1972-05-14 Steve to Mom & Hank
"Now, this impression that I was suffering from “severe depression” does not seem to fit my state of mind while home. And the answer that our life styles are “totally different” isn’t quiet accurate either. If my eyes seem sunken or my body’s not looking so healthy, in part it’s because my diet is changing and also my pattern of exercise, and I still have not adjusted to a regular pattern of eating, working, exercise, sleeping, etc. it’s coming but I’m not there yet. I don’t have all the energy I’d like yet, but it will work out, it’s being worked out now, so don’t worry. The body changes at a slow pace I think, and it’s not wise to go too fast nor too slow. So I’m working on finding the right speed. If my eyes are half-shut and I seem vacant at times, it’s just that this is part of the practice I’m doing. It’s easier to stay relaxed and still keep the mind at a state of attention or awareness if the eyes aren’t darting all about, and the body is not running around wasting energy. There’s a lot to do with conservation and energy here, doing just what you have to do, using just as much energy as needed for each action. That way it’s easier to stay calm and be at ease with your daily life. And that’s what I’m trying to do here, in one sense, so it’s nothing far out, or mystical, or severe. I like what I’m doing here, and I love you both very much, and I appreciate your concern. Zen and Buddhism are not deeply entrenched in our culture here, so it is hard to understand at first what it’s all about. that’s why I find it necessary to have a teacher now, to help me understand and put to use in daily life the instruction which is available. While I’m learning it may seem as though I’m “far away”, but don’t be distressed, as this is only temporary, for me to work out, and is by no means an end result or permanent condition!
Things are fine here, weather is warming up again, we are fertilizing the garden today. We have had visitors here this past week and some minor excitement when one of the children (Rivers) dumped coffee on his hand and received a burn."