I felt very surprised and honored when Roshi asked me to be shuso for this summer’s ango period. I feel humbled to be included in the group of Village Zendo Shusos – each of whom shows such exemplary practice.
I first encountered Buddhism when I was ten years old and read “Gleanings in Buddha-fields” by Lafcadio Hearn. I found the book misfiled in the library between two volumes of his Japanese fairy tales I planned to read but ended up checking out the book with the mysterious title instead. When I finished it I announced to my family that I was a Buddhist and was told I could decide about that when I went to college.
I majored in Buddhist Studies in college. For many years I practiced Ch’an with Master Sheng yen as did my husband and two children. After he died I searched for a new teacher and in 2009 I came to the Village Zendo. Moving from Ch’an to Zen was challenging for me. While meditation and retreats are part of Ch’an practice, participating in classes about the history of Buddhist teachings, comparative Buddhist philosophy, and scripture study were equally encouraged. My natural inclination to intellectualize things was reflected in my practice.
Coming to the Village Zendo shook me up. With the support and guidance of Roshi, the teachers and the sangha I experienced a burgeoning sense of intimacy and immediacy in practice that has changed my life. The study text for this summer’s ango will be Dogen’s Fascicle 64, Everyday Activity. We will be posting it on the web. It speaks directly to the exhilarating “right here and now” of practice. Summer ango at the Grail is the perfect time to explore the meaning of Everyday Activity in your life.
Please commit to intensifying your practice during ango either by coming to a retreat at the Grail or increasing your practice with the sangha in the City. I am providing a commitment form to help you articulate your practice goals. We only have right here! Right now! Make the most of it!
With three deep bows,
More info: the Summer Ango Retreat 2016 page.