See more articles, reviews, fiction and poetry, including more of my writings, at group blog PLUTO'S REALM.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Nashville Zen Center Jukkai Ceremony

I monitor the hits on this site through a free tool called Google Analytics, and I notice that a lot of people have been looking at my last post. It's quite possible that a lot of those hits are from people who are associated with the Nashville Buddhist Festival, and they quite probably consider themselves slammed by that post. That's unfortunate, because those are all really well-meaning people, and you certainly could do worse that to practice with any of the groups associated with the NBF. Perhaps I need to learn the lesson implied by the name my teacher Taiun Michael Elliston gave to my friend Ana at her initiation Saturday, Annin, which means something like "patient forbearance."

But you know, when something is important, it deserves to be done right. Which is what we did Saturday. I do indeed feel that the Nashville Zen Center was reborn Saturday, and was reincarnated in the way that it needed to go. If you missed the previous post, go read it; what I said we'd do, we did.

There were lots of great things about our half-day sit, followed by our Jukkai ceremony. Probably the best thing was the way I feel about this group of people. We were supported by some of our other members who either haven't chosen to go the initiation route, or had been initiated otherwise; and best of all, by some of the "old" Nashville Zen Center members whom I hadn't seen since schisms hit us right after I started there. Lisa and Patsy, from One Dharma, a group that splintered from the old NZC in 2005, and now has dwarfed us in size; Bill, the founder of the NZC, from 1982! And Jeff was there, and a host of others; a picture below includes a lot of these people, without whom we would not be who we are now. We are immensely grateful for their support.

And thanks to our families and friends. From my point of view, thanks to Stephanie, and to Ana's mother and sister, and all the other friends and relatives who really didn't know what was happening but knew there was a good thing there.

This blog entry has no rhetorical point. I just wanted to share with you my good feeling, and the conviction that something right has happened. And my thanks to everyone involved. And to invite you to join us. Because words can't describe the benefits of what I'm talking about. And I'm failing miserably at trying, so I'll just let you look at these great pics from Nat's wife Kathy. You can see them all here, by the way. More later.

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