On Saturday November 30, five sangha members took discipleship precepts, stepping up their commitment to practice and to the Dharma Rain sangha. Debra Gant and Suzanne Ragsdale became disciples of Gyokuko Carlson, with Deb receiving the name Keido Ryotan (Bright Hall, Noble Abyss), and Suzanne receiving the name Keido Shushin (Bright Hall, Jewel Heart). Linda Bebernes and Francois Raynal became disciples of Kyogen Carlson, with Linda receiving the name Keido Hoka (Bright Hall, Elegant Dharma), and Francois receiving the name Keido Shokei (Bright Hall, Reverent Poem). Todd Sattersten became a disciple of Sallie Jiko Tisdale, receiving the name Koho T’suho (Solitary Peak, to thoroughly know the direction to go). Our congratulations and deep appreciation to each of them for taking this step.
This year’s Rohatsu Sesshin, commemorating the Buddha’s Enlightenment on December 8, was the last we will do in our beautiful Zendo as we will begin our move to the new campus in June. Kyogen and Gyokuko shared the leadership of the retreat, alternating Dharma Talks on Dogen’s fascicle “Bussho,” or “Buddha Nature.” It was a semi-open sesshin, with people joining zazen in the early morning and evening, with Dharma Talks in the evening. About 40 people participated, with numbers in the 30s for the evening practice. Anthony Fujaku Stevens did a great job as Shuso, keeping us on schedule. Kakumyo Lowe-Charde was Tenzo, the retreat cook, and had tasty meals ready for serving in the Zendo, oryoki style, right on time. It was a wonderful retreat, and we thank everyone who helped make it run so smoothly.