Isla Vista Meditation

'If you want to know the path on the mountain, You must be the one who comes and goes on it.' -Hori, V. S. (2003). "Zen Sand". Capping Phrase #10.207.


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Samu @ St Mike’s, Sat. May 30th 2015

The Chapel was cleaned. The Little House was cleaned. The grounds and gardens of St Mike’s were cleaned.  Emily led the team.  Brianna cleaned and took photos!  Thank you everyone! Thank you to all the many beings – including the bug Gio rescued!

Emily and Heena pick up litter Eric and Bianca dust the book shelves Gio rescues a bug from the kitchen Tom and Eric clean the grounds

Top 3 photos, from left to right:

1. Emily & Heena pick up litter.

2. Eric & Bianca dust the bookshelves (Little House).

3. Gio rescues a bug from the kitchen.

Bottom photo:
4. Tom and Eric clean the grounds.


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Setting up an Altar at Home

(I’ll post an updated photo of our altar at St Mike’s soon).
Locate your zabuton (mat) and zafu/stool/chair in a quiet area at home. Ideally you will sit facing a plain wall, but some look out on a still garden area, or sit facing into the room. No distractions!

Your Altar should be simple and minimalist, as follows

  • Some people hang an appropriate Eastern scroll or contemplative image on the wall behind.
  • Place an appropriate (Eastern fabric?) cloth on the top of your table or a dresser. If it’s a square, arrange it on the diagonal, so one corner hangs over and down at center front, ditto on each side.
  • In the center –  a bowl or small container with the water offering.
  • at 12:00 – the altar image, or statue preferably on an elevating base.
  • at 3:00 – the candle (for safety’s sake at home, use an electric candle).
  • at 6:00 – the incense bowl (use beach sand?  Sieve it regularly and gently pat it back into shape – a gentle meditative practice).
  • at 9:00 – the flower(s) in a vase.

Nothing on the altar should be taller than the statue or image.
Keep it simple: no beads, no skulls, no jewelry or papers and books….

That’s it! Nothing else.