Blanche came to my 60th birthday party (10 years ago), looking elegant
tea w/ Hojo-san
On the occasion of my 30th birthday – I trudged over to City Center for morning zazen from Acceptance Place, a rehab halfway house in the outer mission.
I was really surprised when Blanche-sama tapped me on the shoulder and said “Dokusan.”
Settled across from her, I told her it was my 30th. She jumped up, went into her and Lou’s place, and came back with chocolate covered strawberries. After we talked for a bit, she offered me a Jan Chozen Bays Jizo statue.
A few years back, I reminded her of the occasion and told her I had given the Jizo statue to my in-laws. I sent it to them when my husband’s cousin lost her premature girl. Later, when I visited – they immediately pointed out the statue in the top center of a glass case. The second pregnancy was held to term, a boy – they were very happy.
The pause in the conversation reminded me of an earlier car ride with Blanche along Webster. NPR was talking about shady practices behind there being more boys than girls in China. I exclaimed, “all the more girls for me to adopt.” A withering look stopped the conversation.
Here’s one for Pride. Blanche “sat” on the SFZC float in the Pride Parade the entire length of Market Street to Civic Center. She has always been my “sitting” hero! In this photo with Tova Green.
For me, Blanche’s greatest strength as a teacher is the way in which she weaves practice and Sangha. As this photo shows, she was never above the silliness of a summer parade!
Zenkei’s Daughter Trudy Hartman lives in Palo Alto with her husband and two children. She visits two or three times a week and also checks in several times everyday.
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Every morning at Tassajara when we left the zendo after breakfast, Blanche would stand to review the day with the Tanto and the Shuso. The sight was an indelible part of Tassajara life. Here she is with Maiya Wender and Ingen Breen.
At the end of the Fall 2001 practice period at Tassajara with Renshin Bunce, in the background are Dennis O’Reilly, Lantz Warrick and Tanto Myo Lahey.
Blanche at the end of the Women in Buddhism conference held at City Center in 1999 or 2000. This was one of Lou’s favorite pictures, as it showed both the formality and the relaxation of our practice.