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Catherine Landis
I go to the Zen Center, in the Valley, for sitting meditation. After sittings, I often walk along Onondaga Creek, especially in the summer, when there’s no snow there.

So I was walking along the creek and crossed a little footbridge. I was standing on the footbridge, looking upstream, and I saw a heron. It was standing there so still—the way they do, with the beak held horizontal—with the stream water flowing around its legs.

The line I wrote was, “tail feathers brush stream waters,” but it was the other way around, actually stream water brushing tail feathers. Somehow, between the stillness of the bird and the motion of the stream, I just found it very beautiful.

So that’s what happened: I did the sitting, I came out and did the walk, and there was my teacher, standing perfectly still.

heron stands upright
tail feathers brush stream waters
teaching me stillness

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