The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Grey robe, Part Two

Another opportunity to wear my new grey robe!
The Liturgy at the end of our Saturday retreat usually has a different feel to it than the bigger Liturgical events such as Sagaki or Satori.
We've all spent the day together, focusing, taking notes and attempting to absorb Sensei's Dharma lessons. The afternoon session, usually a dramatic opportunity to put the newest practices into action, is always full of revelation, accompanied by plenty of laughter and good natured ribbing. Many times I've realized, this is a great way to communicate the Dharma because it works on so many levels of receptivity!
So the late afternoon Liturgy after retreat seems like a family blessing to me.
Yesterday's Liturgy was no different.
Excitedly, I found my robe in the closet and went to get ready with the Senior Priests. Yet another chance to wear my awesome new robe!
I managed to get it part way on, then got completely stuck in all the fabric.
Seemed like there was a lot more to it than I had remembered. Hmmmm, it was really tough to get on.
Noticing my struggles, Sensei held on to one end as I slipped my arm into a vast sleeve. These sleeves really are big! I pulled the robe around me and started searching for the waist ties in a sea of grey fabric. I was engulfed. Fabric pooled on the carpet around me and the sleeves came down to my knees.
I felt like a child playing dress-up, and suddenly I flashed on those times I had savored going through my parent's closets, trying everything on!
But I was trying to robe for a Liturgy, and I needed to get a bit more serious.
Everyone looked at me and started laughing, a little grey mouse in an enormous grey skin.
Someone pointed out the obvious, that I was wearing someone elses robe. Not only someone else's robe, but the tallest among us, a dear, sweet Senior Priest who towers a full foot over me.
He looked down at me and said, "Hey, wear it if you want.!"
See what I mean by sweet? Thanks T!
Some day, I'll wear MY robe properly, from beginning to end. Until then, I expect "The Grey Robe, Part Whatever" may be in foreseeable the future.

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