Update 6/19/15

Hello Friends,

Yesterday,  I shared the entire list of folks wanting to see Blanche with her, she expressed how grateful she feels for all of the love and support. She is also saddened that she can’t muster the strength to visit with everyone who would like to visit. Blanche continues to ask for folks to please understand that even though you are all very precious she just can’t see people at this time.

I Bring all cards, emails and comments here to Blanche everyday.  She is so thankful for all of the love and appreciation you direct towards her.  Please do continue to reach out in this way.

Blanche continues to be extremely low energetically,  but quite conscious and  her family, and Zen Center continue to work to support her choices and decisions.  There is nothing new to report, but we all also wanted to express our gratitude for your support during this time.

Deep Bows
Great Gratitude

By Daigan Gaither

Resident Priest at San Francisco Zen Center. Friend to Zenkei Blanche Hartman and her family.

One reply on “Update 6/19/15”

When I first started to attend Saturday mornings at CC in the early 1980’s one of the faces that stood out was that of a very striking looking older female monk. She stood out in part because she was older, perhaps in her fifties against a field of twenty and thirty year-olds. But what I remember most was that I thought she looked very fierce. Many years later, I heard Blanche give a dharma talk in which she acknowledged with some humor her awareness that some found her fierce. As I had more exposure to Blanche I began to appreciate all her many wonderful qualities as a teacher and the idea of her fierceness receded.

Several years ago a group of us, including Blanche, went to Japan to visit the temple of Kensho Miyamae and a number of important temples in our Soto Zen lineage including Rinso-in. When traveling on planes and trains she wore the traditional clothing of a Zen nun. It must have surprised many to see a western woman in such clothing. At each temple we visited Blanche would lead us in paying respects at the altars, bowing and offering incense. Everywhere we went she was received with great respect, even reverence, by our Japanese hosts. Despite all these formalities, however, Blanche was the first to stay up late to share stories or start a sing-a-long as we drove in the car. She was just another member of the group.

The last few days I have been thinking about my first impressions of Blanche. What is fierceness anyway? I looked up the definition. One is to “show heartfelt and powerful intensity.” So, you are fierce, Blanche. Thank you Zenkei for your many years of fierce practice! You have been a continuing inspiration to me and countless others. There are no words to fully express our gratitude and love.

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