Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Height Of The Moon

I went up on the roof during soji (bad, I know, I should be helping to clean the temple) because I had seen during service that it was another beautiful day. This is why I love living in California...The sky was indeed beautiful, but what I hadn't expected was to catch the full moon setting right beside the Italianate church on Fell Street that features in many of my sky photographs.
Happily I don't feel any sicker today - I perked up last night in time for the ceremony. I missed the precept groups as I had to print up more chant cards and set up the microphones for the live streaming. Laura told me there were sixty people listening through the whole thing, so I hope the sound wasn't too awful. It is hard for me as a sound engineer to just leave things running without checking the levels or the balance at all.
We had a sizeable crowd in the Buddha Hall as well, which felt great. Michael was the kokyo - the first person I asked had been too busy to rehearse, and the second person I thought of has been sick, and I was thinking I might end up doing it myself, but Michael volunteered when he heard about this in Practice Committee. We only got to rehearse once, and he fully manifested doing it his own way. We also heard that some people were performing the ceremony at the same time in Lou's room over at hospice
Afterwards I was happy to see Dale, who had been the tenzo when I worked in the kitchen at Tassajara (I also saw Erin, the fukaten that practice period, at the jukai the other day). I had many reasons to be grateful for his example when I became tenzo, not least his reactions to the occasions when I completely fucked up. He didn't get angry, but immediately tried to figure out where we needed to go from where we were at that moment, adapting to the circumstances. His wife, Melissa, had also been ino in my first winter at Tassajara, and I particularly remember the first full moon ceremony of the first practice period, which we did up at the Suzuki Roshi memorial site - I helped carry the big bell up there with three other people on a yoke. It was magical, with the sole disappointment that the moon did not shine on the space during the ceremony. I have had people asking me to do the ceremony on the roof here some time, and although it is not ideal in terms of layout or acoustics, this morning's bright setting moon got me thinking that we could do it up there one morning...


megan said...

Hi Shundo - i was one of those listening [from up in B.C. ]to the live-streaming of the full moon ceremony, at city centre last night. Just wanted to let you know that the sound came through really well. Thanks so much! It's fab to be able to participate in 'virtual reality'... no separations!


megan [the aussie]

Shundo said...

Good to hear that Megan, and hi - where are you in B.C?
I will pass your comment on to Laura as well, she was happy with the geographical spread of the listenership.

megan said...

G'day Shundo,

I'm in Victoria. Yes, please do thank Laura - i enjoyed reading her moment by moment pithy descriptions - though i could picture quite clearly anyhow - of you all in the buddha hall.

Noticed your other post was from an other aussie!

I am also thinking of Lou - and Blanche. I appreciate your blogging posts - SFZC feels closer! Hope to make it down there again sometime soon,