Sunday, October 6, 2013

An introduction for my outside friends

Since I have directed many of my friends to this new blog for the Fall, from my "Late Deafened" blog, I should take a moment and tell you what a Shuso is.

Most Practice Periods (Semesters) in a Zen Community have a Shuso appointed for the season. The Shuso is someone who has been practice for a number of years, and ready to take the next step in the practice. That of serving the Sangha in a hands-on manner. It's a season of "Yes, I can help with that!" The shuso takes on a co-leadership role under the guidance of Practice Leader for that period.

The Shuso makes a commitment to set the example; to show up for all the activities, and take active roles in various events and ceremonies. This is a time when the person will start giving their first Dharma Talks.  The Shuso will have a one-on-one tea with the other students, and get to know each and every person.

At the end of the Practice Period, after a whole season of practicing and growing together, all will culminate with a week-long sitting, and on the last day, the Shuso sits and answers questions from his fellow students, and then the past Shusos, teachers and leaders.

There was a certain risk in doing this, as I am not very proficient at Sign language yet. My transition is only midway. We delayed it once, and feel this is the time.  Our goal is to make this experience part of the Transition I am going through, just as I made my transition part of the Zen Practice. They need to stay married, and become part and parcel of one another.

So; ..., onward....

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