Dear Sangha Friends,
I hope this finds you well, perhaps enjoying the lushness brought on by this cool and wet Austin spring. The garden here at the back of AZC is teeming with life and color; it’s so striking after the days of the deep freeze this winter.
As this energy of spring moves outward to explore the world, and with the increase of vaccinations and decreasing (at least locally) new cases of the corona virus, there’s a tepid but growing sense for some us that perhaps we too can move out, and explore our world again.
Back in the fall I announced that I was going to Tassajara to do the Winter Practice Period as part of priest training with my teacher, Ryushin Paul Haller. Like so many things in our lives this past 16 months my plans were forced to change, and then change again, …. The practice period was delayed a few times, looked like it was going to finally happen in mid-March, and then officially canceled altogether due to safety concerns. The summer guest season at Tassajara was then also canceled. But slowly this spring the place has been opening up again. Just recently they have been accepting new residents, zen students wishing to do work practice, and there are now plans to go forward with the Fall 2021 Practice Period, beginning in mid-September! So I’m getting my hopes up again, and am again planning to move out to Tassajara for the Practice Period (and hopefully some of the work practice there later this summer, just prior).
I want to send my deep thanks to the many people who have supported my practice here generally, and particularly to who have already donated to help defray the costs of doing a Tassajara Practice Period. Your support and generosity has been deeply touching, thank you so much. This opportunity to study directly with my teacher in a place so seeped in the forms of monastic zen practice is so valuable and rare. I am very excited to begin again. And I hope to continue to share these experiences of practice in whatever way I can, warm heart to warm heart. Please let me know, now, or in the future if there is anything I can do to support your practice ([email protected] or [email protected]). It seems that only together can we turn this great dharma wheel and keep the teachings and practice of the ancestors and buddhas alive in this very place and time. May we all enjoy the fruits of the dharma!