Posts Tagged ‘Sangha’

Summer Doings and Comings and Goings

Dear Sweetwater Members,

I hope that everyone’s summer went well. For those of us in San Diego, I’m sure that it is hard to believe with this week’s heat that summer is coming to an end and fall is just around the corner. Nonetheless, here we are at Labor Day weekend.

As many of you know, we had a very active summer here at Sweetwater. The season started with shukke tokudo, or priest ordination, for Richard Kozan Cummings in May. That was quickly followed by the start of Ango (90 days of intensive practice) that culminated with a Hossen (Head Trainee ceremony) for Robert (Bobby) Chowa Werner in July and another Hossen for Kozan in early August. As of this week, we have returned to our normal interim schedule. (For current daily schedule, click here Daily Schedule)

In all of this hustle and bustle, we have had the pleasure of welcoming 2 new members to the Sweetwater Zen Center Membership, Gerre and Jill!!  I will let them introduce themselves below. We have included pictures so that you can say “Hi” when you see them around SWZC or around town.

“I’m Jill, an ex-hippie retired craftsperson living in south San Diego with my husband Bill and dog Abby.  I’m old (73) and I’m new (to Zen).  If I haven’t met you, please say hello when you see me — the one with curly gray hair.”

“My name is Gerre, and I feel very blessed to have found such a spiritual gem as Sweetwater Zen Center. My life began with my Irish parents in England and then later in Vancouver, Canada. I seem drawn to the south as first I moved to Washington State with my husband and now San Diego, and for the future we are looking at Ecuador or the Baja for a possible winter home. My life is very much caught up with my 14 year old daughter who is a gift beyond words for me. We adopted her from China when she was only 8 months old and I have loved every part of our life together so far. I thank all of you for creating such a loving and accepting space here at the center and I look forward to my journey with all of you.”

In addition to welcoming these new members, we also had some people say goodbye. Rosaleen Etsudo McCormick is taking some time away from SWZC to explore other spiritual paths that may be able to support her in ways she was having difficulty finding in Zen practice.  We wish her well on her journey!

As well as these comings and goings, some congratulations are in order.  Tina Jitsujo Gauthier completed her PhD in Religious Studies and Kristen Saranam Gorenflo completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling at the end of this last school year. Also, Zendo Aarau, which is run by Sensei Sara Kokyo Wilde in Switzerland, successfully settled into a new location.

I look forward to seeing many of you soon and continuing to enjoy the wonderful community and practice energy that we have here at Sweetwater Zen Center!

Ryan Ando Lennon

Steward of the Membership Circle