I was glad that we got to go back to the zendo at the end of the morning and in the afternoon, allowing ourselves to settle on the cushion. Other than that, my day involved giving lots of hugs, which I found easier to do, and perhaps more mutually beneficial, than trying to give voice to my feelings.
This evening, a community meeting in the dining room. We formed a circle of chairs like we do for residents' meeting, only there were maybe eighty of us, and we made an unwieldy shape filling the room. Which did not stop it being a very intimate ninety minutes, sharing our presence and holding our experiences together. We do intimacy very well here, but as was pointed out, this does not prevent us sometimes being too busy to stop and connect with each other in a meaningful way, ways that can make a huge difference to the person on the receiving end.
For me the most touching moment was when Ren read out the wonderful benji poem that David had written for her, which someone had printed out; I was in the zendo at Tassajara when David read it, three and a half years ago, and I heard his voice and saw his mannerisms. Paul spoke last, more personally than abbatially, and reiterated what he said at service: isn't this what we do - sit, be open and raw? We ended with a refrain from Leonard Cohen, a big favourite of David's, and then of course the Refuges, deep and sonorous in the circle.
|The old Birdhouse, where David lived at Tassajara|