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Lisa had once likened his cell in San Quentin to a monk’s cell in a state-sponsored retreat. She was joking, but he reflected on it again now. “It’s true,” he said. “It’s been a place to contemplate and study, to sit with all these new ideas and turn them around in my head and practice integrating them into my life. I never would have done any of that. I wouldn’t have looked at my past, that scary shit—I’d still be running from it.”
By contemplating life as it is, stripped of all extraneous added value, I found I could let go of a myriad of things that had been gnawing at my mind. Through the prosaic repetition of Eiheiji’s exacting daily routines for washing the face, eating, defecating, and sleeping, this is the answer that I felt in my bones: accept unconditionally the fact of your life and treasure each moment of each day.
The images of myth are reflections of the spiritual potentialities of every one of us. Through contemplating these we evoke their powers in our own lives.