Mountain Seat Ceremony

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After intermission; at tape turn: Linda: Knock, knock - Darlene: Who's there? - Linda (quickly): Darlene. [laughter]


Mountain Seat Ceremony (2000)

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the beginning
restoring the is






throw ins etc
no i offer first

this linen role of eleven panels
each panel made of too long and one short piece comes down to me from one unbroken thread of traditional sewing of buddhist robe
i'm so grateful to reverent may a winder who with kindness and skilled hands so disrobe with the help of many many people including abbyson k blanche hartman
i also think reverend gail and godwin who coordinated the sewing of the bowing cloth at tassajara
this generous gift of the saga is received with great appreciation
i take refuge in the three treasures and vowed to wear this robe with the mind and body of it's sacred meaning

guy he is i e a ah a pool
so no food good day a movie or
the pto know the source
no and i am the
hello lost over day he the
yo ho yo soul silver like slow ray romano deliberation
zero out for many retailers were the
the target does details say the all locations

i am very pleased to be here and to offer my support for linda ruse as she embarks upon this new stage in her journey and as zen center continues to grow in wisdom
herman in shared responsibility both for those who are the current advices and those abbott's and advices that came before and will come after
i applaud send centres vision in this matter to have the power and responsibility of leadership successively shared among its senior students
i am happy to be here as part of the larger sanga community to participate in this historic moment and process
the position of abbess is one of being in the center of the mandola in this case at zen center we have two overlapping man dollars and now to be to advices at the center
in taking her place as abbess len ruth cuts moves into a central holding position in them and dollar in many ways also by its very nature the position of spiritual and community leader is beyond gender
or in the very nature of the dharmic higher
within the manifest realm it is very fitting to have women moving into this role because it is the very nature of the feminine to hold nurture and lovingly contain other beams this is the age old role
of the mother this is a position in which students and colleagues will look to linda to manifests compassion and wisdom
it is linda russo job to provide a sane gentle yet firm ground for the mandola of students and colleagues
the manifestation of a dharma mandola is also the shared responsibility of all those involved and in the larger picture we are all held by the mother emptiness the prussian of parameter
linda roof style very much reflects the feminine way of being she feels a profound sense of connection to all the beans of this particular mandola as well as to beans everywhere not in a personal sense
but in the sense of a bodhisattva who cares deeply about those around her as well as those far away
lenders style is less that of a visionary and more like that of the buddha tara whose activity is to respond quickly to whatever is needed in the situation a moment to moment compassionate response
to whatever is arising
in america we have had the joy of different song as participating and working together on various projects
for many of the women from whatever tradition they practice in the buddha tara has been particularly meaningful and important tara serves as a role model she was a human woman who attained full enlightenment she serves
as an inspiration of the embodiment on a some boga high a level of the six parameters
and perhaps most importantly her blessing and transmission of the awakened feminine has been healing and transforming for many of us both men and women but most particularly for the women
in the west who have not off and had mothers or female teachers to show the way of the spiritually liberated feminine
so now on behalf of linda ruth i would like to invoke tara's blessing and transmission
have awakened mind
i invoke tara in the sky above us to come be here with her wisdom presence to appear actually here with us and his streamed down her blessings of amrita of purification
ocean of transcendent non dual awareness stream down into lynn ruth to bless
and to transmit to her all that is needed in the coming time i heard
on toddy to today today is so high

linda rose
and behalf
on behalf of the staff
the real bond and the sanga i have the honor to ah speak at this time in a few moments you will ascend very few steps and yet an enormous height
and we staff the reopen the sanga will stay close
hopefully we'll learn when it's too close and when it's not close enough that will be part of the wonderful adventure
i'm very excited and look forward to the next times together and i wish in fact that i would be here longer to do the specific of being in this role with you in that role but since i won't i will then get the opportunity to join the sanga at large
and watch you and what i know will be a blossoming present center and i assume a blossoming for yourself thank you very very much for taking on this enormous wrong

my dear friend
i think you first lead me more than twenty five years ago when you drove the blazer over the dark and snowy tassajara road to my first practice period at tassajara and years and deborah madison's heads were shining and the front
seat from your first ordination that very night
since then use guided zen center many many times sometimes in the front seat sometimes in the backseat
it seems to me that all the time you've used them
your practice to find your very special kindness and clarity
and something i call integrity but i experience as i don't think i've ever heard you carelessly say something negative about someone
and you're a rather quirky creativity
i'm still when i think of this mountain i have some vivid images of psyche came to her mountain waiting for she knows not what to
may you meet love
and may you teach it to us
in this ceremony oh we carefully open the spice tree beds
although it's not at all necessary it's our way of participating in letting your spring teaching spread over the branches of the world thank you so much for being willing to do this with us and please let us know how we can help you

it's unusual for me to speak at this occasion but as you know i invited my children to be here to offer a supporting statement
she regrets deeply that she could not come and she asked me to read this to
reveal your inner thoughts
approach what you find repulsive
help those you do not want to help
anything you are attached to
let it go
go to places that scare you

if you do not grasp with your mind
you will find a fresh state of being
this was the advice given to the tibetan yogini magic love drama
and it has so inspired me throughout the years that i pass it on to you
the gift of dharma on this auspicious occasion
eh maar whoa how amazing that today you take your seat and further dedicate your life to alleviating the suffering of this world
with respect and love to lender ruth cuts from her dharmas sister pam children


although this mountain has been climbed many times before there are no tracks no traces
i hear it gets stormy up there
and there's often an alpenglow
owls return
pure white mountain lions show me the way to this jewel flower throne

i offer this incense to shakyamuni buddha source teacher to bodhi dharma transmitting the mind seal to a hey target zingy eight hundred years of thundering practice realization
and to our body surface by her surface
may your presence and compassion be with us now and this joyful day
may the fruit of the whole practice be dedicated to peace in the world
may all beings in the ten directions live in harmony with themselves and with each other
may we care for one another with big joyful motherly fatherly mind watching over the plants and animals and are beautiful earth
may this offering for peace and fold the universe leaving nothing untouched

this incense has offered to all the ancestors known and unknown in this whole precept vein lineage continuing this teaching through the ages to our compassionate founder show cushion or de
day or show and entrusted to each and every one of our former evans
did you hear my poem to suzuki roshi upstairs was there
i gratefully acknowledge and thank former abbot zen tatsu oh you richard baker my ordination teacher who first gave me the precepts
i thank senior dharma teacher search and bell weitzman whose love of practice reaches everywhere
and to senior dharma teacher xo katsu norman fischer
who's wild and graceful spirit will never cease from tikkun olam repair of the world
and to abbyson can blanche hartman
who inspires me
thoroughly with her whole hearted practice
this bloodline flows unceasingly

i offer this incense to all the sangha members and their families in the ten directions
to all the supporters and donors have these practice places
without whose generosity we will be unable to continue
to the deceased practitioners and benefactors of these temples and of the world your contributions are beyond measure
turning the dharma wheel and turning the material will together we realize buddhist way

this incense is for my route teacher tensions enki day or show for reb
red heart
overflowing with dharma devotion
from the very beginning you taught me to just be myself and sit upright
under the mississippi one blood jewel
only non attachment is worthy of offering

hobby like a jew

dragons and elephants let us bring forth the dharma please bring me your questions


might have compassion
practice is one of deep friendliness
we can feel one another's bodies smiling
one body
one smile
one song a treasure
how can the spread far and why
off you go to do that very thing
fine wide
and it's right there if you take it with you
molto molto bene
the arctic grandson

great congratulations
if another route for people over the over my pointed toward your mouth

light of compassion
with what mind to your sin in the mountains feet
with the mind of great gratitude
no regrets
your light shines beautifully this would very much up to me thank you you are big help to me

great congratulations

light of compassion
conventionally we think of friends have someone go to go to the movies with
someone to go shop for licks lipstick with
drink and tell our problems too
what is a friend in this practice
a friend is telling the truth

and not running away
sometimes friends are silly with each other to
would you share a knock knock joke with me
how do i have to start it
yeah i do
the perhaps it's so
the only darlene is here
but also you my good friend or here

graduation rate reservation

light of compassion
tell me what is buddha's heart
night sky steadied with stars
going on forever
and what of the fear of jumping in
that to put his heart
nothing outside going on forever and ever
thank you
great congratulate

light of compassion
in zen mind beginner's mind this azuki roshi use the phrase the most important thing
many times
for many things
what do you think to live a life of freedom to follow the light of compassion
what is the most important thing
the real mind of san
we've heard it before
how do you do doesn't don't do it
thank you
cut down that them
great congratulations

light her compassion
dogan energy asks us on are there any who are not beginners
here in the heart a whole shinji i ask
will the light of compassion
reveal the beginning of beginner's mind

great congratulations


this statement is called taiko backbone
the backbone strong and flexible
how come it is so difficult to say it
i trust doesn't
the wisdom of the whole body
the such lists of mind and objects
everything that arises is buddha dharma it is not some kind of mistake
it is not some kind of mistake
precept show us the way to go home to the source
as suzuki sensei oxen once said all of buddhism is just taking care of people

with bowed head i wish to thank my dharma uncle ho it so you hukou suzuki roshi who'd traveled from faraway japan to help us today by proclaiming and sealing the teaching
i am grateful to you for for your unwavering support of me and zen center through the years
your gifts are countless
thank you for being a good and true teacher and friend may health and happiness embrace you and your family

i came to practice at zen center and never looked back
a stone woman learning to dance
my understanding is not thorough or deep
and yet i have great confidence in our practice
through the support of my teachers and dharma brothers and sisters i am here
with love and devotion i honor and fake my husband steve life dharma companion
two oxen yoked together plodding along in the mud
especially at green gulch today
and our children sarah and davey
who's teaching never ends
and i think my son jonathan how happy i am that he could be here today
i walked slowly
slowly along
with no grand vision
wondrous dharma abounds
i wish to give everything with nothing held back body exposed to the golden wind

here's an old story
originally old master dish on was lecturing monk expounding the diamond sutra
he was well versed in the commentaries and no other lecturer could match him
one day here he heard that in the south there was a supreme dharma teaching mind itself is buddha at this dish on became angry beyond endurance and crossed rivers and mountains on foot carrying his sutras and
straight to the south
to see about this
on the way he stopped for a rest
an old woman came along and she to stop for arrest by the side of the road dish i asked what kind of person are you
the old woman said i'm an old woman who sells rice cakes
duchenne said well you sell some rice cakes to me
the old woman said why does the master wish to buy rice cakes to schon said i would like to buy rice cakes to refresh my mind
the old woman said what is that great load you're carrying duchenne said have you not heard i am shoe king of the diamond sutra i have mastered the diamond sutra there's no part of it that i do not understand this load i am now carrying his commentaries on the diamond sutra
the old woman said i have a question for you if you can answer it i'll give you some rice cakes to refresh your mind and if you can't will have to go somewhere else to buy just ask said dijon
the old woman said
i have heard it said in the diamond sutra that past mine cannot be grasped present mind cannot be grasped and future mind cannot be grasped which mind do you know intend to refresh somehow with rice cakes
there's tion was speechless
later on old buddha dog and zingy guy show said about the matter mind cannot be grasped means cheerfully buying a painted rice cake and munching it up in one bite in one mouthful
if i had been there and the old woman had asked me about this i would say the mind of compassion unhindered

over half my life lived within the sound of the hon
struggles there are many
priest or lay householder what do you see
practice spun chrysalis of form an emptiness
now i fly completely supported completely released
still myriad specs of pollen all over my wings my effort just this meeting directly each spring flower please help me


i want to thank everyone for coming to the ceremony today
to coming out in this rainy stormy day and some of you travel from very far away thank you very very much
i wanted to thank my sister and her significant other bill for coming very happy or here and there's where there's other people who weren't able to make it my mother my other sister catherine fan is wasn't able to make it due to ill health and and others so i i remember
them oxon also
ah the city centre really needs to be congratulated for taking care of these two beautiful ceremonies yesterday and today and doing such a wonderful job
so carefully done with valet parking and everything
and i wanted to take a ribbed for being a wonderful master of ceremonies and helping everyone ah
enter the ceremony and
express the ceremony

thank you all very very much

i have some words from stephanie cousin the night goes into your mouth that i've been asked to read and horizontal basically works like this is this better
from stephanie to you dear linda
big day this weekend i've been thinking of you all week really ever since the z c calendar arrived
i imagine you in your beautiful robes stepping publicly into your new role full spirit alert presence radiant with generosity
i know you know this role is more than an honor
it will be hard work and plenty of it hardship at times
it is a sobering challenge
many will help you help make your leadership possible
many from the wider community you cannot see
or even know of
especially on this occasion i want to stand with you along with all the women students and ancestors who have come before you
this work you take on is a very big gift from all of us present today
may we keep the gifts flowing in return as we walked together into this next millennium
we cannot know what will be asked of all of us
please feel my own heart of gratitude touching yours
always stephanie cousin

linda i haven't my hand a copy of a letter from brother david stand or rust he writes
dear linda all good wishes to you and to all of zen center on this important day of your mountain seed ceremony mountain seat ceremony it has a ring of awe but i think i can hear a tongue in cheek chuckle of whoever coined that term
isn't the abbot expected to be teacher physician shepherd stewart and loving parent to the community what a mountain of responsibilities any one of these roles would keep you hopping if anyone lacks time for sitting on a throne it's an abbott
and the mountain is likely to be on your shoulders not under your seat
and yet linda
i trust that your wisdom as a teacher your compassion as a physician you're carrying as a shepherd your trust worthiness as a steward and your affection as a parent to the community will all spring from you're sitting from as a mountain for this i pray with bruh
elderly affection and with a deep bow david

jacob age and
homage to the perfection of wisdom to love the the holy may all beings be happy healthy and free from suffering
the perfection of wisdom gives light unstained the entire world cannot stay in her she is the source of light and from every one in the triple world she removes darkness most excellent are her words she rings light so that all fair
and distress may be forsaken and disperses the gloom and darkness of delusion she herself is an oregon of vision for she has a clear knowledge of the own being of all dharmas and she does not stray away from it the perfection of wisdom
i'm a venerable chico age and sets in motion the wheel of dharma
i offer this verse and praise and congratulations great congratulations
rejoicing that you take the mountain seat whether it's above or below are all around
this verse be fits you
expresses your name your heart and your way
a source of compassionate light an organ of clear vision returning again and again to fulfill
the path of practice realization
now like a dragon sporting in the water like a tiger at home in the forest
may you not conceal your light or your true nature
but let it shine most luminous the for the benefit of all beings thank you very much

congrats division
ah i have been living in this building since june last year ah though i don't have much occasion to practice with this summer i have been quietly watching how people are practicing and
through my observation i delhi feel that that sees or wonders terima suzuki was brought from japan has been really ah growing and ah ah
much right or sweet foods i'm really impressed about this and i hope ah summer has been is will continue to grow and bear ah that's sweet fruit of dharma and
i'm really sorry about the nope you or that to japan
through my office
ah rover shop made a mistake and if they send you a black robe you could help look black road this you or kind of things happens
but please try us again
i'd like to work together with our people in this sanga ah to
it up fast seat of ghana my father interests me thank you very much and congratulations

i wanted to read you a poem called wild geese by mary oliver
you do not have to be good you do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting you only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves tell me about despair yours and i will tell you mine meanwhile the world goes on
meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes over the prairies and deep rivers meanwhile the wild geese high in the clean blew air are heading home again whoever you are no matter how lonely the world offers itself to your imagination
calls to you like the wild geese harsh and exciting over and over announcing your place in the family of things
i wanted to read this poem mostly for the first two lines about not having to be good and not having to walk on your knees because i feel like you have all the things that you need to have in order to be the abbess you don't have to do anything superhuman are beyond your capacities
your compassion and your courage or all that you need to fulfill that i also wanted to tell a little story really a little one just about that time that we are going to see the movie the star wars movie me and you and davey and our car broke down on the corte madera grade and we are in the middle of the road with all the
cars rushing out us and it was just an ordeal finally we got over to the side and were walking to to a phone and a police car pulled up asking up us if we needed help and a we told her what was going on and not only did the policewoman let us leave our car on the side of the road during the movie and not
to pick it up till afterwards but she actually gave us a ride to the movie and we had there on time and i felt like this story kind of illustrates
it seems like these kind of things are always happening to you
but because of the of the clean and clear way that you live in the world and i think that in being abbess you will continue to give to the world and the world will continue to give to you congratulations i love you

light of compassion
linda sweet heart

how we've been through a lot together
from the first time we met characteristically you've remembered it in great detail
how you came to the door in the fall of nineteen seventy one
that door right there
i was on duty as a desk person for the evening and opened it for you

never having met before in our lives you later told me that the thought that went through your mind at that moment was i could marry that guy
and going through our practice years together at tassajara

how get through this
and in the city and that green gulch
and going through the anguish
back of the richard baker upheaval
and through re finding the son who had
been lost to you
whose absence was a whole
in your soul

and through the deeply amazing gift of our two children
i first thought to say some of this on december twenty first in nineteen ninety eight a little over a year ago
you had just completed giving lay ordination to a group of people
when you came home like a true super monk
you quickly removed your brown okay so and robes and through on your sweats
to take dave
to the emergency room
for the problem that he was having at that time

through our years together your devotion and constancy
shine forth
constancy comes from a latin root
that means to stand firm
and in zen mind beginner's mind suzuki roshi says constancy is only
the unchanging ability to accept things as they are
constancy is our way of continuous practice

you always stand firm
you're always there
this quality a main of your own cultivation in the dharma and an endless resource
in our life together is a beneficence gift you bring to your work as leader of this sanga
and devotion
devotion is defined as ardent heart affection and dedication and comes from a latin root that means to vow
you have lived your life by vow
you live your life
an ardent affection and dedication to buddha dharma and to those around you
this is thorough going practice
true like ice like fire
i'm with you all the way

the great earth
rejoices at your ascending the mountain seat