I had the deluded idea this week that I would be able to put other things aside and just devote my attention to the Mountain Seat, but that really hasn't happened yet. The practice period is mostly launched now - people are in their doan jobs, we have done several rounds of noon service training - but there have been other things taking time these past few days: organising new protocols to send out to various groups of people in an attempt to cut back on our incense use for those with sensitivities; sending out invitations to tangaryo, which will be the week after the Mountain Seat; working out with the other resident leaders what response to have to the embarrassment of riches we are currently experiencing with Young Urban Zen, where bumper attendance levels are now making the conference center a bit of a squeeze; not to mention the usual rounds of meetings and floods of emails; and we have to fit in a few ceremonies before next weekend as well: Suzuki Roshi memorials tonight and tomorrow, the Bodhidharma ceremony on Tuesday morning, the Full Moon ceremony on Wednesday night, for both of which rehearsals need to be scheduled before we embark on the many Mountain Seat rehearsals; I have also been thinking ahead to Parinirvana, scheduled for the 15th...
So I haven't got completely on top of details for the big day itself - let alone the Stepping Down, which would be big enough in itself - though I did manage a rewrite of the main script after folding details from the 2007 script into the 2003 script I had been basing my ideas on. Now, having reviewed some of that with Steve, and made changes, I need to check this version against the hours of footage, which I will probably do over the weekend so as to have some uninterrupted time. Then we should have a working document with which to conduct rehearsals, after which is confidently predicted that Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi will come and suggest that we do things slightly differently. But then if I have learnt anything as ino, it is that the ceremony will happen, just not exactly as planned.
And then there are moments like going out to hit the umpan to mark breakfast time just as the sun was peeping over the roofs of houses lower down Page St, when it is easy to exhale and say, just another beautiful day.
|It is blossom time here - these quince are in an arrangement on the stairs|
|These are in the courtyard|