Monday, November 03, 2008

October 17, 2008

Wow, time has been flying by. I intended to do a whole update about my trip to San Francisco, but instead I came back and was immediately buried in our newsletter. It's mostly done now, and I feel like I can almost breathe. Of course a few days ago I got a cold, which has slowed me down slightly in the last couple of days, but I'm feeling a bit better today.

Tomorrow my "little sister" postulant Jyoshin is getting ordained. I'm jikko in the ceremony, and my part will be primarily to hand her things and then to actually put her robes on her during that part of the ceremony. She and I have always gotten along really well, and it's nice that she's joining the "family" of the ordained here.

She's in her 30s, which puts her pretty close to MrK in age. Domyo is slightly older, but not much. So there's the three 30-somethings, and then there are the two abbots who are 60 and I'm 59. That's relative ages. And yet, both Domyo and MrK are my seniors in terms of ordination date, and of course the abbots are completely my teachers.

Anyway, Jyoshin and I practiced today with putting robes on her, and she practiced bowing with all that extra fabric -- it takes a while to get used to. [As it happened, we practiced with her standing, but during the ceremony, Kyogen told her to kneel. Since we hadn't practiced that, I found myself stepping on her feet, and it was a bit more awkward than I anticipated. Still, we got it done.] She's been asking for advice and instruction, and getting quite a bit. One big difference between her and me is that she isn't shy about asking for help and advice.

We have another retreat coming up soon -- Segaki. It's a weekend retreat here in town (next weekend), so in many ways not too bad. Once again I will be in the kitchen as an assistant tenzo, and I've drafted someone else to lead sewing work practice. I suspect I will be in the kitchen on retreats for a while to come. Anyway, there will be lots of opportunity for sitting meditation, and I'm looking forward to that.

We've been back on our regular term schedule since returning from SF the beginning of October, and we're all adjusting to that again. I'm busier just with that. We have two classes a week now and two (sometimes three) additional evenings of meditation, along with our regular morning meditation and services.

Oh, and the other big news is that I finally started my own prison meditation group in Coffee Creek's Minimum facility. Seven women came to that, and it was a nice group. I'll be doing that every other Monday evening from now on. And in addition, I'm still accompanying people to Medium on some Friday nights -- tonight, for example, I'll be heading back down there with the two women who lead that group. My ID badge should be ready soon.


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