The weekend of October 17-19, the Bodhi Manda hosted a Caretaking Weekend, co-sponsored by the Albuquerque Zen Center. The event was well attended with 20 participants.
The October weekend Samu (work practice) event at the beautiful Bodhi Manda Zen Center was an experience that left participants uplifted and recharged in the spirit of giving. Coming together as a Sangha (mindful community) to offer the age old practices of service, Zazen (meditation) and chanting together was an incredible treat. Says one visitor, “What a joy to work together, share meditation, meals and nature! If felt like family vacation!”
The joint venture was hosted by the Bodhi Manda and the Albuquerque Zen Centers. Hosen, Director of the Bodhi, welcomed Seiju, Director of AZC, and together led students, neighbors and friends in various caretaking projects around the Center. There was a job for everyone, from refreshing buildings with new paint, repairing doors, gardening, freezing green chili to making fresh apple sauce.
To our delight, the most delectable, homemade dishes arose from the Bodhi kitchen prepared with love by volunteer cooks. Highlights included garden-veggie soup, Auryuvedic kitchari, fresh-from-the-chicken egg scramble, hand-cranked applesauce and freshly squeezed OJ. Every morsel was a delight! Seiju made wonderful, fresh-baked scones which were topped with a recent batch of strawberry-plum jam made by Hosen. Delicious!
Kaishin, a volunteer staff member was Shoji for the weekend, taking care of our needs and the Zendo. He offers, “”It was great to get together with like-minded people in the spirit of service. The whole weekend was joyous. I’m appreciative to Bodhi and the students of Zen who attended. It’s wonderful to see that the light of the Dharma is not extinguished.”
The most striking image, aside from the glowing faces and smiles of participants, was caught by early morning risers as the vivid crescent moon made it’s appearance over the softly lit walls of the Sutra hall, silhouetted against the clear stream of the Milky Way. A truly enchanting vision, which seemed to say to us, “Thank you!” for all the loving care offered throughout the weekend.
Bodhi Manda extends a warm welcome to all who visit, and this weekend was no exception. Folks from young to old and near to far enjoyed the Retreat so much, several asked to return soon! If you did not have the opportunity to participate in the Caretaking weekend, but would enjoy offering service, you are most welcome to call and arrange a stay. The Bodhi offers guests rooms for a modest fee whenever the Center is open to the public. Please call the office for details.