May Zen Day 2017 – By Shin Yu Claire Ruddick
It’s always a pleasure to return to the Manchester Zen Dojo, the place where my Buddhist practice began. It was a particularly special return for me as it was the first time I had ever stepped into the Manchester dojo as a nun. It was made even more special by the presence of Jeremy, the same monk who gave me my introduction to this practice 14 years ago.
I remember it so well… I turned up in my little Mini Cooper, all shy and nervous. Who’d have thought… that day turned out to be the day that my life changed forever!
It was wonderful to practice zazen with everyone again today. There is a new slimline wood (pictured) at the dojo and it has a such a lovely sound. I’m pleased to say the the old wood is still there hanging behind the door. I’ve knocked a few splinters out of that in my time.
After morning zazen and lunch, we spent bit of time trying to tame the dojo garden for samu. The weather stayed dry for us despite the ominous grey clouds moving in and we managed to get on with a good bit of pruning. With our work done, we then went inside for a well earned coffee before the last zazen of the day.
After the last zazen we had an evening ceremony. I have to say that I was very impressed to see one monk play all the instruments at once. Except the little handbell. I played the little handbell.
A great Zen Day!
The Manchester Dojo is located at the
Mill Street Venture Centre, 491 Mill Street, Manchester, M11 2AD