“So many of you expressed your love for and remembrances of Mitsu Suzuki upon hearing of her death on January 9, 2016 that I wanted to tell you about the beautiful ceremonies that were held for her in Japan, which I attended,” writes Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts.
On New Year’s Day 2016, the big bell began ringing at 7:45 am at City Center to signal the start of the New Year’s Day ceremony – a relatively late start for us, but many of us had been up past midnight sitting zazen and ringing in the New Year with the traditional 108 bells.
We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Suzuki Roshi’s widow, Mitsu ‘Okusan’ Suzuki, early Saturday January 9, 2015. The three temples rang the densho 108 times that morning, and each temple held a memorial service to honor her passing and express gratitude for her teachings and her presence in San Francisco Zen Center.
This year the abbatial leaders focused on the power of fire in their year-end message, encouraging us to be careful with fire in order to promote its benefits and mitigate harmful effects. On New Year’s Eve, our tradition at both City Center and Green Gulch includes a bonfire, which is tended carefully after midnight.
The fall 2015 practice period at Tassajara saw Djinn Gallagher running the wake-up bell at 3:45 every morning as shuso (head monk). The Shuso Ceremony (also called Hossenshiki, which translates as “dharma combat”) on December 18 was the culmination of her three months of monastic training, and launches her into the next stage of her practice as a teacher.
Enjoy these gentle Zen moments from our daily life at SFZC, from zazen to beekeeping to organic farming, accompanied by such delightful soundtracks as Rev. Tova Green performing Bach on her cello, students chanting as they prepare to eat a formal oryoki meal, and Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata. (Each snippet ends with a brief credits sequence, so stay tuned.)
Please consider making a year-end donation to support our community practice.