In last weekend’s religion column in the Globe, there was an interesting brief profile of a woman, Jane Dobisz, who did a 100-day solitary Buddhist retreat some years ago and has written about it in The Wisdom of Solitude: A Zen Retreat in the Woods, recently published by HarperSanFrancisco. The column mentioned she’d be speaking on Thursday night at the Cambridge Zen Center at a free event.
So I went.
But it wasn’t a reading or a lecture. It was a dharma talk, my first ever. It was fascinating and wonderful. Turns out Jane Dobisz is a guiding teacher of the Cambridge Zen Center. So there was the whole thing: taking off the shoes in the entryway; waiting until the sitting session was done; being asked to bow as we entered the room; sitting on cushions and zafu; bowing and a six-minute meditation. (Because the Buddha meditated for six years under the bodhi tree.) There was a short dharma talk first by another teacher about writing and books in the Zen tradition. Then Jane Dobisz answered questions.
A very refreshing evening.