Thursday, 21 July 2016

Steve Stucky

                Less than six months after I met him in 2013, Myogen Steve Stucky agreed to a three year extension to his term as Central Abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center. Later that same week, he was informed he had stage four pancreatic cancer. A few days after receiving this diagnosis, he gave a public lecture at SFCZ affiliate center at Green Gulch in which he explained his condition to the sangha. It began with a reflection on a private practice which revealed something of his attitude to both life and Zen:
                “For some years I’ve been doing a practice of waking up with gratitude. First thing, sitting up at the edge of the bed and putting my hands together and just saying the word ‘gratitude.’ And then it’s an open question, ‘For what?’ And whatever comes up in my experience is that for which I am, I’d say, grateful to have this meeting. Whatever it is is who I am, and whatever it is is supporting me and this life. It’s completely beyond judgment or preference. So lately I’ve been grateful to have that practice.”

[Steve Stucky – Cypress Trees in the Garden: 24-37]
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