Good Morning Everyone,
The winds blew fiercely across the construction site of the new Federal Building in downtown Las Cruces, spraying us with sand as we sat for our peace vigil on Church Street. At the very beginning of the sit, Rev. Bussho sat in front of me and I offered her the vows of a Zen priest in our Order. I had to do the ceremony from memory and without incense or candle. She repeated them flawlessly. We recited the Wisdom Heart sutra, the verse of repentance, and I dabbed her head with water using a pine bough she had picked for the purpose. We then recited the Three Refuges, the Three Pure Precepts, and the Ten Grave Precepts. With a crack of the kyosaku on her shoulders, it was done. I offered Rev. Bussho my kyosaku, given to me by my teacher, and presented her with a rakusu in the new emerald green color of our order. Rev. Bussho is the first priest ordained in our new Order of Clear Mind Zen.
Afterwards we sat in zazen holding small signs for peace and Earth Witness. Then along came Abbey, the teen granddaughter of one of our vigil participants. She was excited to see a woman Zen priest sitting there and asked a number of questions. It was good to see them talk, yet the wind was relentless. After an hour we left and had some pie and tea in celebration at the Village Inn.
A good day.
Rev. Dr. So Daiho Hilbert-roshi
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