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February 11, 2015

5

Rain Brings Deep Refreshment

by Shinchi Linda Galijan, Tassajara Director

The storms of the past few days brought over 5 inches of very welcome rain, bringing us to a total of over 17 inches so far this season, which is close to normal.  Tassajara Creek is running high and fast—and loud!—and Cabarga Creek, that runs under the little bridge, is booming.  Along the road are sparkling waterfalls amid the fresh mosses, ferns and bright spring grasses.  In front of the zendo, crocuses, narcissus, daffodils and iris are a source of deep delight.  Week by week, the days get visibly longer, and the play of light and shadows on the green mountains changes with the changing seasons.

As the seasons of nature turn, so do the ceremonial seasons.  Soon we will have the Parinirvana ceremony, which commemorates Shakyamuni Buddha’s passing into nirvana.  The Ino will read from his final teaching to his disciples, which includes, “Now, good followers of the way! You should always wholeheartedly seek the way of liberation. All things in the world, whether moving or non-moving, are characterized by disappearance and instability.  Be as lamps unto yourselves and pass on that light throughout the generations and to everyone in this world.”  It is a solemn ceremony of darkness and light, death and renewal, in which we are strongly encouraged to maintain this precious practice that has benefited beings throughout the world for 2500 years.

SFZC Tassajara by Shundo David Haye 2Even in the deep heart of practice period, with the mid-practice period skit night just days away, the senior staff is already turning toward thoughts of guest season.  As we plan for repairs and improvements, and make shopping lists of items to be replaced and refurbished, the excitement about the energy of the upcoming work period and the opening of guest season is inextricably bound up with the new growth and upwelling energy of nascent Spring.  We hope to see many of you this summer!

(video: Shinchi Linda Galijan, photo: Shundo David Haye)