In the normal run of things, Parinirvana would be the highlight of the week, if not the month. This time around, it mostly meant that yesterday was another day working morning noon and night, after seven straight days of doing that last week - there is a lot to set up, and after dinner we rehearsed the five-person food offering with the new Abbess, jisha and shuso, before I went to put extra cushions in the zendo and set out the candles.
And then the spaciousness I was finding while sitting the first period rather evaporated with a series of things going awry, starting with the doan deciding to ring the bell for kinhin ten minutes late. We were always going to be pushed for time today, and then once we had also factored in people forgetting their bessu before service, and other delays, we were half an hour late to breakfast.
Nevertheless, the reading did move me as always; the candle-lit zendo was beautiful - being late meant that daylight was starting to change the feel of the room by the time we started the Robe Chant; the circumambulation was quite smooth for once - even if the incense offering clocked in a little slower than last week, necessitating a third round of the Dai Hi Shin Dharani - and afterwards I was able to bow in the kaisando with Hoitsu, Christina, Blanche and Vicki.
I am determined to take time off between lunch and afternoon zazen today, though between staff meeting this morning, and zazen and lecture tonight, it is going to be another long day.