Once while browsing in the City Center library, I came across something that had been written as a thesis some decades ago, about the use of jargon at City Center. As we all know, jargon is a language sub-set that tends to promote inclusivity and exclusivity, and this is an issue that quite rightly Zen Center tries to pay attention to. The thesis pointed out that even beyond the extensive range of zen-specific terms that can be baffling to the newcomer, but would not necessarily be so to a visiting monastic (see the glossary for examples of this), there are any number of City Center-specific terms that confuse people even when they come over from Tassajara and Green Gulch. The 'doshi door' was cited as an example of this. Because of the way Zen Center made use of the pre-existing building, the entrances to the zendo are not traditionally aligned; the door near the library is generally reserved for the doshi to enter through, although this includes the Abbot and Senior Dharma Teacher, the tanto and other senior teachers. If you say the term "doshi door" to anyone at City Center, they will immediately picture it but I don't know what percentage of the readership of this blog would be able to do the same.
This is partly a response to the comment I received on the last Stats entry. I have been sitting with this since Friday morning, and while I am keenly aware that on the internet everyone has an opinion and gets to express it - myself naturally included, since I am typing this - I was struck by the tone of this comment: someone who knows me enough to use my last name, which I don't use here, but who prefers to remain anonymous themselves, takes me to task for being "enthralled" with the statistics of this blog.
My ego is at play here in different ways; first there is sensitivity to criticism - I think this is the first time someone has bothered to write me something negative about the blog - second because a part of me is thrilled that in the space of a week, people in twenty-six different countries have been reading this.
It is helpful to me to see that while most of my American readership is California-based, and thus I can assume that a fair number of those are people who visit Zen Center, whether regularly or not. While I know that some of the people in more far-flung countries are friends, or people who have spent time here, there are going to be any number of people who cannot picture the doshi door, and I should take this into account somewhat when I am deciding what to write about and how to write it.
Feel free to pitch in with a comment.