Sensei Tony, Director of Blue Mountain Lotus Society
Shuso Chris in Mountain Seat
Shuso Mitzi in Mountain Seat
Shuso Brooke in Mountain Seat
Hanamatsuri, and my ordination as Shuso in the Order of the Dragonfly, has come and gone.
The weather, rain, bright sun, high winds, calm, dramatic clouds and vast blue sky, was a perfect indication of my emotional state. Simultaneously agitated and deeply calm, laughing and crying, talkative and silent; my emotions ran the gamut.
To all of you who have supported me in the past 3 years, my deepest gratitude. None of it could have been possible without you.
And now I have the opportunity to discover what it means to be Shuso, a Buddhist Priest, in contemporary America.
At one time, I thought it might be an oxymoron; how does one remain a connected, vibrant, useful member of a community, while living by the Dharma and the Bodhisattva Vow?
But in the past year I have learned that there is no separation here, no dualism. In fact, it is the truth of my vows that allows me to better serve my community, whether that be my marriage and family, my place of employment, my neighborhood or my Sangha. These are the immediate communities of my life, and as Shuso, I want to enter each place with awareness of the Four Abidings: Loving-kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity. I hope to face each experience with my Bodhisattva vow at heart. The vow provides direction in every moment, not as a law I must obey, not as an abstract concept, but as a living action of compassion and wisdom, as Bodhichitta.
When I practice the Dharma, I am the Dharma. No difference.
When I practice Bodhichitta, I am Bodhichitta. No difference.
Dharma Jodo Questions for Shuso Brooke
1. Can you compose a Haiku for today?
2. How do you know when you are on the right path to happiness?
3. What is the Dharma?
I could give you my answers, but they are inconsequential. It was enough to get on and off the Zafu/Zabuton without falling over!
Namu Amida Butsu!
Photos by David Bowers