Sunday, July 18, 2021

Visiting the old home at Zen Forest

During my visit to Kentucky, I drove out to the cabin I used to live in during my early-mid twenties. Back then, it was landlocked in 300 acres belonging to a Zen monastery. We purchased 30 from them, plus the cabin. Some of my most fond memories are from that time period, with Vietnamese monks, Amish people, and Wendell Berry for neighbors, where I learned so much and moved through levels of consciousness, where I discovered philosophy and connected to higher ways of living, and I just wanted to go see what it felt like to me now. I was so happy to see that the person who owns it now is doing everything I dreamed of: they have a big vegetable garden, have dug out a lovely spring-fed pond, added on to the cabin, and otherwise just maintained everything and protected it as a nature preserve. Certain things broke my heart wide open, and I shed some tears on the drive in- that strange sensation of having lived many lives, most of which are put away to memory, then to have them intersect again in real life. A place from back then, which held the person you were then, you go meander over that same landscape now, with yourself now, but the place can never be revisited even when you go stand on that very ground, because so much has changed... 

It is surreal, bizarre, heartbreaking, but beautiful too. 

Hue Nang Trail (pronounced 'way-nong')

Just behind this sign (which is new to me, though the tree I knew) is the lotus pond and it was all in bloom. Across the gravel road and down a small slope is our old cabin...

And there's the old cabin.

The new pond down to the left of the house. This used to be only forest.

Here is what little the web archive held onto from the blog I kept during my time at Zen Forest.


 Kentucky - a katydid and cicada symphony.

Dad in the distance