Friday, August 20, 2010

First Anniversary of Boundless Way Temple

Last August, I wrote a little blog entry marking the anniversary of the day when we bought the building that is now Boundless Way Temple. Then I went off to Europe, and forgot about it until today. Time swiftly passes by. A year, a month, a moment -- can we appreciate what we have been given in this lifetime?

On August 19, 2009, we closed the real estate deal, and began a year of tremendous challenges and serendipity. Today, looking back, it all feels inevitable. There have been so many fortuitous occurrences: the revelation of the cherry tree, the arrival of the large Buddha, and many other discoveries and gifts. Supporting everything has been the energy and good will of all the folks who hammered and sawed, weeded and planted, swept and contributed to the Temple in truly countless ways. A dream became reality.

Our real estate agent left an anniversary gift at the back door on August 19 -- two beautiful knives, very sharp, and inscribed with her name and company. Swords of Manjusri, already dedicated to help in the kitchen to feed all of us hungry ghosts, and maybe to help us see more clearly, Perhaps this metaphor is already much too stretched out to bear meaning. But the knives cut through everything very well so far!

My teacher commented, on a visit to the Temple recently, that the huge Buddha seems to be getting smaller. Our minds get used to everything eventually, until the next major change, arrival or loss throws us back into confusion and wonder. What awaits us? Moment by moment as we live through the second year of Boundless Way Temple, Mugendo-ji -- all we can count on is to be surprised!

Monday, August 9, 2010

thinking of Robert Aitken Roshi

Last night we had a visit from John Tarrant Roshi, my teacher James Ford Roshi's teacher. John's primary teacher, Robert Aitken, pictured above, died on Friday. John told us some beautiful stories about Aitken Roshi, someone whose books and life have been an inspiration to me for many years. He sounded, from the stories, like a lovely and complicated human being. I found myself so grateful to be in this amazing Zen lineage. I don't know what exactly gets passed on in Zen transmission, but I like having Bob Aitken as my Dharma great-grandfather.