Of course being outside changes the dynamic of the ceremony greatly - it is very hard on the kokyo as voices just dissipate into the air, and the bells don't resonate as they do in the Buddha Hall, but there were many compensating elements, and I found myself taking in details as the ceremony unfolded: the last rays of the sun on the tall buildings around us; a slight chilling as the sun finally disappeared; the sounds of traffic and crows; the wide blue sky transected by the white of a gliding seagull or the red underbelly of a plane banking out of Oakland.
I had a weather eye out to the south east, where I was waiting for the moon to rise over Potrero Hill, but there was no moon until five minutes after the ceremony had ended, when suddenly a jagged-edged orange curve rose above the faint hills over in the east bay. A group of a dozen of us had stayed behind to watch, and everyone drew breath to exclaim at the sharp ascension and the vividness of the colour.
|Full Moon Ceremony altar|
|Paul at the altar|
|The moon on Monday|
|The moon on Tuesday|
|The moon on Wednesday|
Today I have to shift gears and get ready for our three-day sesshin, which begins tonight. There are a lot of logistics involved as we insert a one-day sitting into the middle of it, so I have three separate schedules and two seating charts and job lists to draw up today. Even though a part of me would like to spend all day soaking up the welcome sunshine.