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July 9, 2019

Thank You from Kannon Do

To Greg Fain and the residents at Tassajara, and the organizers of the guest practice program, Steve, Siobhan, and Minoria,

On behalf of Kannon Do, I offer deepest gratitude for your incredible hospitality, kindness, and practice of the Way. Everyone who came to visit from our sangha was deeply moved by our experience at Tassajara. Thank you for making us feel at home with you.

I began to miss Tassajara before we even left the parking lot. The gush of the river, the sound of the han, the bare feet of monks walking the engawa by orange lamp light, the stars that dazzled like diamonds above the steam of the bath house, the bell that is so large I had to lift the stick with both hands to strike it, it’s deep resonance reverberating through my body, and the audacious frog that kept ribbeting through every zazen. I appreciated the thoughtfulness that was put into every meal, the precision of each ceremony, the patience and encouragement with which Shindo and the work leaders instructed us in our practice, and the poetry and wisdom of Naomi and Paul.

Tassajara seems like a magical place, free from the troubles of the world. It seems like a paradise, where every stone, every tablecloth, every flower, is deeply loved and cared for. Where every human being is safe, honored and cherished. Where there is no need for locks on doors, for computers, for police cars and ambulances. Tassajara is a place where everyone can be themselves.

But I know that Tassajara does not operate by magic. It’s not a fairy tale, a dream, or a place exempt from the laws of physics, weeds, dust, struggle, and the challenges of human life. The magical feeling of Tassajara is generated by the sincere effort and dedicated practice of its residents. It is the people of Tassajara more than anything else that make it a special place. It is rare to find a location on this Earth with so many deeply caring and aware human beings, all working together for the greater good. Please extend our gratitude to every resident at Tassajara. Let them know that we will continue to water the seeds of kindness that they have planted in our hearts. We will do our best to grow these feelings of connection and peace that we have shared together to serve as a lighthouse in the busy cities of Silicon Valley.

We hope to visit you again next year, and please stop by to visit if you ever pass through Mountain View.

With deepest gratitude,

Bonnie and your dharma cousins at Kannon Do

Kannon Do Zen Meditation Center
1972 Rock Street
Mountain View, CA 94043
https://kannondo.org