Lulu and I are settling in to our quarters, room 6, Cloud Hall. We're following the schedule, full swing, and the practice period students have just finished sitting tangaryo. I'm on the guest program crew and Lulu has started with the garden; I'll join the farm crew in April.
Zen teachers everywhere. Some give big huge deep hugs, others keep it humorous as we sit in the dining hall together- some have that stern practice period gaze. My own zen teacher is far away at his own temple, and I miss him. When I think of Kosho, I think of his directions: "Soften, let go, radically accept, open you're heart to who you really are." Difficult practice!
I also think of my first teacher, which I really struggled with, but that story is changing. Robert was kyosaku wielding, strong handed, famous for saying, "Don't bother me with that bull shit" when I asked him how his day was going, but I still have his directions, too: "Head presses the sky, knees press the earth...this is hishiryo."
And the sky is huge. Walking to the dining hall at 3:45am (this morning to write this post...breaking the schedule a little) I heard something in the trees and I thought, monk-eating-mountain-lion! Lions, rattle snakes, and plenty of hungry ghosts, here!
Boundless gratitude here. In 2008, I came here and threw the locks of my Jukai into the pond. I vowed to ordain here. I'm not sure that will happen-but here's news-Kosho said I'm offically training for ordination, though it will probably be at his zen center, surrounded by all my Dharma brothers and sisters.