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January 27, 2016


How Blanche is Doing, by Abbot Ed Sattizahn

Dear Sangha,

I’d like to share a brief update on Blanche. She is still living at AgeSong, after deciding not to relocate to another assisted living community in San Francisco. She has become comfortable with the surroundings at AgeSong, as well as with their staff. She recently had a lovely holiday visit from out-of-town family from the east coast. Blanche was excited to see her granddaughter Rebecca and her family, as well as her other granddaughter Mariana, and her daughter Trudy. Mariana and Trudy live locally. They all went to the park at Fell and Octavia. Trudy says the kids call it ‘Up High’.



Here is Blanche (lower left) with her granddaughter Rebecca (above) and Rebecca’s daughter Jean Louise (“up high” above her mom) and Rebecca’s son William Isadore (Willy Izzy ) on the rope ladder in front of his Aunt Trudy (Blanche’s daughter) and next to his cousin, Trudy’s  daughter Mariana. Great family photo!

Blanche sends her wishes for everyone to have a happy and healthy New Year.


Rinso Ed Sattizahn

Abiding Abbot

City Center

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Daya Goldschlag
    Jan 27 2016

    Thanks for the update on Blanche and for the wonderful family photo. Good to see those folk, Daya

  2. Judy Lennon
    Jan 27 2016

    In the early 1970’s Blanche helped me sew my rakusu. She was so patient and kind to someone who was all thumbs. I’ll always remember her with such fondness and gratitude.

  3. Grace Meyer
    Jan 29 2016

    I showed up at Zen Center one day over a decade ago when I’d read an article Blanche wrote about ‘Unsui’ or ‘cloud water’. Floating from place to place and morphing to suit had become a habit in my life and her words hit the mark. That day she took me into the small kitchen and explained the best way to eat cornbread – warm from the oven, with butter and honey. And just two years ago, at first sight, she welcomed my new husband with the same warm buttery Love (not the bread, just the feeling). I’m so glad to see that she is receiving that Love as well.

  4. Wendy S. King
    Jan 30 2016

    Dear Blanche,

    Sending you so much love. Very grateful for your guidance when I was a young woman and heartbroken with a lost love. When I was 26, and lost my love from Japan, I visited Trudy, where you did a Kisa Gotami on me and broadened my understanding of the heartbreak of others to pull me into the pool of human love, sorrow, and understanding. Thank you. I am 68 now and always think of you with love. Softness and easiness, warmth and laughter to you now. My lost love is now a world-famous earthquake design engineer and helped me get safe building plans to Nepal last year, where several monasteries need to rebuild and many houses in Solu Khumbu, the Mt. Everest area, have been badly destroyed. None of these contacts would have occurred had we stayed together. In God’s hands, all turns out for the best and love lasts forever.

  5. Lynn Hennelly
    Jan 30 2016

    Thanks so much for posting that picture!! Amazing how much Trudy looks like Blanche, ‘back in the day’… feel like I’m seeing Blanche now, with her younger self standing next to her!! What a lovely family she has – nice to see the young’uns!

  6. Beverly Morris Armstrong
    Feb 4 2016

    Thank you so much for the update. So good to see Trudy (hi, Trudy!) and the children. Dear Blanche, I recently found the photos, misplaced for so many years, of our trip up to Trail Ridge Road when you were in Colorado. Will send them soon. I think of all of you so often. Sending you and your family love.

  7. Elizabeth Sawyer
    Feb 8 2016

    Once when when I was sewing with Blanche (in her 80’s) she was crawling on the sewing table on all fours measuring and marking fabric….

    When I first laid eyes on her I thought she looked so stern (in 1970). As I practiced with her in later years at SFZC, I found her to be soft and available and grandmotherly in the best sense….

    She has stood for inclusion and kindness and “practice forever”. Thank you all so much for treating her with the respect she deserves. Inspiring me as I age and try to practice forever.

  8. Feb 11 2016

    Thank you for the update. When I was a baby Zen practitioner, Blanche’s talk at Minnesota Zen Center (while Katagiri Roshi lay dying upstairs) broke open my heart.


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