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Become that Open Blue Sky...
Harada Roshi

Tahoma Samu Sesshin Impressions

Birds swooping. trilling thrilling arias, flying and hunting. Raindrops dripping drip drip drip as the zendo sits in silence. Wind followed by sun followed by a full moon. Rain shadows and sunlight and newly bursting spring flowers coming to life on maturing bushes in the seventeen year old garden. We co-created the first Samu May Sesshin at Tahoma with joy and enthusiasm. For the first time in 24 years Roshi came in the month of May to bring even more support to this place of practice. Roshi was delighted to finally see the May flowers blooming, purple and white lilacs and bright pink and purple rhododendrons. People gathered from all over the country and even abroad for this marvelous opportunity.  Sixteen people were new to Tahoma! Four people had never sat Osesshin! Together we became one body moving together, each person working and contributing to the whole. Samu Sesshin was supported by the energy of all who participated. Inspired by Roshi's admonition that concentration in activity is worth 10,000 times that of concentration in stillness, we had three hours of samu in the morning, quiet focused work, followed by a later lunch than usual and an afternoon teisho where Roshi taught us deeply on koans such as Nansen's Cat and Gutei's One Finger. The kitchen hummed along as people experienced the truly adaptive and malleable practice of tenzo. Baby birds and baby rabbits peered at us busy humans. On day seven we had a jukai ceremony where ZenNe and MyoIkku received names, and many were able to hear the lay ordination precepts. Despite some health issues, 48 people were able to come together and practice clear mind in one place. Thank you to Chi san and Roshi for joining us here for the time of birds and flowers. 


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