For those of you who don't follow stuff on the Zen Center website so closely, I wanted to pass on that the dharma talk this Wednesday will be ASL-signed. This is down to some hard work by Keith, and it is hoped that this is the first of many. I suggested that it would be a great thing to have on video for the Livestream channel, but the decision was that we wanted to see how it goes over live this time round. So if you, or anyone you know, would benefit from this, and are able to be here tomorrow night, come on over. Or if you would definitely want to see this offered on our video stream, do let me know.
A few of us came out of zazen this afternoon noting that this would be the last week of daylight sitting. For sure we have had to turn the lights on the last couple of weeks as it is getting darker by dinnertime, and yesterday I was musing that perhaps we should start Sejiki later, as it doesn't seem as evocative to begin while the sky is still blue, even if it was pretty dark by the time we had finished. Certainly this week winter seems far away (apologies to anyone reading on the East Coast, for whom it has been somewhat more tangible), as the balmy weather continues, with stately sunrises during morning service. I just went over to the sewing room to put some long-promised stitches in a new zagu for Linda Ruth, which Tova is just finishing off, and there were warm breezes blowing about the courtyard.
We had a special guest kokyo this evening as well; the regular Tuesday person was away, and as Ren had come in early before sewing class, I offered her the chance to do it. Her voice filled the zendo seemingly effortlessly, and she led us in a strong rendition of the Heart Sutra. She was the head doan (and Tova the ino) at Tassajara back in 2004 when I was on the doanryo, and as she commented afterwards, it's like riding a bike - you never forget. As it happens, Keith was the doshi, as he is every Tuesday; we have worked out a way for him to be cued for all the bows by the doan, so it is probable that many attending the service would have no idea that he hadn't heard any of it.