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 began at Siskiyou House, at NE 84th and Siskiyou. It moved slowly from there to the first altar at the Outer Gate, at the entrance to the property, NE 85th and Siskiyou.
Kakumyo did three bows, offered incense, and intoned a Dharma phrase at each altar he came to. The procession and followers witnessed.
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.
As the procession continued, more people joined and followed it.
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.
The procession then moved on clockwise around the end of the Sodo toward the Founders Shrine, where Kakumyo again offered bows, incense, and a Dharma Phrase.
Those following the procession then went back into the Sodo, as the procession continued around clockwise and through the garden, entering the Sodo through the Tenzo entrance.