Now it's not often we get to re-do a ceremony. I guess doing the Full Moon Ceremony on the roof is somewhat equivalent - and I am toying with the idea of having the next one, on the 5th of June, up there as well. But it came up this week that perhaps we should try doing nenju in the Buddha Hall instead of the dining room. So I sat down and rewrote parts of the script for the ceremony, incorporating some things that happen at Tassajara as well, and Rosalie and Wendy, as the practice period leaders, with a few tweaks and suggestions, gave it the thumbs up.
Of course as they say, the proof of the ceremony is in the doing, so there was slightly heightened anticipation as the time drew near. I had roped in Konin, my new head doan, as the new combined umpan player/doan, and took the kokyo spot myself as I usually do for the first nenju of the practice period. I definitely noticed how different it was to do the dedication right in front of the lovely Buddha statue in the Buddha Hall, and the acoustics seemed more favourable, though I still didn't get the pitch right. During the jundo people seemed more reverential, maybe due to the space, and after the hosan and the 'joyful' big bells, we had a nice semi-formal exit. The consensus was a general thumbs up; the ceremony felt more at home there than in the dining room.
And with that, and the newcomers' table, I started my vacation. More or less. I still have a few loose ends to wrap up, though not as many as I thought I would have yesterday afternoon, when both printers, one thumb-drive and one network connection all seemed to conspire against me by failing to co-operate. I will also do the morning schedule on Monday when we will have leaving ceremonies for Shindo and Yuto, both of whom we will be sad to see going, but then I am off, leaving for England on Tuesday afternoon.
So I am feeling a little excited, but mostly nice and relaxed. This is being helped by the fact that Lucy left me in charge of feeding Paul's cat over the weekend, while she is also away, so Azure and I are currently keeping each other company, and I am discovering that a lap cat and a lap-top are not so compatible. Yesterday I had study hall en plein air with her, in the back yard, which was a first.
|Hopefully not jumping the shark with cute kitten photographs; I was studying as well, honest|