I have heard it said that the job of the shuso is to be the friend of everyone in the practice period. One of the ways that Lien is definitely accomplishing this is by making coffee in the morning - and not just one pot, either. She makes both pots of regular and a pot of decaf, all before four thirty in the morning, by all accounts (I am not around to verify this, but I have been told it is so). No wonder that she was given a milk frother during skit night, ostensibly for her heroics in the shuso jundo olympics, but mainly as a recognition that she was performing valuable Bodhisattva activity at such an unearthly hour. I understand that said frother is now being deployed in the early morning coffee round, which means we are one step closer to having the espresso bar in the building that many of us have long been agitating for - along with the hot tub on the roof. Then there will obviously be no further obstacles on the path to enlightenment.
For people in the building, it is not just the coffee that we appreciate, but also the little notes that Lien got into the habit of leaving on the pots, so much so that when she stopped writing them, she had requests to please continue. Each day a different gem, written on white masking tape, divided into three such as 'every day / is a / good day', 'where / is / buddha?', or my recent favourite, 'raindrops / & / roses'. Such are the little rituals which, as I have observed before, illuminate our practice life together.