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Sesshin - spring training period - inspiration

April 16, 2011 by Guest Author

Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Sesshin - spring training period - inspiration

We're over half way with our sesshin. Right now we are with 27 participants and 1 more to come. This means a nicely filled Buddha hall. I always like it to have a good size of group to practice with.

Right now everyone is doing Samu, work practice. Quite a group is working on the rock wall at Roshi's house; of course there is a kitchen crew to help Jonen with cooking; the cleaning crew is busy as usual and Yugen and Graham are in the office.

Jonen was so kind to take over cooking  this week and this means that I have time for other projects. Right now I'm in the sewing room with Anita Harmon. Anita is cutting fabric to make zafu's and zabutans while I'm writing this post.

We're not only half way sesshin but also half way the 3 month spring training period. Time really swiftly passes  by.  Being the head trainee is a very humbling experience.  I continue to feel moved by it as I was right from the opening ceremony.  I don’t exactly know why.  It just feels as a big thing.

Roshi told me taking this position would be a transition.  And sure enough I feel totally unsettled since after the first sesshin. One thing that’s still very vivid is what came up during my first service as an officiant,  I felt so moved mainly by feeling too small for the job.

This morning after the memorial service for the founders of Yokoji Zen Mountain Center in the Buddha hall, when I was asked to go up to the memorial sites and the well, to offer incense.  I felt the tears coming up again. What is it that this practice is about?  What is so big?

Working on the Koan also adds to being touched and tearful. It feel totally identified with the old master and suddenly sense a strong connection to the lineage. It’s a mix of deep gratitude,  realizing how much I don’t know and how much I still have to learn. And it’s so motivating! I so want to learn, it’s a total joy at the same time.

I think this is what they call inspiring. It’s great!

We still have a bit more than a month to go.  Join in!  Let’s share our inspiration.  I would love to practice with you!


  • Tulie Smith:

    28 Apr 2011 08:58:37

    keep going Jishin; your heartfelt words are inspiring to me; often where ever we stand seems too big a task ( for me its being a busy mother of two young children), then the fear of letting people down creeps in alongside this sense of Trust and the Light given by those Masters who walked the same path, with the same fears, and the same gratitude;
    tears well for you, walking a step for all of us.
    thankyou and best wishes.

    love from,
    Tulie M Smith ( uk student)

  • Doetsu:

    02 May 2011 18:18:37

    I love practicing with you too, Jishin. I have learned a lot from you while chopping vegetables. ;^)

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