This morning's service was a memorial for Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and Tova also spoke movingly during the lecture of her experience of being present at his famous 'I have a dream' speech in Washington. We had a very large crowd, some of it due to Liping bringing her students along to experience a morning at Zen Center. This was a bit of a shock for Mark, who had taken over, selflessly since it is his birthday today, offering zazen instruction as the scheduled person is sick. Mark is additionally standing in as acting tanto as Jordan is also sick; I jumped at the chance to relieve his burdens and to sit in with the Saturday Sangha at lunch today, where this group of experienced laypeople were treated to a presentation of the dhyanas, or states of concentration, from one of its members.
Tova also addressed the community's recent losses, spoke of Jerome and Darlene, and also spoke of Lou, whose health is declining. I have not mentioned this to date as I know that both he and Blanche are asking that there be no fuss. The Saturday Sangha ended its session by chanting the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo for Lou, and one of the residents asked me if we can do the same every day, to keep him in our hearts and minds.
I have been asked if I had nice photos of Lou, so I have dug out my old photo albums again, and found these; he was not much of a one for posing for the camera.
This first is from 2000:
Then, from 2003, I think, at an ordination: