This is a repost, but when I was looking for words I had written about Blanche for my Patreon post, I came across this post and wanted to offer it again. I know I am basically expressing the same thing again, but it was one of my most valuable lessons from living in community:
‘When I first met Suzuki Roshi, I thought, “I want to be like him!” The best teacher for you is someone who inspires you by the wisdom and compassion you see in the teacher as she or he goes about daily life and interacts with the people around her or him.’ (Seeds for a Boundless Life)
I think I have mentioned before that one of the things that made me feel comfortable in my first few months at Zen Center, when I was living a new and unfamiliar life in a new country, was that I could look at the teachers and see heart-warming examples of how I wanted to live and grow old. Blanche was perhaps foremost among those, especially in terms of how she went about her daily life, which as I have always maintained, taught me as much as anything she said from the dharma seat – the miraculous activity talked about the other day.
This is not the first time I have used this picture, but it illustrates the point perfectly. On the morning of the 2012 Mountain Seat ceremony, Blanche busied herself cleaning the main hallway, just because it needed doing, and she was there to do it.