I have also been enjoying other kinds of community and friendship over this long weekend. On Saturday night I was over in the East Bay, part of a wonderful group of current and former Zen Center people with a strong trans-Atlantic bias, which makes me a little louder than I often am, especially when you add beautiful weather, pizza and beer into the mix. Walking around the Berkeley Marina as the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge was a great reminder of why living here is really not so bad.
The next morning, which was much chillier than it has been of late, I joined the ride to Spirit Rock which was raising money to support Eugene Cash, who is still recovering from his crash at the Buddhist Bike Pilgrimage. There were about thirty-five of us, among them familiar faces from the Pilgrimage and some new people as well, and I think we raised close to $7000 from our various communities - many people at Zen Center were generous in their contributions. Later in the day there was an informal gathering in the lounge to mark Stephen's imminent departure - I won't detail the merits of the food and drink on offer, but Blanche looked in at the noisy group and made a comment about a big sugar rush; I pointed out that people hadn't actually started on the refreshments yet.
Yesterday, as we took an extra day off in honour of Martin Luther King, I spent the day in North Beach, the part of town I stayed in when I first visited San Francisco in 1999, which obviously holds some fond memories for me, catching up with a friend who has been away for a while, before coming back to attend another huge Young Urban Zen gathering. I feel much nourished.
|Easy pickings for a photographer|
|Back at Fort Mason on a walk yesterday|