Ascending the Mountain Ceremony
On February 7, 2016, Kakumyo Lowe-Charde was installed as Co-Abbot Pro Tem. This begins his kessei term, where he serves as co-abbot, training his own shuso, for a period of 11 months, when he will be tested.
More than 80 people witnessed at least some part of this ceremony, many participating in it in various ways, on a glorious sunny day.
The procession moved on to the Main Gate, at the entrance to the Sodo. In the procession were Genko Rainwater, Precentor; Sallie Jiko Tisdale, Godo, also representing the Dharma Council; Mark Sosetsu Stauffer, Tanto; Valerie Kaishin Kelly, representing the Board of Directors; Joe Shisei Niski, representing the Elders Council; Jyoshin Clay, Assistant Kanin; Diana Shin’yu Vitells, Tenzo; Nicole Ko’in Newsom, Shuso, also representing the Mandala Council; Kakumyo Lowe-Charde, incoming Co-Abbot Pro Tem and Kanin; Katherine Kichizo Still, Jisha; and Anthony Fujaku Stevens, Jikko.
At the Main Gate, the entrance to the courtyard outside the Sodo, Kakumyo again offered bows, incense, and a Dharma Phrase. Some of his disciples formed a ryoban, as again members of the procession and those following and witnessing looked on. Some people also came out of the Sodo and watched from the Engawa.
Inside the zendo, everyone joined Kakumyo for the three bows, he offered incense and a Dharma Phrase, and we all chanted the Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra. His six disciples then served formal tea to everyone assembled. After statements by both Gyokuko and Kakumyo, we adjourned to the dining room for tea and refreshments and congratulations.