Picture from May 2009 sesshinSome of us are back again from 7 or 5 days of pain in the legs and tiredness... coming and going! If eyes were open, one could see people sat in deep concentration, faces twisted or calm, crying or smiling! Ok, yes sometimes wriggling or snoring too .. But as always, we were all laughing and hugging at the end. Hearts were lighter, warmer and clearer. Joseph Binensztok and John Wagner from Blairstown group had their first sesshin ever.......and don't you notice a victorious smile on their faces, specially Joe in his blue T-shirt in the center! Incidentally, Joe sat right next two Joes - Joseph Smalley and Joseph Schneider. So it was Joe after Joe after Joe sitting in sesshin together - 31 Joes in all!!
One highlight of the sesshin this time was that we made our own version of daikon (big radish) pickle. It didn't have the sugar and artificial colors and flavors of daikon bought from asian stores. Some people just loved it but some didn't! :( it did wash our bowls very well! Here's the recipe -- boil the daikon in salted water such that it is still crisp and crunchy and store it in water containing lime and salt. Longer the storage time, more the acetic acid pickled flavor in the daikon!
And was it just me or there were just tons of little creatures crawling on everyone's hands and legs after kinhin? Every now and then, I would feel the tickle and pricks and a tiny dot sized red, black and yellow beings would show up or I'd need to Mu them out!
During early teishoes, Kurt talked about a book on Pali canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi -- most moving of them was the description of how when a monk inquires about the role of the sangha and friendship and companionship of awake people in following the path, Buddha said," This company is not half the path , but the entire path". Alex and Gary were a team keeping the zendo and dining hall running smoothly. Imtiaz and Karen were sorely missed after 5 days because people kept forgetting to switch the rice cookers on at the right times. Sandy made excellent dessert and at the end of sesshin, John Wieczorik silently washed the dessert bowls in the kitchen when everyone was busy hugging and chatting!
As always, please add to this your experience of the sesshin whenever you like! Add comments or add text to the post!