During the Ryoban rehearsal in the afternoon, I was reminded that while I have been quite immersed in the details of the ceremony, fourteen of Zen Center's finest were either coming to this completely fresh, or doing it for the first time in five years. There are a lot of sequences and movements, and I can't imagine people will retain all the information. We will put all the elements together this afternoon, and see how it looks, and then it might be 'all systems go' for the weekend.
The building is certainly filling up, with Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi, his wife, Chitose, his jisha and translator, and a younger monk arriving yesterday, an interesting counterpoint to Christina's four sisters from Switzerland who have been here for a couple of days. We are doing our best to make them all feel welcome, even as we negotiate our way around some of the transformations in the building, not least the mountain seat itself which has been installed in the Buddha Hall, and causes a few adjustments in our service manoeuvres. It's a good time for flexible mind.
|The Ryoban wait on the stairs during the rehearsal|