Lion's Roar

SEW CONTEMPLATIVE

Five years ago I began preparations to receive jukai. This is a Zen ritual in which I would commit to live by the Buddhist precepts and formally step into the lineage that I’d been part of at Upaya Zen Center, under the guidance of Roshi Joan Halifax.

Most people who enter this path take a year to complete all the prerequisites, but because of the scheduling of my request and the date set for the jukai service, I had only one month to complete everything. This included hand-sewing my rakusu, a small bib-like garment that represents the robe of the Buddha. This task elicited no small amount of dread and drama in many of my cohort.

But I wasn’t

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