Saturday, May 7, 2011

Beginning, Continuing and Ending

One thing I appreciate about continuing to be ino is that the big events are less stressful than they used to be. One-day sittings are still fourteen-hour days with very little downtime, but I am a little more relaxed about how they unfold. This one went from having fifteen sign-ups on Tuesday to about fifty-five yesterday, with more being added right up to the last moment, but the logistics were mostly painless. We had plenty of people who knew how to do each job, so I could choose creatively, and also let some senior people have a day where they just sat and had no responsibilities.
I even had time yesterday to help the Young Urban Zen group get closer to a launch. This is something that arose from the big Zen Center meeting in January, in particular from a brain-storming session that afternoon. The fact that it will have taken five months to actually get it off the ground says something about how busy we all are and the kind of inertia that an organisation of our size inevitably possesses. Nonetheless, a lot of people have put in a lot of hours to trying to make this happen, and it was great to have a flyer printed out last night so I could announce the group after lecture for the first time. Since we don't have any text online yet, I will just say that it is going to be a group aimed mainly at 25-35 year olds who are establishing their lives in the city and are looking for a way to find meaning and community in the midst of everything. I am, I confess, outside the age range of the target demographic, but I hope to be on hand to lend a priestly presence, as we don't currently have any priests that young living at City Center - though there are a number elsewhere at Zen Center. So, tell your friends, or come along yourselves, starting Monday June 6th. I will undoubtedly be plugging this more as it gets closer to the time.
Even though the sitting is over, I still have some things to do, not least folding my robes and wrapping them so I can take them to Green Gulch for the culmination ceremony of the Coming of Age group tomorrow morning. This will actually be the first time the boys will have seen me in my robes, so they may get a bit of a shock. The ceremony will obviously be a time for reflection on the last nine months of meetings, and on what kind of transformations may have occurred in the lives of these young people. It has been a rich experience to be part of, on many levels, and I will be sad to see the group disband. Who knows if any of them will be coming along for sittings in the years to come?

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