Barbara Stevens Strauss created a beautiful white vase and donated it to BZC in memory of Nancy McClellan, and Andrea Thach donated a special black Japanese vase. These vessels will be used and loved.
There were a number of mistakes in the BZC directory this year. We are preparing an erratum that we mail out to our Yahoo groups in a few weeks. If you would like to have one sent to you by regular mail, please contact the office manager at (510) 845-2403 or email@example.com.
If you stay for breakfast on Saturday morning it is expected that you will stay for the following work period (samu).
Morning moon gives birth to a shadow
Robe chant reveals a rakusu-berét
Moon sets, sun rises and the bell ends this movie
—Ross Estes Blum
Weaving our lives
We’re working from the underside
as tapestry makers do.
We’re looking at the wispy bits of yarn
and the knots. It looks so messy.
Only toward the end of life
can we turn it over, see the whole.
Then we say—
“Oh yes, there is a pattern here.”
— Meghan Collins
So tell me, Daisy, destroyer of tennis balls and pine cones,
Those big brown black-lab eyes,
Does a dog have Buddha-nature?
What about your new friend, Lola?
She reeks of strong puppy-nature, that’s for sure!
Sunday, I moved the zafu to the garden shed.
Bare wood, a pile of boards for an altar.
Tonight the rain drums on the roof,
Dribbles from shingles to puddles on the path,
Transports me across time and space to the attic
Of the big old house on Dwight.
No roosters here, nor fire trucks,
Only Daisy snuffling through the bushes.
She steps into the light from the candle,
Her big, blunt snout hovers over the altar
Next to the incense. Without a sound
She sets in place an old wet pine cone.
— Bud Bliss. Bud writes from Oregon: “Some readers may remember sounds from sitting in the attic zendo on Dwight. We buried Daisy with this poem from 1999 a couple of years ago. “
Dawn. I stepped onto the deck. I lay back and exposed myself to the sun rising in warm, soft air. I had just climbed from the cold stream, preceded by the hot, mineral spring. A prize, dawn, still and priceless, scent of manzanita wafting over me. I would meditate, burrow into the sublimity, my heart showing.
All at once, a terrific rumble. From overhead, racing down the hillside, a boulder, careening, down, down. Before I knew it, it crashed five inches from my head, splintering into segments, one of which landed on the bench behind me, the other vaulting across the redwood span. I lay pinioned by the sudden silence, and then peered at the rock-sized stone hooked into the plank as if by a claw. Dark-brown, coppery with bronze flecks, this slab, five inches from my ear, my temple, my skin.
Slowly, I pulled myself up. Around the deck, the trees still stood. The railing still held, and, as I inched back, I saw the moist oblong where I had lain. Beside it, the yellow striped towel, still folded. There, I thought, just there. I bent and pulled out the stone from the wood and lay it on my palm. Warm it felt and smelled burnt, as if it had flown through fire on its run to the ground. Of course it told me none of that. Nor its name, purpose, or plan.
I turned it over. over. Who sent you I wanted to say, but kept the silence the speeding missile whistled to, turning me witness rather than victim.
“So, this is how it is then,” I said, “this.”
Every day, I study this messenger, its blank presence impelling me to wake.
—Lois Silverstein, Tassajara, 2000
You may have already noticed that we have a new Saturday work leader. Ed Herzog has stepped into this role and is now responsible for leading us during our Saturday work period. We offer many thanks to Bruce Coughran for filling this position for almost two years. His quiet steady presence on Saturday mornings helped us all pay attention as we worked together to care for our temple.
There are a few openings in Jake and Leslie’s dharma group. We meet in the zendo about once a month on a Saturday, 12:30-2:30pm. Our time together includes zazen, a short check-in, and reading and discussing a text. We are currently reading Not Always So. Our intention is to relate our Zen teachings to our everyday lives through our discussion of these texts. Please contact Jake or Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining this group.
Unfortunately the 2015 directory has some errors in it. We are planning to send out an errata sometime soon. If you have not already done so, please check your entry and email any changes you want made to email@example.com by April 15. You can also call the office with changes at 510.845.2403.