Now, as the change of season approaches, as we bow deeply to Black Oak Farm for hosting one last glorious Jukai sesshin, and as the woods on Emmajean open to welcome the new Temple we embrace the impermanence and perfection of all things. After a summer of intense activity for the Sangha, what better time to slow down and enter the “peaceful dwelling” that is Ango.
When Rinsen Roshi and Do’on Osho asked me to serve as Chief Disciple for Fall Ango, I felt both profound gratitude and a surge of anxiety. It’s been a year of pushing past the limits of what is comfortable for me, especially as my practice has manifested in the world. Throughout all of this, I have relied on the support and training I have received from my teachers. I know I can rely on that again in this role and on the patience and kindness of this wonderful Sangha. I look forward to practicing deeply with you all as together we undertake the only thing asked of us in this life: to offer all that we truly are.
At the Jukai ceremony we witnessed the courageous vow of this year’s initiates to live by the bodhisattva precepts - the moral and ethical code contained in the second of the paramitas or perfections. During Fall Ango, we undertake to encounter all ten paramitas: the entire code of behavior for bodhisattvas as they walk the path of awakening in this suffering world. How do we engage and manifest these transformational practices that are innate to us all and that connect us all? How do we manifest who we really are? How fortunate we are to have the Buddha’s own guide on how to do this in this life, in these relationships, with these feet on this ground.
May our words, thoughts, and deeds fully express our tender and good hearts and may our efforts this ango alleviate the suffering of all beings.
PS: Ango Opening is Sunday September 1st. Our Ango text will be Buddha Is as Buddha Does: The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living by Lama Surya Das. You can learn more about the book and practice opportunities on our Ango website.