Thanks to the powerful analytic tools available to the common-or-garden blogger, I can proudly announce that this is the 500th post on the Ino's Blog. This announcement comes with a little asterisk, in that not all the posts have been published. Greg actually left a couple of posts in draft form, and lovely as they are, I am going to keep them unpublished and let those who search for his hidden gems sometime in the future come and uncover them.
And since 500 posts amounts to a lot of words, especially if you are factoring in a thousand for each photograph - alas a word-counting tool is not at my fingertips - and bearing in mind the 'not dependent on the written word' thing that we hear about in these parts, it seemed only appropriate that this post should be one of the four or five drafts I have left lingering in the archive as I hadn't got round to putting it into the shape I wanted:
With all due deference to every precious word of the Tenzo Kyokun, sometimes I feel that the work of the tenzo can be boiled down to one word: offering.
Blanche has said that Mel asked her to be tenzo because he knew her tendency to want to keep everybody happy, and as tenzo you are never able to please everyone. When you are feeding fifty people, they cannot get what they want all the time; living here, people have to relinquish choice and control around food, which can be an emotional issue for some, but I think a palpable sense of offering goes a long way to mitigating that.
So what is the word for the work of the ino? Right now I would say encouragement. I want people to feel encouraged to do their practice. I am reminded that Greg often starts his dharma talks with this intention. Since I am still not very skillful in my feedback at all times, it is easier for me to try to offer my own practice as a way of doing this. And I hope this blog, warts and all, sometimes encourages people as well.