There is a ‘precious heart-to-heart connection sangha members experience’.
Gillian Coote, Roshi recently reminded us at the AGM:
‘In this time of increasingly virtual relationships, the importance of face-to-face communication in handing on the live coal of the Dharma, as Robert Aitken Roshi did, is ever-greater. Turning up for sangha events maintains these connections, not turning up erodes them. Sangha – one of the Three Treasures – is the embodiment of the Buddha’s Way, bringing forth kindness – compassion, wisdom – and care – in abundance. Thich Nhat Hanh even hypothesised that the coming Buddha, Maitreya, will be Sangha.’
This was borne out at the recent Family Weekend, when SZC members and their families, as well as almost all of the residents along the Gorricks Run road came to Kodoji for a neighbourly gathering. We got to know each other better, had a fabulous picnic and a friendly game of cricket. When we first started building at Gorricks Run in the 1980s we often brought our families along and had games with our neighbours. The SZC Board decided that it was time we did it again.
On Saturday, our members Nick and Sean brought their partners, Jo and Yumi and their kids. We had a wonderful afternoon and evening meal together. The kids loved playing in the field, picking flowers for the table, and riding their scooters on the verandah.
Heath, Fleur, Curtis, Chiyo and Sachi particularly enjoyed toasting marshmallows in the new fireplace.
All of our neighbours were interested in finding out about our Zen practice, so Sue and Brendon gave them a tour of the place and explained what we do at Kodoji. Many of them were interested in coming along to sit, so we may have an introductory day of practice for our neighbours in the new year. We enjoyed sharing the Dharma and having it organically spread into the Valley.
As always, we had an abundance of delicious food to share, made by our members and brought by the Valley people. The bush flies were also abundant after the recent rain, so we rigged up a fly net from the hojo.
A family weekend isn’t complete without games, so after lunch when the clouds came over and it was cooler to be in the paddock, young and old took to the freshly mown pitch for a game of cricket. Nick spent Saturday afternoon mowing the whole property to make it look and feel loved. He even mowed ‘S Z C’ into the long grass!
Nick, Jo and kids Heath and Fleur, and Sean, Yumi and kids Curtis, Chiyo and Sachi along with Jill Ball, Janet, Jason, Lily, Allan, Sue & Barry, Glenys, Helen and friend Naseer, Jill Steverson, Brendon & Kerry
Bronwyn & Jim, Dave, Patrick, Carol, Radha, Sarah, Pat & Lily (Living Heritage), Sahaj (Mogo Creek via St Albans)