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I am reading the 10/8/3 date as 2003 rather than 2010 - I am not sure cassettes were still being used in 2010. It also makes it a Wednesday, which is more plausible.


My name is Kristina, now it's working, and my Dharma name, I have three Dharma names. The first two that were given to me on my Chukai in January 1998 by Norman and Mel are Choshin and Hoetsu. Choshin was translated as pure faith and Hoetsu as Dharma joy or rapture or ecstasy. On my priest ordination in January 1993, I was given another first name, Kiku, which was


translated as loom of emptiness, and Hoetsu remained. So for me, all three names are like operating energies in my life, and in different phases they surface or I take refuge in them, because I feel them necessary to help me or kind of invoke their energy into my life, invite it into my life. And on my Rakasu was written a part out of, or is written a part out of the first, the verse of the first case of the Book of Serenity, the breeze of reality can you see, continuously creation works her loom and shuttle, weaving the ancient


brocade, incorporating the forms of spring, but nothing can be done about Manjushri's leaking. So to give this talk tonight, I have been thinking of giving away, seeking mind talk, because for many people of you, you don't know me at all. Some of you do know me, more than some, a little bit, and everything in between. And I'm wondering how this will, this fabric will weave tonight, because I'm not interested in falling into telling stories that have been told in my mind or out loud thousands of times.


And I'm not quite sure how, how that will happen. But I actually see this situation here, like the loom with, which has, when there is a loom, you have a warp, which is, once you've set it, it's a given. So if each of you, I could see as one thread in the warp. And then there is some freedom in what gets woven into that given. So I'll see how my life at this moment weaves into all these threads, incorporating the spring of this moment in time. I came to live in this building three and a half weeks ago. I have never lived here. I've never spent a night in this building before.


I never sat in the zendo before I moved in. I visited the building a few times for events, mountain seat ceremonies, Suzuki Roshi memorials, or passing through early in the morning to catch a ride to Tosahara. And I very much like living here. I had no idea how it would be for me. I deeply appreciate the kindness and friendliness of the people, all of you, that I feel here, and the patience about allowing me to find my way.


Since ten days I'm in the position of Tanto, and it's all new and sometimes overwhelming and different than the other two places of Zen Center I've been. Many little details that are different, and the whole culture seems to be different. It's like a different weave. It's different environment, different people, different structures that influence the whole event that's happening here. And all I can bring to it is a readiness and willingness to be here and deal with and be with what's happening around me, in me, and with you all.


I was born 56 years ago. I gave a brief way-seeking mind talk at Green Gulch, and there I said I was born 65 years ago. And thinking about this talk, it always came back, and I made a point of not forgetting to say 56. And I heard it, I heard it, but I didn't really notice it. I heard that there was something a little interesting about the number that came out of my mouth, and it's sticking with me. So I don't know what that is, why something tells me I'm nine years older than I am on paper, but okay, so 56 years ago I was born in Switzerland, in Zurich, opposite a zoo, opposite the elephant pen of the zoo.


As a second child of a family that in the end were seven children, I have one older brother, four younger sisters, and one little brother. He's the biggest and tallest and heaviest of all of us, but he's the little brother. My parents are both still alive. My father is 87 years old, and my mother is 85 years old. And all my siblings are alive, and they have children. I have 20 nieces and nephews. They range from probably in the meantime 23 to 5 years old. My youngest sister lives in New Zealand with her husband and the two children, and all the others live in Switzerland. I live here. I'm the only one who does not have children.


Both my parents come from large families. My mother's family were nine children, of which eight are still alive, and my father's family were eight children. Two died early, and three died just recently in the last four years. So it was a very lively growing up with all these children, and when we get together, it's like everybody's speaking, everybody's having things to tell, and we meet quite often together. We were kind of a tribe. And I've been wondering often, I think it gives a certain amount of security, because there's such a big body of family that you have a certain amount of weight,


or just to be here is okay, and I think it's something that one is not aware of for a long time, and that's just a given. So, of course, moving to other countries and living there, I could start to see that more clearly than while I was in Switzerland. So I grew up in a little village outside of Zurich. We had a farm just beside our house. When I was 11, my parents built a house because it was hard to find a living space with, at that time, six children. And so we walked to school, or biked to school, came home over lunch, had lunch with my parents. My father came home from work, went back to school, played. And our vacation, we always spent in the mountains because my father liked hiking. On his honeymoon, he went with my mother skiing high up in the mountains. They had to sleep in bunk beds.


That was their idea of a honeymoon. At school, I was mostly not there, internally. We have an expression, I was sitting by the window, kind of looking out. The disadvantage was I was just good enough that I had enough short-term memory that I would pass the exams, but nothing would stick. So I actually never learned how to learn, which I still don't know how to do, which, of course, now will come to bear when I have to start giving talks. So it was hard for me to know what I wanted to do because there were so many things that interested me, and they were wildly diverse.


They went from becoming a horse trainer, to being a musician, to working with children, to being a farmer. For a long, long time, I was convinced I would only marry a farmer and have five boys, no girls. That lasted up until I was 18, about that idea. So I did train as a physical therapist. That seemed to bring a few things together. The other one was, of course, if I would have a beautiful voice, that was the only thing I knew, then I would only become one thing, and that would be a singer. But I didn't have that voice to do that, or a dancer.


I became a physical therapist, worked 13 years as a physical therapist, and working with people. The training was, oh, here is a knee, and the knee has a meniscus operation. At that time, there were no arthroscopies, and you treat that knee the first time. First day like this, the second day you're able to do this, after a week you're able to do this. And then you went to this knee, and of course there was a person attached to the knee, which made all the difference. In the first day, in the second day, in a weekday, we formed a little group to actually incorporate that we were treating a person that had an operation on their knee, or whatever it was. And how to actually be aware of that, and take that in to make that the primary concern.


Then I started to become interested in psychology, because I started to feel or get a sense of how much people's view of themselves and of the world was affecting how their healing process was happening. So I started studying psychology and psychotherapy, and worked for many years in a psychiatric clinic. And there, of course, it became obvious to me that the psychology model does not get close to the suffering that's there. It cannot actually really encompass it and help it.


But it's a reduced approach to human life. Helpful in certain areas, but not for people that really have very deep suffering. It was just like a hopeless situation. The diagnosis often were kind of just a little bit like death row sentences or something like that. So while I was studying psychology, I met Charlotte Selver in Switzerland. She was doing sensory awareness workshops, and I went to those. In 1984 I began, and one thing she offered on a regular basis were three months workshops at Green Gulch Farm.


In 1976, in a psychotherapy training, I met a woman that worked with Karl Fried Graf Durkheim in Germany, who had a place where they sat zazen. And she impressed me just by the way she was working, and I was curious, and I went there, and that was the first time I entered the zendo. And I sat down, and I felt like I'm home. And from then on I sat at the beginning more off than on, I mean periods of on and then off, longer periods of off, long periods of off, and then more on than off. And I sat with a group in Zurich that was a Rinzai group while I was studying psychology, and at some point I stopped sitting there because, like about in 86, I stopped.


Because I was preparing for my exams, and I was sitting all the time commuting between two cities to go to the classes, and I also felt like I wanted to actually go a step deeper, but I couldn't do that at that time. And start up with KUON training. They didn't start you up with KUON training before you've sat for about two years with them. I was married by then. I met my former husband while I was working in the psychiatry clinic, and we were married 11 years, and we're very good friends now. He's married again and has a daughter. So I, in 1988, I decided, I had finished with my exams, everything, and I wanted to pick up sitting again.


So the combination of sensory awareness, her workshop, three months' workshop, plus that it was offered at the Zen Center made me go so far, and I came for three months, and I stayed for a year. I extended my time always a little longer. Went to Tassajar for my first practice period. And that first practice period was a gift from my husband.


He had to bear with me. We separated our household before I left to go to this workshop, and then I called back and said, I want to stay longer, I want to stay longer. And when I talked about going to Tassajar, I had a conversation with Reb, who was leading the practice period by then, that time, at Tassajar. And he said, well, I said, I would have to borrow money to go. And he said, well, that's not a good idea. And then our conversation continued, and I said, well, I would have to borrow it from my former husband. And he said, well, you might consider asking him if he would give you the money as a gift. So I had to think whether I would be able to ask him that, and also if I would be able to accept it.


So one day I went to the phone and I said, you know, I would actually still want to stay longer for another three months, and on top of that I would like to ask you if you would give me this money as a gift. And through the phone came, I would be happy to do that. And to this day, it's a gift that for me is immeasurable. It's similar in the situation, I've never been to Tassajar by then, I've never seen the place, I just knew that's where I wanted to go. And at the end of Tassajar, Norman had his Dharma transmission in that practice period, and he'd been my main teacher throughout that year. So I'd asked him, but they didn't want him to ordain immediately after Dharma transmission, so Mel, who was leading that practice, no.


Oh, it was Mel who was leading the practice period. It was Mel, no? Right. But I had to talk to Rev to get permission. It was Mel leading the practice period, so Mel and Norman did it together. So Norman chose my name, but Mel performed the ceremony. So then I went back to Switzerland to clear up my situation and think about whether I wanted to come back for longer, and came back in 1990, did another workshop with Charlotte while I was at Green Gulch and was a foreign student. Became a foreign student and started working with Norman and with Rev on a regular basis, and got ordained by Rev in 1993, January. And just before the ordination, all through sewing, I went back to Switzerland, had all my friends and my family, and my parents put a stitch in my, a few stitches in my ukesa.


When I was told I could start sewing ukesa, it was like a joyful fright or a joyful shock, or it was like these two things, and I thought, there was this thought, I can't tell this to everybody but my father. And I, it was actually, I was in the dining room, someone came up to me and said, Rev's on the phone, and I got up, I didn't know what it was about, went to the phone, for some reason I bowed to the phone, picked up the receiver and said, this is Christina, and he said, well, I'm on my way to vacation and I just wanted to let you know you can start sewing your ukesa. And then I thought, I can tell this to everybody but my father, and I had a moment in that dining room, which I don't know how long it lasted, it was like I saw or felt the completeness of my relationship with my father, and it was like an image of an island in an ocean, and the island was my father, and I was in a boat.


And there was no place to land on this whole island, but it was completely still, there was no, I mean everything was there, the whole realm of feeling around it was there, but it was completely still, it wasn't anything, oh, I could try this, or if I do this, or why is it that way, nothing. It was like just, I don't know how long, but it was like no movement in there. And I walked out to the dining room out and then started sewing and suddenly I thought, I go, I need to go home and have my friends put in stitches and my family. And the thought came up out from nowhere, or maybe I even asked my father, which was a big surprise for me, that thought, and then I just let it be and thought, well, I see how it is at home.


So I went home and everybody put in stitches. I mean, I told my parents and one of my sister's in-laws said to my father, well now, shouldn't, you know, you could put in some stitches too, and he said, oh no, I felt like unless I have to for myself, I'm not going to bring it up again. I just wait and see what happens, and the day before I left, he said, I think I should probably put a few stitches in this, okay, so. And I said, well, yes, if you like to, I'd be very happy. My father is very, I was raised Catholic, and my father is a practicing, committed, dogmatic, conservative Catholic, which is, as far as I can tell, Catholicism in Switzerland is a little bit different than here in the States.


So it wasn't, but for him, for me to be in a Buddhist tradition took him a long time to be able to appreciate it. He always supported me, but so these stitches were the first, you know, that was really wonderful, so they're in here. So in 1998, I felt I need to go back to Switzerland. I just, I didn't know exactly why, but I just felt I had to go. So I returned and stayed five years there. Of these five years, I lived one and a half years at my parents' house with my parents, which, because I was very ill when I got back, after I got back.


And so I went and stayed at their house for one and a half years, and it was an amazing time. It was like, before I came to Zen Center, I never even spent one night at my parents' house if I didn't have to, and I never had to. So after I moved out, and over the years, I stayed longer and longer, and then I lived one and a half years in their house, and it was just wonderful because they age very gracefully. They, you can really, their practice really is working and helping them. So if I can age that way, I feel very fortunate. And my mother is almost blind, but you wouldn't be able to tell. She makes the most beautiful flower arrangements. She just sees the colors, and she walks around. She can't recognize people, but she goes shopping, and she cooks, and she goes like this to find out whether it's dirty or not someplace.


And she listens. She has started to listen to tapes a long time ago from the library. So it was hard to come back and leave them. I mean, I hadn't moved out. I didn't come straight from living with them here. I lived in another place for one and a half years of those five years. But it's hard to know that they're getting more frail and more frail and be here and not there, so we'll see what happens with that. I came back because I couldn't find a job that actually engaged me the way that I feel engaged when I'm here, and I felt I always was committed to complete my training with REP. And so he came to Switzerland in the fall, and I talked to him and considered whether I come back and complete my training in a concentrated way instead of going back and forth once or twice a year and trying to figure out something in between in Switzerland.


I had a little send-off. People came and sat with me slowly over time, a few people. I do have a commitment of two years here in this job. And I was asked, probably in May, whether I would consider taking this job, and I thought, well, I've never been here. I've never had a conversation with Paul. I knew who he was, but I've never been in the same place to practice. I should probably go and have conversations and find out how this is to be here and whether I want to do this. And then the weekend came, and I just realized there was a yes in me. It was just yes. And then I thought, well, why then go and talk? What would I talk about?


And Paul didn't feel like he needed to talk to me, at least I never heard he had to talk to me first before I was asked by Linda if I would consider this position, so I just said yes. And now here I am with all of you, and I understand what my main understanding of this work is, is to support you, to support each of you in your practice, in your life, in learning together how all the circumstances that come up are Dharma gates. And I would really ask you, please do speak to me, and do speak to me directly. And tell me if you have problems with me, tell me. Don't tell everybody else and not me. That's one of the big difficulties I find often.


And my commitment is to listen and to try to hear, I mean, to really hear what you're saying, and if you feel I haven't heard it, please say it again. And to be available for your concerns. And, you know, just before my ordination, just two days before, three days, I got completely alienated. I went to the Zen door at Green Gulch and I saw all the priests and I thought, they're such weird people. What do I have to do? I mean, each one of them, I mean, God, look at them, I mean, fussing with their cloths around and, you know, each one has, we have all our idiosyncrasies, you know, one is fussy, that is exactly, and it's so Japanese, and what do I have?


And I couldn't imagine, but also I was not able to go and tell anybody, and I thought, I'm going to stand there and say all these yeses, but I'm lying, but I also couldn't go and say I can't do this. And I had a horrible night, I mean, it was like, I was just going to openly lie, say vows and lie, but it was, I mean, I would know it, nobody else probably. And it was, it was the worst, and then we bust our head, I was ordained with Tia together and Pat Leonetti, and we, the evening before we had to bust our heads, it was a little shorter than now, I'm letting it go because I'm going to see my parents in December. And I'm not sure if I want to confront them with a bald head, I might, but I'm not sure.


And we had to go to a rehearsal, and Reb said we should bring little cards because we would have verses to say, to, you know, memorize. So I went there and I felt completely alienated and actually pretty freaked out. And the first verse we had to say was, memorized right then, was, freed from my ancient karma, freed from my worldly attachments, everything is changed. Freed from form and color, everything is changed except my deep desire to live in truth with all beings. And that just dissolved this whole event that was going on with me, because it was completely what I could say yes to.


And it's beyond denomination. The truth is not Buddhist, the truth is not Christian, the truth is not Islamic, the truth is not God knows what, it's just universal, and to that I can commit, and that's my vow. And so I really do want to live in truth with you, but you need to help me. It's not the truth that I figure out. So please do. May our intention equally penetrate every being and place.