Dharma Combat Spring 2014
June 04, 2014 by Yugen
Congratulations to Susan Yushin Tipton who finished her period as the head trainee with the traditional dharma combat ceremony. The ceremony was held on May 18th, on the last day of both the May 7-day sesshin and consequently, the last day of the Spring Training Period. Yushin chose the koan Ummon's "Sounds and Shapes" to present. After a powerful talk, Yushin responded to questions from the assembly in dharma combat.
It had been 18 months since we last performed a dharma combat ceremony. The Fall Training Period last year didn't go ahead due to the fire and flooding and last spring, three resident students took it in turns to lead for a month each, so there was no ceremony to end the period. Even though all the residents and trainees were feeling a little rusty due to the time elapsed since the last dharma combat, it was one of the best ceremonies in years. There are lots of parts and lots of things to potentially be forgotten or messed up, but everyone involved did a good job, especially Yushin.