Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Benji Poem

Friends and family continue to leave moving comments on the various posts from the last few days, and I encourage everyone to read them. I am happy to be able to offer this as a forum for people to express themselves, and today I would like to share this - the benji poem that we referred to on Friday, which was passed on to me. As a bit of context for those not familiar with the set-up, the benji is the attendant - I think side-kick might sum it up best in David's case - to the shuso, the head monk for a practice period. They work together, cleaning toilets, at Tassajara taking care of the trash, recycling and compost, and perform ceremonies together. The shuso meets every student for tea, one by one usually, and the benji prepares the tea and bakes the cookies or other treats - Ren was commenting on the beauty of David's tea arrangements a day or so ago. At the end of the practice period, the shuso ceremony is the chance for the shuso to meet every student's question with dharma words. It is always a special occasion, and the benji pretty much kicks off the proceedings with the poem, which are designed to encapsulate the intimacy of the preceding months.

Ren the shuso - and photographer - and David the benji after the shuso ceremony


Amina said...

Thank you, Shundo, for these posts. I have been thinking about Dave so much in the last days. Spent Saturday night in a tent in the desert, and I really felt like I was somehow spending time with Dave. I am so sad, but I do hope he has found some peace.

Shundo said...

Hello Amina,

It is nice to hear from you, and I hope you are doing well. I think David is spending a lot of time with all of us right now.

Renshin Judy Bunce said...

Thanks for your photos, Shundo. In this one, I'm probably showing Coady a picture of how beautiful he is. I wish he could have seen it more clearly.

Shundo said...

Hi Ren - Hope you are doing okay. A big hug until I see you next.

araceli said...

Hello Shundo,
I have about a dozen pictures from the time I spend at Green Gulch where I met David.
Honoring David's life, I would like to share this photos with people who may be interested in having them.
Would you like me to share them with David's City Center family?
If so, please let me know which email address I could send the pictures to.
Thank you.
Araceli Perez-Ferro

Shundo said...

Hello Araceli,

Thank you for the offer of photographs. You can email them to and I will see that they are shared with everyone.