The new ‘semester’ of Sutra A started yesterday, and due to an influx of new students from last year’s uncharacteristically huge and enthusiastic Level 3 class the rest of us* had to sit through the introductory lecture on sutra study, once again. Let’s see if I can sum it up for you without referring to the lecture recording: What is a sutra? How the Diamond Sutra was discovered. How important it is. That it is a Mahayana sutra, not a Theravada sutra. Who translated it into Chinese. Components of a sutra. Why each of these is important. How each of these relates to the Diamond Sutra. Finally, Q. & A.
Sound’s pretty okay…right? But not if you have to sit through it for the tenth time. Or probably even more times. And you have a head cold. And you are falling asleep at the table. And you’re dreaming every time you close your eyes by mistake.
So after class a friend says, ‘Susan, you look so much happier!’ And I, puzzled, think ‘Happier than what?’ Another chimes in ‘Yes, you do.’ And I just look at them–puzzled–and say ‘Sorry, you’re wrong. I have a cold and I’m dead tired and want to get home. And I just had to sit through that boring lecture yet again.’ So later, when rested up, I’m thinking, ‘What the hell was going on there? Why would they think I’m “happy” if all I wanted was for the hour to end and for me to get out of there as fast as possible?’ I looked in the mirror… Hair style? (I was rinsing it a slightly lighter color.) Clothing color? Retin-A application kicking in? (Yes, I did have that tight, smooth, almost pore-less appearance I get after about 2 weeks in.) I looked healthy! But I was sick! Didn’t they notice the nose blowing and repressed coughing?
Anyway, I’ve decided that I’ve been sick long enough. I’m going to do some outdoor work over at the monastery today. No more class for me until Saturday, and I don’t think I will attend the first lecture of Sutra B. Because…you figure it out.
*Shifu calls us the ‘old students’ (!!)