These were my passports to attending my first in-house shuso ceremony in two years. I just happily browsed through my archive, and found I didn’t write about the 2019 ones at all – though here is a link to my post on last year’s Zoom special.
Roger’s ceremony was a small gathering by conventional standards, with a limited number of people invited and it went by quicker than most, but it was none the less complete for that. I felt honoured to be there at all, and enjoyed sitting, masked, among the former shusos, dharma siblings and colleagues for so many years, even if I didn’t recognise many on the east side of the assembly, who have been attending the practice period or the sesshin. Roger fielded all the questions with aplomb, and I found myself nodding along a few times when I thought he had captured the essence of the issue perfectly. There were many references to his generosity and sense of joy; I invoked the photograph I posted here (whenever I re-read the Ino’s Blog now, I am always amazed at how busy I was, and I know that hasn’t changed for the current ino.).
There was a bit of a wait for dinner, which allowed me to catch up with Nancy and Myles, a great treat. Dinner itself was wonderful, and I was in good company. A couple of other former shusos and I, one still resident, one a visiting teacher to many sanghas, shared our thoughts about the Suzuki Roshi archive and Zen Center, which was a conversation I was glad to be able to have in person with dharma peers again.
After several weeks of bountiful warmth, the weather turned on Friday, and now resembles a more seasonally appropriate chill (which in the Bay Area means that it has dropped below 50 degrees). I had most of my winter layers on for my Sunday ride, and where I wanted to take pictures of the views from the ridges, there was only fog.