I am so glad to have found this forum. Good to hear from old friends and dharma family. As I read over many of the postings here, I picture myself as a minor character in a stage play who appears briefly in Act I. As I read many of these postings I am not sorry to have missed the rest of the drama.
My first contact with Roshi was in the winter of 1971. That fall I had left my (then) home in Boston. and was traveling the west. Looking back, I see that I figuring what would be the next stage of my life. The move to a big city was a true culture shock for this farm boy from Oregon. I knew that my wife and I wanted children. I could not bear the image of raising a child in the hostile climate of an Eastern city.I sent a note to an old friend Peter Norton, who was living and studying at The Abbey. His reply included info about The Abbey, and a notice of the upcoming retreat.
I sat the December sesshin of that year. In sanzen I mentioned that I'd always wanted to study zen. Roshi flashed her "pirate grin" and replied "welcome aboard." As I recall, I spent most of a week post sesshin up in House 1. Much of the community was preparing for a craft sale at an art gallery in SF. I set a small studio, and began producing small "om" figures out of casting resin to use as an ornament on a mala. I think it was Gensho or Bino who looked over the lot during tea one afternoon and deemed them "jelly oms."
I returned home to Boston shortly with my plans set for my wife and I to return and study at The Abbey.
With this the first of a number of posts that I have in mind, I think it's important to set some context. In 1971 The Abbey consisted of the set of original stone buildings on Summit Drive, and a goat barn at the northern end of the property up in the manzanita woods. This was before any construction had occurred on the cloister. There was no grand gate at the entrance. The zendo was located in the lodge located on the edge of the Dell. It was crowded even back then.
Jim Kaido Trivelpiece