Saturday, January 09, 2010

Kanzeon Festival and more

Today we had our annual Kanzeon Festival. This involves 3 hours of chanting and bowing, along with a little kinhin (slow walking meditation) and zazen (sitting meditation). In fact, we did 108 full bows (down to the floor) over the course of the 3 hours. Legs feel slightly rubbery, but not bad. We had a good turnout for the event -- I was jisha, and didn't count people in the morning, but we did end up serving about 17 people for lunch.

The festival is designed to raise a lot of energy, and I found today that it definitely did that. We often pair it with work practice in the afternoon to take advantage of that energy, and that's what we did today.

After lunch we had community practice time, and lots of people helped us get two mailings out -- the January newsletter (finally!) and the Events Flyer for February/March (which is actually pretty much on schedule). They got stuffed, stuck, labeled and ready to take to the post office on Monday. It was wonderful to have so much help. Also got the freezer defrosted and some cleaning done -- kitchen and windows. And the Daoren group (5 people, I think) worked in the library, which is their project for the year. It was just fun to have that many people in the house to share all that energy.

Once we had these tasks done, we all sat down for tea, which involved chocolate, cherries, and sugar along with the tea, and some interesting conversation. And then we sat zazen and did Founder's Ceremony to close out the day. I had forgotten that we do Founder's at the end of a community practice day, and so was a bit unprepared, but we all muddled through it, and it was actually quite lovely.

This is a lot more lively than it was last year, as I recall. Our membership is growing. Kyogen tells me that our membership is now up over 220, which is quite a jump from the 180 I remember, and the 160 it was pretty steady at for some years. It's clear that there are quite a few new people, and lots of good energy in the sangha.

After people left, there was more to do on the freezer defrosting, and so I worked on that, and discovered a leak which then involved using a lot of towels to try to sop up a bunch of water -- I think it went from the freezer out to the hallway under the carpet. Bummer. After washing out the freezer and putting the food back, there were a bunch of coolers to wash out and return to the garage. After all that, I just threw all those towels into the washing machine, and they are now in the dryer.

Anyway, it's been a fun day, and a full one, and I'm now ready to head up the street to bed.


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