Please enjoy a description of what BhodiSong (a.k.a. LooneyTune) created as a Humor-full performance ritual to follow the Zen Center of Los Angeles’ celebration service of Buddha’s Birthday….
LooneyTune on the right. (from Buddha’s Bday. 2007.Temptation of stealing flowers)
PS Buddhas Birthday was terrific – Bodhi-Song did a routine, which was quite funny!
Subject: what did you do?
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 12:21:06 -0700
what did you do??
From: jsgraham@ (a.k.a LooneyTune, BhodiSong)
Balanced the elephant on one finger.
Oh wait, that was the week before.
During meditation (since I already had the enlightenment thing happening) I was pondering some possibilities for sacred mischief. The story goes that when the Buddha was born he pointed one finger at the sky and one at the ground and said something profound. So the statue that we pour tea over has a finger in the air. A lot like the famous shot of Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. I thought a little disco dancing might be fun.
During the story of the baby Buddha, I snuck over to the apartment and I put on a flowered kimono, and grabbed some percussion instruments. I noticed a black bag with a strap, that if slung in front, looks like a rakusu, so I put a few things inside, and went back out. I gave Reeb, Katherine and Darla the drums and tambourine, and told them to be ready for a little disco beat.
Everyone had presented flowers already, except me, because I was playing the taiko drum, so after the story, Senshin in her big voice announced that there was someone who didn’t offer a flower yet. I had yanked a huge leaf off a squash plant, so that was my offering. People seemed to get it that there was mischief afoot, perhaps it was the nose.
I went to the flower bower and goofed with the incense box, removing the lid etc. Then I went around to the back of the Baby Buddha alter so I could play the audience. I had to figure out a way to offer the big leaf, that took some solving. Then I picked up the spoon and poured some tea over the statue, but wasn’t satisfied with the volume I was getting. So I reached into my “rokusu” and found a nice sized ladle. (At this point someone, I think Egyoku muttered “oh no”) The major ladeling of tea was strangely attractive to the kids who came up close to watch.
The statue has it’s finger in the air pointing up, which I deemed a safety issue, so I carefully placed my nose over the dangerous digit, as a protective cover.
At that point I started imitating the skyward point then moved into the disco move. It got a chuckle, and the band, who had started playing from the beginning, didn’t pick up the back beat, so I went to plan B. I went to my rokussu and brought out a nice wine glass. I proceeded to ladle some tea into it and played with the notion of having a sip. I offered it to the kids, who were quite close, but no takers. Then I was inspired to offer the water wisdom, (from Jukai and Tokudo ceremonies) I found a choice bit of foliage to simulate the pine needle whisk Egyoku uses. I dipped it in and got immediate recognition from the crowd. I did the swirling and the spritzing, to great delight. Then got carried away dipping my finger in, using it for cologne, then flicking it on the kids. Finally I ran out and started flicking tea on the crowd, who clapped and cheered, indicating that I had come to the end of their attention span.
Good fun, about 10 minutes worth.
Keeping the pump primed for next time
Z ya Zoon,