I have many things on my mind this week - mostly Jerome's funeral on Saturday afternoon, but also the two Suzuki Roshi memorials, Bodhidharma's birthday ceremony next Monday, tweaking the doanryo to find places for the new practice period people, training new people for noon service doan jobs, figuring out the oryoki serving crews for the month, ordering new fabric and bowls for oryoki sets, finishing up the January tenken (attendance) reports, putting the latest talks online and trying to figure out the glitch that has stopped recent talks being fed to iTunes, and planning new audio equipment for the Buddha Hall and dining room.
This morning, though, was the shuso entering ceremony, and that is a little milestone for me, as it was the first ceremony I did as ino exactly a year ago. I can still remember feeling anxious about my role in it and reminding myself that I did not need to rush and that I could do my parts at my speed. Ironically, I haven't done the ceremony since then, so I felt pretty rusty when we did a rehearsal yesterday morning, and the nagging feeling in my head that I didn't have all the choreography memorised did not leave me. It was, though, a lovely ceremony this morning. Someone said they counted seventy people in the zendo, which would not surprise me; it was hard manoeuvring round everyone during the jundo.
What was most intimate was to see Blanche, who was doing the full morning schedule for the first time in several weeks, and Lien having their interchange, which, although basically scripted, allowed for the connection between the two of them to shine out as they spoke, and then bowed - on the final bow the teacher rises from their seat, and bows to the shuso as the shuso bows to them, which I always marvel at.
As Lien said, these are beautiful days in San Francisco.