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Fran Tribe (RIP)

During the summer of 1967 we had our first guest season/practice period at Tassajara. When the guests went home, we had a seven‑day sesshin. I think it was over hundred degrees the whole week.

I had sat two days of tangaryo, but no sesshins. Before the first day was over, I was convinced I couldn't make it. Al's turn for dokusan came that afternoon. He asked Suzuki Roshi to see me instead.

"This is all a mistake," I told Roshi. "I can't do this; I just came to be with my husband."

"There is no mistake," he insisted.

I wanted to drive my car right off the mountain top.

“You may leave, of course," Roshi said gently, "but there's no place to go, you know." That knowing smile.

The next few days he had the junko hit me every time he came around. I did find this encouraging and could not sit still for more than a few minutes. (I wonder why the people sitting next to me didn't start hitting me.)

The last day was very hot. Around lunch time Suzuki Roshi told me to go and take a nap. Later he took me to his cabin. He produced a stool for me to sit on and poured me a cup of cold green tea. We talked about sesshin. He thanked me for my effort and bowed.

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