My World Domination Tour 2009 is officially done (though it looks like I'll have some Canadian dates to announce in November). The retreat at Tokei-in temple in Shizuoka, Japan ended yesterday. It was real and it was fun and it was real fun. We had 14 people at the beginning and ended with 16. This is a reverse of the usual order of things, in which someone always runs away from the retreat before it's done. We actually gained in numbers this time! How about that?
About my only complaint was that it was yet again another sausage fest. The ratio would have been a bit better but for the fact that two of the women who signed up had to cancel out before the retreat began due to personal matters. Even so, the ratio would have been still way too man heavy.
It's not always like this. The retreat I led at Southern Dharma Retreat Center earlier this year had more women than men, and the one I led near Munich was even-steven with five of each. But the general trend tends to be more male dominated. I've mentioned this before and I still don't have a good reason for it. Such is life, I suppose.
This trip has been a great opportunity to meet a lot of the other Dogen Sangha people. I spent a couple nights with Mike Leutchford, met Jeremy Pearson, had lunch with Richard Morrisey, got shown around London by Rachelle Allen, sat sesshins with Michele Proulx, Gabrielle Linnebach and Gerhard Wolfram, saw all of Finland with Markus Laitenen, made some really nice connections with Jurgen Seggelke, Gustav Ericsson, Nicole de Merkline and Kevin Bortolin, and even had some very friendly contact with Mike Cross. I'm starting to think this Dogen Sangha thing just might work after all.
In mere hours I'll be winging my way back to the USA where I'll stay for at least a couple of days (sorry, I couldn't resist). Well until I go to Canada anyway.
And, HEY MEXICO, my dad's moving to your country (he says) and wants me to come visit in December. So if anyone down South of the Border wants me to come speak there, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). But don't actually shoot me, OK?
All right. I gotta go. I promise a real Zen article some time after I get back.
Rock on, world!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009