Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hail Stones and the Sangha Gem

This morning, it was gray and chilly.

By 11:30, half an hour before practice, it was raining and I figured that no one was likely to show up. My Sunday regulars come by foot and in inclement weather it would not be a surprise if they stayed home.

At 11:45, the hail started coming down. I was in the garage, getting the place ready for practice all the same. The hail stones hitting the tin roof made a roaring sound. Nah, they wouldn't come; I'd be practicing alone today, for sure.

Wrong. Just as I lit up the altar, here came John. The hail had let up but the rain was still coming down. We rolled down the garage door to give the space heater a chance at warming us up. A few minutes into our chanting, Howard showed up, rolled up the door, came right in and grabbed a chanting book.

With the door down, the only light in the place was from oil lamps and a single bulb -- we were almost chanting by candle light.

It was a little chilly, perhaps, but no worse than Diamond Hill Zen Monastery when the furnace goes out. We did our practice, and then went into the house for ginger tea.

It was kind of moving that these guys came out. They both sit on their own every day, so it's not as if they needed to come here to practice zazen. But they came out, despite the bad weather -- for me.

That's sangha.

[Photo: the garage that is the home of Deming Zen Group.]


Kelly said...

Brave souls to set out anywhere on foot in the hail!

Nathan said...

you guys have taken the garage band to a whole new level :)

Hal Johnson said...

I like it.

KC said...

Cool! (Well, maybe closer to cold, but... )