June 25, 2015
PHOTOS: From Dawna Leigh
Post Seijiki Ceremony 2013

Post Seijiki Ceremony 2013


Blanche Turns 85

Blanche Turns 85


Post Jukai 2013


  1. Larry Bye

    “When I first started to attend Saturday mornings at CC in the early 1980’s one of the faces that stood out was that of a very striking looking older female monk. She stood out in part because she was older, perhaps in her fifties against a field of twenty and thirty year-olds. But what I remember most was that I thought she looked very fierce. Many years later, I heard Blanche give a dharma talk in which she acknowledged with some humor her awareness that some found her fierce. As I had more exposure to Blanche I began to appreciate all her many wonderful qualities as a teacher and the idea of her fierceness receded.

    Several years ago a group of us, including Blanche, went to Japan to visit the temple of Kensho Miyamae and a number of important temples in our Soto Zen lineage including Rinso-in. When traveling on planes and trains she wore the traditional clothing of a Zen nun. It must have surprised many to see a western woman in such clothing. At each temple we visited Blanche would lead us in paying respects at the altars, bowing and offering incense. Everywhere we went she was received with great respect, even reverence, by our Japanese hosts. Despite all these formalities, however, Blanche was the first to stay up late to share stories or start a sing-a-long as we drove in the car. She was just another member of the group.

    The last few days I have been thinking about my first impressions of Blanche. What is fierceness anyway? I looked up the definition. One is to “”show heartfelt and powerful intensity.”” So, you are fierce, Blanche. Thank you Zenkei for your many years of fierce practice! You have been a continuing inspiration to me and countless others. There are no words to fully express our gratitude and love.”

  2. Koshin Kelly Casey

    I love this. It reminds me of the monk who woke up and giggled everyday because he got to feed his fellow monks. Blanche, you are totally that monk. The water with which I wash my bowls tastes like the ambrosia you fed all of us. / Kelly

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