Recently our Sangha were happy to welcome Shundo David Haye, Ino at SFZC to lead a week-end (non-residential) retreat held at our local Natural Health Centre. Both days brought in about fifteen people.
Shundo David Haye, originally from England, is an ordained priest and has been living at San Francisco Zen Centre for some twelve years including several years of practice periods at Tassajara.
Together, we took turns in reading from Dogen Tenzokyokun (Instructions to the cook) and reflected on how words written for the monastic community in Japan almost 800 years ago, are still relevant for us as we live our lives today. Shundo explained how Dogen’s Tenzokyokun had come alive for him during his time as Tenzo (Head Cook) at SFZC, as his team often read from it prior to working in the kitchen. Of particular importance was Dogen’s exhortation to waste not even a single grain of rice in the preparation of food for the community and of focusing wholeheartedly on the task at hand.
During the week-end, Shundo gave time to adjusting our postures if and when appropriate, as well as leading lunch time service and the chanting of the Heart Sutra.
For those who wanted, Shundo suggested a brief time out to watch the procession of the Olympic torch through the town centre, no doubt the first and maybe the last such occurrence in the history of Zen Practice.
We thank Shundo for his brief but deeply meaningful visit as we continue to practice together as a community and hope someday (maybe next spring) he might be free to visit again.
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