The Road Beckons

In 1995 Kayla and I ended a two year retreat at Namgyal Monastery and San Francisco Zen Center's Green Gulch monastery with a car camping trip.  Starting in Yosemite we spent three months working our way up the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges to Tillamook, and then came back down though the redwoods to San Francisco.

We drove my beloved Mazda RX7 sports car, and dealt with its limited storage by putting a pack on the roof.

We slept in a small tent and cooked on picnic tables.

I was inspired to take the trip by several dreams I had had at Green Gulch, including one where the Dalai Lama turned into an eagle.  I looked for the eagle throughout our trip. Toward the end, as we hiked in the redwoods, we found scores of eagle feathers on the forest floor; the remains of an eagle that had died. We left them where we found them, and felt that if our journey had been a quest, it had been fulfilled.

These days Kayla is wrapping her fantasies around another extended camping trip, but our current bodies suggest a pop-up trailer rather than a tent.  The Rocky Mountains and southwest deserts are calling her.  And as we look at the photos we took those 21 years ago something calls to me as well. 

Curiously, at these same moments San Francisco Zen Center is reaching out to me, asking me to come and teach.  Circles close and reopen.  Or perhaps spirals are at work.


  1. I notice that the ' car' is the beloved!! What about the wife ;-) And an update: the current vehicle we're contemplating for our jog in to the future is the 2015 reissue of the 1961 Shasta Airflyte Trailer!

  2. OK. Two beloveds ..... The car I can live without. You, not for a moment.