Friday, August 24, 2012

Coming And Going

It is always interesting to watch our expectations get confounded. This was my last weekday morning sitting in the ino seat in the zendo, so I wanted it to be a nice calm and spacious time. Instead, my alarm clock didn't go off, so I was a little groggy and rushed, the emergency light right above my head in the zendo started to flash in an unusual way, there was a smoke detector beeping periodically in the hallway somewhere, and I was handed a note that the shoten wasn't feeling well, so I had to think about a replacement.
It was also my last time bringing out the tsui-ching. Naturally I was thinking back to my first time with it, when we entered Liping as the shuso (I wasn't writing the blog then, but I reflected on it a year later). Today as well I reminded myself not to be in a rush, as we said goodbye to Konin (not for the first time, as I find this, looking for the other posts I am linking to, which also has a fuller description of the ceremony). She being quite adept, we had not discussed the form for the ceremony ahead of time, and I noticed I was a little disappointed when I came back round to the tsui-ching after the jundo to find she had turned to face Blanche. Normally, making the announcement face to face is the strongest part of the ceremony for me. My voice, which can range between fierce (my impression anyway) and soft (how I remember it with Roxie, for instance), seemed plain straight-forward this time. Vicki asked the questions, which Konin handled deftly, and Blanche gave the stirring goodbyes for us.
Senior staff were scheduled to have lunch together today, to mark the dissolution of this particular incarnation with its built-in European majority - we were saying goodbye to Konin, Rose the tenzo, who is going back to Switzerland for a year to be a grandmother, and myself. Luckily, we avoided any embarrassing speechifying, and just got to enjoy the good food and the good company.


Shonen said...

I thought your last day as Ino was next Saturday - how come you won't be seating in the Ino seat this week?

I've lost count of the number of times this has happened to me (and others). It's as if the Universe knows a transition is about to take place and throws a curve ball on that last time.

Thanks for your insight and teachings. I wonder if you realize the impact you've had as Ino both in and outside of this blog.

Shundo said...

Thanks Shonen for your words.
Since we have interim this coming week, we are not obliged to follow the schedule, and I am happy to take the break - even if it is my last week.

Melanie from Austin ZC said...

Shundo, your words and photos have touched me and taught me. I will miss your voice on these pages. Maybe you will have another blog we can read? (hint, hint). I wish you the best in your next zen adventure.

Shundo said...

Thanks Melanie, I am not planning on it, but you never know...