Issue 17;

Sangha Update


By Francis Checkley Anryu Chiu

As days lengthen and the long months of winter darkness fade into memory, I am moved when thinking of the constancy and commitment of those who make the long and sometimes arduous trek from the comfort of their homes to come and sit in silence with us. We remain a group of at most 10 people, some of whom because of age, family obligations, work or ill health cannot be present every week but remain dedicated to their practice.
Gradually more of us are being trained to assume the various roles needed to conduct ceremonies. After months or sometimes years of sitting together, one by one people have come forward and taken the place of someone who for some reason could not attend. I am amazed and openly confess my admiration for one person's devotion to practice that sees him cycle perhaps 10miles round journey to
be with us. Our once monthly group sharing seems to have evolved. We still bring various foods to share and listen to each others news offerings but more recently we now have a topic of discussion which is lead by one of us. So far we have looked at the first 2 of the 6 Paramitas namely Generosity and Patience.
Recently, Lucy Ellis who had been at the Fall Practice Period at Green Gulch, came to visit for 6 days and assumed the "Kokyo" role for our Tuesday night meditation. She also helped considerably in helping us lay a new flooring in our kitchen. Many thanks Lucy! David Hayes, currently Ino (Head of Zendo) at SFZC and a long time priest while on his annual visit to the UK, has kindly agreed to come up from Cornwall where his parents reside, to lead a weekend retreat (non residential) on the 19-20th of May at the Totnes Natural Health Center between 10:00 & 18:00 both days. David intends to talk about Dogens "Tenzokyokun - Instructions to the Head cook" and hopefully will be available for individual practice discussions for those interested. Once again, my wholehearted thanks to everyone who continues to support and contribute in whatever way to Dancing Mountains Zen Sangha.

Deep bows

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