When zazen is finished, the bell is rung once (hozenshō).

Twelve months ago, I started Sidewalk Zendo primarily as a way to meet my goal of being more present in my life, starting with being more present during my twice-daily walks with my trusty canine companion, Dash.

Like a prayer wheel, the Earth has made its way around the Sun again, ending up where it started and then continuing on without pause, as it has done for eons.I’m much more of a neophyte space traveler compared to my planet. Even so, unlike the Earth, I am pausing after one full orbit… to reflect on a year of observations and blog posts about a one-mile stretch of black-topped former railroad easement, and to think about my goals for the next trip around our neighborhood star.

I’m also pausing Sidewalk Zendo. I need to reallocate the time I’ve spent preparing posts to some new projects (actually, some old projects that have been on a back burner long enough). I may start this informal kinhin practice again at some point, if I find another path on which to focus my attention for another 12 months… or Sidewalk Zendo may become another example of the impermanence of life on this planet. I’ll have to wait and see how my life unfolds (nothing new about that!).

For those who have read some or all of these posts–thank you.  I hope doing so has helped you to be more present and appreciative of your own daily path, particularly the parts that pass through the natural world.

[Thanks to the following photographers for making their work available through the Creative Commons license: David Gabriel Fischer; clurross; ccarlsteadSteve Tatum; and Cheryl Dimof.   © 2018 Sidewalk Zendo. Reprints welcomed with written permission from the author.]

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