This morning I sent an email to the Northampton Quakers to tell them that we'll be moving in April to a new venue, and to send my thanks and the thanks of the group for all they have done to support us and so many other small community groups in Northampton town.
We met for the first time at the Quaker House on Monday 4 July 2011 - the day after the first post on this blog! - almost 11 years and 9 months ago. It seems like a lifetime ago! I remember how nervous I was that first evening that no-one would come, but also determined that even if no-one came I'd continue to sit there and maintain the space all on my own for as long as I could afford it.
It turns out, I needn't have worried! I don't remember exactly, but there were at least three or four other people that evening, and while we've never exactly drawn the crowds, we've maintained a steady group over the whole period. We've practised together nearly every single week ever since that first meeting, with only occasional breaks for retreats, the odd summer or winter break (not often!) and of course the pandemic.
So many people have been through the doors - many finding out straight away that Zen wasn't for them! - and to each and every one of you, no matter how many times you came, I want to pass on my gratitude for the energy, curiosity and friendship that has been put into this enterprise.
The work of sitting together to express our true natures continues! We are sitting from now on in a different venue, and one that in many ways fits our physical needs better than the Emmeline Davis room at the Quaker House, but our time with the Quakers will always be part of the history of this group and of the wider StoneWater Zen sangha.
We end our time with one final sit and service this Wednesday at the usual time in the usual place, and you're all invited to join us. We'll express our gratitude to those who have made this possible, the Quakers and their community, by "dedicating the merits" of this service to them.
From April, we meet on Mondays at 7.30 at the Warrior Quest Dojo at 6 Fish Street, and a new chapter begins.
With a deep bow!
|The Emmeline Davis room set |
up for Zazen in January 2012