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Work Practice: If not I, who?**

Today we engage in maintenance and cleaning activities for the zendo and common areas to sustain peaceful practice in a comfortable environment. Performing everyday mundane work is as much part of the spiritual practice in Zen as time on the cushion. Join us to help keep Great Wind Zendo a pleasant space for all.

Please contact us in advance if you’d like to come for work practice. Due to the varying nature of maintenance and cleaning tasks, the duration of work practice is flexible. The times listed are only approximate and may change depending on number of participants.

Routine work practice includes cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the sitting cushions and rugs, sweeping the floors, and setup for zazenkai. Other light maintenance may be needed and may include outdoor work to help keep the premises tidy.

** The title for this event is a play on an exchange between Zen master Dogen and an old monk, related in “Tenzo kyuokun” (Instructions for the Cook):

When I was staying at Tiantong-jingde-si, a monk named Lu from Qingyuan fu held the post of tenzo. Once, following the noon meal I was walking along the eastern covered walkway towards a sub-temple called Chaoran Hut when I came upon him in front of the Buddha Hall drying mushrooms in the sun. He had a bamboo stick in his hand and no hat covering his head. The heat of the sun was blazing on the paving stones. It looked very painful; his back was bent like a bow and his eyebrows were as white as the feathers of a crane. I went up to the tenzo and asked, "How long have you been a monk?"

"Sixty-eight years," he said.

"Why don't you have an assistant do this for you?"

"Other people are not me."

"Venerable sir, I can see how you follow the Way through your work. But still, why do this now when the sun is so hot?"

"If not now, when?"

There was nothing else to say. As I continued on my way along the eastern corridor I was moved by how important the work of the tenzo is.

Earlier Event: January 9
Later Event: January 12
Weekend Zazen