Technically it's talk #2, but The Way Seeking Mind talk does not count; as those always write themselves. Or I should say they are already written in our past.
I struggled big time writing this talk, and discarded two drafts before finishing. And as I reflect, it was just a desire to be highly successful the the first time. After Dokusan, I got the impression that talks I discarded probably had a lot of good content, after all. The difficulty was pretty much a lesson in how we create suffering for ourselves. Glad the computer holds trash for 30 days!
It was an extremely FUN evening, and I was tired, and therefore a bit unhibited. I must express gratitude to the Sangha, because of the way we all joined in and made it quite enjoyable. It was the Q&A and the dialog that had the light-hearted play of a tight Sangha, and eclipsed any inexperience concerns in the core talk.
On the side - a long-time "issue" I'd been observing from the rafters became much larger and clearer tonight. You see, a whole week before the talk I was not sleeping well, and very nervous about the talk. Not giving the talk, just it's content. That's kind of strange. I kept thinking "why am I not more nervous about this"? Not being one to accept a gift graciously, I wondered if becoming Deaf was creating an insulating barrier in my mind. A feeling check says it does not seem to be the case - but I will look at this in the coming weeks, now that it's close to the surface. Zen Practice yielding fruit? Maybe the work of transition has gained me some freedom of expression and confidence? Perhaps it's the Sangha's faith in choosing me for Shuso, that it's finally time to start speaking up, and giving the Dharma away freely and with joy.
Whatever the reason... we can test it in November when I talk to you all again...