Monday, November 03, 2008

October 23, 2008

Good grief! Time just keeps marching on. The newsletter is done, but there's a whole lot of other things happening, and I'm still just putting one foot in front of the other.

This weekend is our annual Segaki retreat, where we feed the Hungry Ghosts and invite old unresolved karma to come and get whatever it can for the day before we send it away again for another year. We also read the names of everyone who has died in the last year, and George's name is on the list.

I'm going to be assistant tenzo for this retreat, and I think it will be relatively easy. The numbers look like we will be feeding from 21-24 people at each meal, not too bad. At Rohatsu (which will be in December, and cause me to miss the Bower reunion then), there are typically something like 60 people. One year we had 88 total over the course of the week! I will undoubtedly be in the kitchen there this year, but not in charge.

As assistant tenzo, I've been finding out what needs to be used up here, gathering the numbers of how many will eat each meal and what allergies there are, and then I will meet with the tenzo this afternoon to go over menus and what I need to shop for tomorrow. I will also set up all the place settings tomorrow. For this retreat, we use plate, bowl, fork, knife, spoon, cup, and napkin. Each person gets a setup which they use for the entire weekend, washing up their own dishes after each meal. We eat formally in the zendo after serving ourselves buffet style downstairs.

Jyoshin was indeed ordained on Saturday, so I now officially have a "little sister." I took her to the store yesterday to buy a razor, and she, MrK and I all shaved each other this morning. I remember that time of getting used to lots of fabric in new robes, bowing mat, etc., and shaving, and moving into a new room (which she's also doing). When I was a postulant, the ordained (plus me) shaved each other once a week, but once I was ordained, the dynamics shifted and I was the only one shaving, so I've gotten used to doing myself. It's kind of nice that there are again three of us to do each other. It's a nice time of sharing something as ordained once a week, caring for each other in that way.

We have three new residents moving in during the next week or so, all 20-somethings, one woman and two men. It will be interesting.

My volunteer ID badge finally came through in the prisons, so I can pick it up tomorrow evening when we go in. That will simplify paperwork considerably. I feel that I'm getting gradually more involved in the prison program, and there may be some changes in who's doing what over the next couple of years. Not that I will take over (heaven forfend!), and my involvement is limited somewhat by necessity because of what I am needed for here, but I may go to more places, etc.


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