year-transition-retreat just ended

Each year at the end of December, the Magnolia Zen Center hosts a 10-day intensive meditation retreat.  The Transition Retreat carries us from the end of one year into the beginning of the next.  It's a welcome opportunity for us to slow down, experience silence, practice formally throughout the day, study, and receive additional training in our lineage's practices and services. 
This year eleven people (more or less) sat the retreat (a few more people came for part of the retreat).  Wiebke KenShin worked tirelessly to keep us on schedule, assigned service positions and work projects, answered countless questions, gave us essential instructions and corrections, and generally kept everything functioning smoothly. Thank you KenShin! 
Claude AnShin devoted himself wholeheartedly to guiding us through the retreat, refining our training, meeting one-on-one with us daily, and supporting us emotionally and spiritually through the ups and downs of a 10 day retreat. We could not have made it through without his unwavering support, insight, and leadership.
The highlights of the retreat included a special New Year's Eve atonement service followed by a midnight service of 108 bows to bring in the New Year.

But this year's special event was the full ordination (tokodo) of Dave MyoKo Edgar as a Zen Buddhist monk.  To watch this ceremony was to witness a dramatic, real-time transformation.  The change wasn't just MyoKo's freshly shaven head. When he put on his black kesa for the first time during this ceremony, he manifested something new and powerful.  Those of us who have known him for some years were deeply moved by his courage and willingness to take this step.