Even though yesterday was cooler than Monday or Tuesday, and even though the fog was rolling in during the evening, it was very warm in the Buddha Hall for the Full Moon Ceremony last night. In fact I would venture that I was hotter yesterday than I was at Tassajara a month ago, and that is saying something. We were pretty full, as is often the case when we schedule the ceremony on a Wednesday evening (we know the full moon was actually on Tuesday, but sometimes we fudge it for the sake of the schedule), and the assembly was in fine, strong voice, being led by Linda Galijan as the kokyo, with Anna Malo the doan. I have been alternating between having new people as kokyo and doan and having experienced teams, and this was definitely the latter - I remember Linda as kokyo at Tassajara more than six years ago, when we were on the doanryo together, and I was hitting the bells, and yesterday was as faultless as always.
I have mentioned in the past about how I am bowing and kneeling right in front of the White Tara statue, and the effect this has on me during the ceremony, so I thought I would include a photograph of it. The sun was not shining this morning - the fog is back - and this is not the view I have during the ceremony, but it looked better in the photograph than a head-on view
It might seem that I am often saying something about how hot I am, and this is largely due to my robes. I am not complaining about them, because they are very beautiful, they came from Japan, and they were given to me at my tokudo. Nevertheless, the jubon and kimono are both quite heavy cotton, and as for my koromo, after the tokudo ceremony, when we were standing out in the courtyard being photographed, Paul rubbed the sleeve between his fingers and said "It's basically a plastic bag", and that is how it feels as soon as it warms up. When you add the okesa on top, that is a lot of layers to be doing prostrations in.
A third thing today is my lack of voice - this started a little bit yesterday, I could feel my throat was very dry, and this morning I was croaking more than chanting, which was an interesting experience for me, especially as I am used to being almost the loudest person in the room; I felt like a bystander at service this morning. Before work meeting, a number of us were comparing notes about feeling sick, or strange, and the amount of coughing and sneezing in the zendo this morning was widely noted. The sudden changes in weather seem to be the likely culprit. I shall try not to say very much today, which will doubtless be to everyone's benefit.