ZMM Roundup—Fall Ango 2019

· Sangha News, Zen Training

Catching up with rites of passage happening during fall ango’s 90 days of practice: Jukai for six students, novice ordination, and the Shuso Hossen for senior student Yosha Scott-Childress.

First, Jukai. In early November Shugen Roshi officiated a ceremony at the Monastery in which six students received the sixteen Buddhist precepts.  As part of the ceremony Roshi offers teachings on the moral and ethical teachings of Zen Buddhism, and the particular challenges we face in living with, and through, these vows. Listen to the recording HERE.

The six new jukai students, from left to right, are Julia Jiryu (“Compassionate Dragon”) Krupa, Christopher Seiju (“Authentic Pearl”) Varga, Mika Mukyo (“Dream Mirror”) Shirota, Shugen Arnold, Roshi, Jennifer Seiren (“Beloved Peace”) Sanford, Christine Ansei (“Peaceful Vow”) Nelson, and Jacqueline Tenyu (“Heavenly Courage”) Ferretti.

Next was the Novice Ordination ceremony for two residential monastics, Suzanne Taikyo Gilman and Hokyu JL Aronson. Known formally as “tokudo samu,” this provisional ordination ceremony marks a time when students begin working with the monastic vows for full ordination at a future date.

Shugen Roshi officiates novice ordination in the Mountains and Rivers Order.
Roshi takes a lock of hair for safekeeping during the tokudo ceremony.
Hokyu receiving monastic robes.
From left to right, monastics Kien Martin, Rakusan Ricci, Gokan Bonebakker, Taikyo Gilman, Shugen Roshi, Hokyu Aronson, Hojin Kimmel Sensei, Yukon Grody and Shoan Ankele.

You can find an audio recording of the ordination ceremony HERE.

Ango’s activity peaked in November at the end of the Shuso Hossen Sesshin. The pouring rain did not dampen the spirits of the Shuso and all participants who energized the morning, starting with a procession from the Monastery to the Abbacy.

Theresa Braine sounding one of the six hans in the forest path to the abbacy.
The seniors meet with the abbot for bows and ceremonial fans before processing through the woods back to the Monastery.
Umbrellas and aluminum foil protecting the incense in haku box, the bells, the shuso’s talk and participants assembly in the rain before heading back to the Monastery.
Yosha presenting her talk on the koan, her first as a senior student.
Offering the talk to Shugen Roshi and the sangha.
At the beginning of the dharma encounter with the sangha, Yosha holds up the sheppei.
Shinji Hoffman, serving as Benji, offers Yosha the first question in dharma encounter.
Nolan, a yearlong resident, offering a question at his first shuso hossen ceremony.
Yosha spirited, attentive and joyful as she responded to sangha questions.
Shugen Roshi listening to the talk and the encounter before offering his own congratulatory poem, along with several other sangha members.

Photos by Ian Joren Falcon and Joel Sansho Benton

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