Friday, 2 November 2018

No zazen on Weds 7th Nov

Hi all... just a quick note that there will be no meeting on the evening of Weds 7th November as several folk (including myself) are away.

We'll resume as usual the following Wednesday (14th), and do remember the Zazenkai on Saturday 24th.

A line of shussos...

Really enjoyed today's newsletter from StoneWater, there were some great reflections in there from all sorts of folks. Wonderful to see images of Stephan's tokudo ceremony (monastic ordination).

(Newsletters are archived at - the most recent one isn't up there yet but I assume it will be soon... have a browse, there's some interesting stuff there!)

One of the images really stood out for me (and not just because I'm in it!) - a line of shussos! Each year, one of the senior monks or practitioners for the past five years has undertaken their shusso ango, a month-long retreat in the Lakes where they take on the role of head monk (shusso) which culminates in a dharma combat ceremony in Liverpool (see my posts from last August for reflections on my own). Here's a line-up of our shussos...

From back to front (and in the order in which we did our shusso angos) are John Suigen Kenworthy, Andy Tanzan Scott, Tony Shinro Doubleday, Alasdair Taisen Gordon-Finlayson, Keith Shingo Parr and in the front, all queued up to do the shusso ango in 2019, Karen Shoji Robbie. A wonderful sense of continuation and hopefully a mark of the sangha's robust health.

My undying gratitude to all those in the line-up, in front of and behind me, and to Keizan Sensei who has put so much energy into the sangha over the last couple of decades.

On a lighter note, I also loved this moment caught by Jenny Shoshin Best, during Keith's address at his shusso hossenshiki (head monk's dharma combat ceremony) this past August: