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.