Looking toward this Fall 2019 Ango, I feel the excitement and trepidation of a child starting a new school year, eager to learn, and fearful that I will fall short. I gain courage knowing we will be learning together as a sangha, and walking with the green teeming mountain into yellow, orange and brown, before going quiet.
When Shugen Roshi asked me to serve as Chief Disciple, I felt intimidated and humbled taking on this role. Like starting other service positions, I sense it will be awkward, challenging, and with the help of sangha, deeply rewarding. Hojin Sensei once said, as she was training a group of us to be servers, “this is a place where we learn to fail gracefully.” The graceful part, for me, is what we create together as we each do our best to practice sincerely, and hold our own shortcomings and those of others lightly.
May we study and embody each facet of the Noble Eightfold Path during this ango in order to transform our own suffering and the suffering around us. With Right Intention, let us clarify our aspirations for the ango, and strive ardently to be of benefit in this troubled world. We manifest Right Effort by showing up for each other in the wee hours of the day whether at home or in the zendo, and make this difficult and rewarding practice possible by doing it together and leading others by our own example. May we sip from the honey cup of our peaceful dwelling over the next 90 days, creating a Buddha-verse of kindness and clarity.
Katie Yosha Scott-Childress, began practicing with the MRO in 2005, became a student of Daido Roshi in 2007, and received the precepts in 2014. Living near Mt. Tremper, she has been able to participate in the life of the Monastery in different ways over the years, first bringing her two children to the Zen Kids program, and currently serving as a NBPS practice adviser. She works as a public library director, and has a creative urge that sometimes takes form in cooking or making clay pots.