Yesterday I felt happy and liberated as I rode over to Stinson Beach and along Highway One, at the very edge of America, as I like to think of it, and through Muir Woods, with warm sun and blue skies. Today was a day when I was glad that I work in the building so I don't have to venture out into the rain, which started this morning and is due to go on until Christmas.
It seemed that not many other people felt like venturing out either. This afternoon there were eleven of us sitting, which is as sparse as I can remember, and five of us were doing doan jobs. Sitting in the zendo at Tassajara, you hear the rain beating on the corrugated metal roof. Here, you hear the interplay between car tyre and road as the measure of wetness. We had the windows shut, and the lights down low, and the heating was on; it was quite snug.
Actually it was 'one of those days'. I had calls during the late afternoon from the scheduled doshi and kokyo, both of whom were detained at work and wouldn't make it. When I went to check on the zendo at five twenty, there was no doorwatch and no fukudo, and I know the Friday doan is sometimes late...Luckily the afternoon head doan was there to be at the door, and the fukudo arrived in the nick of time for her debut on the han. When I came in as doshi, the doan was also there. During zazen I realised that I should play to our strengths - I had the fukudo become the kokyo for service, and I was going to have the jiko double up as fukudo, but the head doan, who doesn't like to be kokyo but was gamely stepping up to do it, gladly moved over to be fukudo, and even with such small numbers, we had a rousing service.