Today we had our 1 day sesshin. I had a lot of pain and felt defeated by it. Afterwards I went for a walk down the mountain just as the sun was beginning to set. It was difficult to turn around and walk up the mountain again... tempting to keep going all the way to Hamasaka! But I have made a commitment to stay until the end of June and, besides, I could not leave without my clothes, passport and wallet. Later, Jisui told me she still feels pain during sesshin but she doesn't respond to it emotionally. And yes, my response was emotional: self-criticism.... self-pity....
When I returned from the walk I found what seemed to be a strange cohort of nuns in the kitchen (more Christian than Buddhist). They were inhaling something pleasantly steamy and aromatic.
Nobu adds more hot water then tinctures of eucalyptus, mint and something else I couldn't quite determine. Quite a few people have colds here at the moment. A lot of coughing and sniffing during zazen. Gusho san is trying to train the newcomers to use handkerchiefs - quietly.
Sisters Sebastien, Yudai and Nobu at their devotions.