Searching deep within myself was bound to take some time. I joined a small secular community, where meditation was the order of the day, tending toward the Zen kind: zazen, sitting meditation. I had a small room, simply furnished, and every morning we all went to the comfortable room in the centre of the big old house. It was warm and furnished with prayer mats.

That room is always comforting, and the time I spent there was peaceful. Somehow it was easier to concentrate on one marvellous thing than many: a flower, our capacity to laugh, waves lapping a shore, the reflections in a rock crystal.

Here, in the silence, I was compelled to prophesy:

"We must cast off our arrogance and stubbornness. Compassion is everything."


© 1999 Helen Whitehead