Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 12 noon
The position of Geido refers to the various traditional Japanese art disciplines - Noh Theatre, Kado (Flower Arrangement), Shodo(Calligraphy), Sado(Tea Ceremony), and Yakimono(Pottery). All of these disciplines carry an ethical and aesthetic connotation. They teach an appreciation of the process of creation. To introduce discipline into their training, Japanese warriors followed the example of the arts that systematized practice through prescribed forms called Kata - imagine the tea ceremony and how structured the form is, so participants can have a glimpse of it’s inherent aesthetics and presence.
As a successor of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, I was deeply influenced by his appreciation of subtle aesthetics and it’s important role in our everyday environment. When I was with Suzuki-roshi he never spoke directly about aesthetics, but he mostly demonstrated his respect for everyday objects by the way he would arrange the various things in his home and at Sokoji temple. He was very aware of his surroundings, and would place a flower arrangement, a calligraphy, or a Mingei teacup very carefully, displaying a sense of color and exquisite composition with a subtle beauty that was also calming. I wasn’t even aware that I was receiving this wonderful teaching about aesthetics, until years later when I noticed that I also developed an awareness and appreciation of arranging things in my environment with this subtleness to this day.
Julie Kashin will be given the title of Geido to hold this lineage of simple, ordinary aesthetics and form at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.
Please come witness and congratulate Kashin in her new position. May ordinary aesthetics continue to flow throughout the grounds at Genjo-Ji.