When I first encountered Zen practice I was cautiously curious about ango: three months of commitments in dharma study, starting and ending together, an enticing mystery. What would I accomplish? While I have learned to let go of many expectations, and to be realistic about my time commitments, I have never before felt so many butterflies of excitement and trepidation as I feel now with the responsibility of serving as chief disciple. With gratitude to Shugen Roshi for asking me and trusting that I can do this, and to all my teachers, seniors, fellow students and sangha, I am grateful, and truly hope I can fulfill this responsibility.
I am also appreciating that ango is something we create together. I feel happily supported by the ancestors who lived their 90-days of gathering together with the ebb and flow of daily liturgy, of monthly sesshin and fusatsu, not to mention the thousands of moments when we communicate, collaborate, and renew our energies together. Our teachers and ancestors had their challenges, and we have ours, and so we each do our part to meet them.