life/Coeur de la vie/Day/Jour II

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Heart of Life/Coeur de la vie/Day/Jour II

Here we go again. Entering the second day of our retreat, a Tuesday, deep into October. And here in Montreuil the day is bathed in brilliant sun.

Last night we ended our sitting in Paris a bit early and drank Champagne — celebrating the launch of this web site that we had worked so hard and so long to create.

Love reading how the day went for each of you, how space felt or didn’t feel, and I look forward to reading how today and the next day and the next will go. It’s all so alive with your precise yet timeless moments, which are also mine and everyone’s.

Today let’s go with another element — water. Pay attention to water — in your bath, your glass or cup of tea, in the sink, in a river near you or a lake or the ocean, a puddle or a raindrop or a cloud. And in you? In the Tibetan scheme, water is the vajra element of clarity and precision and sharpness. Do you see that in you and/or around you? Tell us precisely where you are — WHAT CITY? COUNTRY? STREET? — and what you see and do.

And in the meantime, just do what you have to do today, one breath at a time.

By | 2015-10-27T11:57:10+00:00 octobre 27th, 2015|Textes|18 Comments

About the Author:

Enseignante Zen et poète, Sensei Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell est née et a grandi à Minneapolis, aux Etats-Unis. Arrivée en France en 1981 pour étudier la littérature et l’histoire, elle y est restée, s’installant à Paris, où elle élève ses deux enfants et gagne sa vie en tant que journaliste. The Zen teacher and poet Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist.


  1. blossom 28 octobre 2015 at 22 h 08 min - Reply

    ahhh…at last the nectar right where i am – here right now Thank you Sensei thank you!

  2. Patrícia 28 octobre 2015 at 0 h 42 min - Reply

    Morning. Hot shower. Water. Traveling back to Lisbon under heavy rain. Water. Lunch. Mother’s warm chicken broth. Water. Afternoon. Stranger’s sweat dripping after gym workout. Water. Birthday dinner party with friends. Laughing tears. Water. Night. Sharing life glimpses. New friends, old friends, distant friends, family, strangers. All. Us. One. Water. Cup of tea next to the laptop. Water. Rain outside my bedroom window. Water. Mariza singing « Chuva » (Rain) comes to mind. Water.
    Water inside. Water outside. Water everywhere. As life.
    Good night from Lisbon, Portugal

  3. lisa 27 octobre 2015 at 23 h 48 min - Reply

    Paris, rue des alouettes in the 19th, it just stopped raining, a light rain after an amazingly warm October day. It’s late, I’m drinking tea, herb tea, thinking about this heart of life retreat, how i joined in late because I forgot to formally ask to join, how it is only now that i read the day’s « instructions » because i couldn’t access internet today, hectic day, running like a headless chicken, not even sure I took one breath at a time…
    But here I am, drinking tea, herb tea, with all of you.
    good night.

  4. Chiara-Emma 27 octobre 2015 at 21 h 45 min - Reply

    I didn’t read today’s instructions soon enough to know we were invited to meditade on water and most of my morning meditation was troubled by the tinnitus that has increased since most of my neighbors chose to use wi-fi. It made me wish those evil micro-waves could not break through the bareer of space.
    I spent most of this sunny day working in my garden and in the late afternoon, some cousins I recently became closer to paid me an unexpected visit, not knowing this would make them part of a buddhist retreat… Very grateful for this experience!
    On water: the house where I spend a big part of my time, in the Paris suburbs, is not distant from a large forest and I enjoy stopping by the pond. Although water is not my favorite element, I have a lot of respect for it. No matter how hard I try to save water, I always feel I use too much. Life arose from water after all…
    Good night to all of you!

  5. Manon 27 octobre 2015 at 21 h 36 min - Reply

    Tuebingen, Germany.
    I’m correcting a french text for a german friend.
    Faire du vélo le long de la rivière où se reflète le ciel du moment. Gravir la colline jusqu’à la clinique, transpirer, boire un litre (la colline est raide). Se changer. Boire encore. Dans les toilettes, la femme de ménage chante en érythréen tout en nettoyant. Le sol est humide après la serpillère, nous sommes toutes les deux dans l’eau. c’est beau.
    Lavoisier a dit : rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme.

  6. Telma 27 octobre 2015 at 21 h 34 min - Reply

    Santo António dos Olivais, Coimbra, Portugal.
    Water dominates my body and so does with what my eyes see.
    My first experience with water in the day is with my breathe once i wake up open the window and inhale the « day ». After the breathe are my eyes contemplating the clouds and my imagination that always like to see things that « are not ».
    Water is my master thesis theme. I worry about a lot of aspects about it. Water in this particular period of my life is a reminder of what i still have to do. I owe the conclusion of my master thesis to water because water needs to be defended so that human existence continue to integrate this vast net of living things.
    During the day i contemplate a lot of forms of water. I kinf of finish the day thinking that since 70% of my body, of my cells, is water i have a lot of her characteristics: i reflect, i flow, i refresh, i wash, i calm the thurst, i sing, i fall with ease and with fulgor, i touch all the things, my essence is transparent but people see me with the colour of their mood, and so on and on. But, despite that, i don’t have the permanent connection to my dharma, to my essence.
    I see now that through my life i’ve always lived in towns/places with a river or ocean nearby. Water frightens me with her vastitude and power but also gives me peace when i listen to rain, when i take my bath, when i swim in the pool and go deep in the silence finding my voice. Thank you for bringing me awareness about the importance and role of water in my life.

  7. ceu 27 octobre 2015 at 19 h 49 min - Reply

    silence, but one silence that include all of you
    between Lisbon and Azeitão, work in a farm and sleep in Lisbon
    tomorrow a new day early at the farm
    prepair all the things
    SPACE around me

    water around me

  8. marlene 27 octobre 2015 at 19 h 04 min - Reply

    Bom fim de tarde for everyone
    (and sorry for my english)
    I’m staying for a few days on a friend’s house at beach Meco -near Lisbon.
    I woke up in a diferent room in a diferent bed. I noticed the rain and through the window i saw amazing kinds of greens. At late morning my friend and I went to walk at the beach -as we did yesterday afternoon- but there was no beach…no sand. Only water: the force of the waves ,far away, continnuosly bringing a mass of water nex to us. Till it became a calm extension -still brillant water with a few brillant plastic bottles floating. ..
    A beach of full mon?

  9. Evi 27 octobre 2015 at 18 h 56 min - Reply

    In the morning, I literally had my head in the cloud. It was foggy and I had to visit a dying patient up on the mountain. Love to accompany these old farmers on their way out of life. It’s not more romantic than city people, aside he loves his wife and she him, that they have NINE kids and they do what they can so he can dye at home. This is outside of my scope not just because of the fog.
    Then I remembered that 50% of my body consists out of water. 50% of me that have no idea who I am or that I am. In reciting the Heart Sutra this morning, there was the line «no old age and death». 50% of me can not dye. They have no idea of me.
    In the afternoon I wrote a manual about pulling out some of this bodies water, when it is in the wrong place. There is just a little membrane between me alive and me dead. It reminded me, how vulnerable our bodies are and I asked myself, if I appreciate enough this unique form that keeps its water in shape and that I call «I».
    Sitting at the Lake of Zug tonight. The water was extremly calm. Aside of the dugs was nothing to hear. I was really happy knowing all of you being somewhat in the same boat and was looking forward reading your posts. Thank you all!

  10. Perfect Way 27 octobre 2015 at 17 h 22 min - Reply

    What an interesting day to be precise about location 🙂 London, a world in itself! There’s an argument going on in the media, « How far can we go out from Westminster until you actually leave London? Is it the M25, is it the phone line, is it the postcode? What are the real limits to this immense space? »

    Woke up and washed my face with water and soap, then tea and coffee as tea didn’t wake me up enough, then out into the world I went.
    From Bolingbroke Walk I went south for a meeting in Clapham, then north again to Hampstead Heath to see a client and deliver work, then south again, over the river during high tide, « home » I thought, only to have a quick lunch at 4pm before heading south again for another job near Crystal Palace, another client, another breath.

    But first, a glass of water for the journey. I’ll wash the dishes later.

  11. Christine 27 octobre 2015 at 16 h 55 min - Reply

    Magnificent autumn day ! Wake-up by my little one’s energetic « Maman!! ». Found myself in a good mood after the nice evening in Paris last night, connecting again to the sangha.
    Took the boys out in the morning to a friend’s garden, harvesting apples. They loved it, me and my friend, too. She’s an old lady and was delighted to hear the kids’ laughter in her backyard that usually is so quiet and watching them eat these fresh and tasty apples. Waterdrops in the grass, shining in the sunlight. Then a stop in the forest and a playground, met a german friend that presented her new kid, a little 4 month old daughter.
    No bigger fights between the kids so far, peaceful lunch together, then a little nap for everyone, sounds like a perfect day and makes me think of Lou Reed’s song. Be well everyone !

  12. zoe 27 octobre 2015 at 15 h 02 min - Reply

    What a coincidence! Veolia had cut the water in our street to repair the tubes, and it took them a good three hours to allow us back to the source of life. It should not have been a surprise to realize our absolute vital dependence on water, but it was! All during the period, i felt as if i was blocked from inside. My body felt inhibited and tight– even when i did not need to use the water. The mere knowledge of not having it in the house, tightened my sense of being.
    I was reminded of my total calm by the sea, or in the swimming pool, or picnicking by the stream… Water equals life, and i’m grateful for feeling it inside my body when i’m in touch with the aware space inside.
    Have a great one you all

  13. Miguel 27 octobre 2015 at 13 h 56 min - Reply

    Almoçageme, western Portugal, near Sintra. From my window i see the ocean. Althout there are still some drops of rain, the sun is appearing brilliantly with the help of the water that covers the things… wind is blowing this humidity and a kind of water runs through the nouse. A desire to better integrate the addaptability of water emerge in the space of mind. Love in the veins…

  14. Hugo 27 octobre 2015 at 13 h 29 min - Reply

    Vic Park, western Australia. A new green tea offered yesterday. Not as strong as the gun powder that I love. Few cups in the morning. And I finish my master’s thesis. Water the plants before lunch. The bub is dribbling. Spits everywhere. More teeth coming. My work mate spits out of the car window. He’s tired. At work, pne of the young people asks me for a cup of water. I serve him. He asks for a second. Again I serve him. And a third. Fourth. Fifth. I smile and joke that he will wet his shorts. Oh well, what goes around comes around. time to wash dinner dishes.

  15. Ocean of Generosity 27 octobre 2015 at 11 h 47 min - Reply

    Water, interesting idea to start the day, here it rains a lot between the spaces.
    Starting the day with a nice shower, then breakfast a nice coffee and an interview with sensei.
    Today I will be aware at the spaces between the rain drops and the rain.
    Love to everyone!

  16. Beginners Mind 27 octobre 2015 at 11 h 19 min - Reply

    Nothing goes as planned, short sitting in the morning, running around to arrive early at work as I need to leave early today.
    Dark clouds, rain is pouring permeating everything and everybody.
    Silence in the office, listening to the water pouring outside and singing louder than the office ventilation.
    Focused, here and now.

  17. Tomas 27 octobre 2015 at 10 h 00 min - Reply

    Flowing water, moving water, always present at the corner of the eye whererver I am, wherever I walk here in the old town. In the river, in the mosque’s fountains, on the pavement, under the pavement, everywhere. Always moving, like life. Can’t’ stop it, like life. Flowing

  18. Flamme d´or 27 octobre 2015 at 8 h 39 min - Reply

    Gent between 07:oo- 08.00 am
    Slightly the light turns in
    Clear moon who was there when falling asleep last nigt has disappeared
    And now red colored sky is there
    2th day of practice in the heart of life with you all nearby
    Yesterday this retreat in the fullness of daily life brought me times by time
    more awareness
    More space to stop to listen to connect with other people
    And now after sitting in the early morning
    So good to sit before busy ness (being busy)starts
    With a kind pleasure going in to a new day
    and yes good idea
    being attentive to the water

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