The following is a guest feature shared from the Zen Center North Shore newsletter written by Joshua Archer.
This past weekend (Oct 8-10, 2022), ZCNS had the honor of hosting dharma teacher Hogetsu Laurie Belzer, who was visiting from Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago. For three full days, Laurie offered rakusu robe sewing instruction to ZCNS students preparing to receive the precepts in a jukai (lay ordination) ceremony later this year.
With sangha members fully present to support them, the students preparing to receive the precepts each sewed Buddha’s robe in an exacting method and pattern that has been transmitted, warm hand to warm hand, for centuries. This is a deeply devotional practice that affirms their vows, connects them to our lineage, and brings us all together in community. During Laurie’s time with us, many sangha members came forward to offer food and support, and to help the students stitch. It was beautiful to share this practice together.
We were also honored to receive a dharma talk from Laurie during her visit. Her talk explored the importance of community in our collective awakening.
We were so grateful to once again have Laurie here as a guest teacher, sharing her wisdom and compassion and connecting us to this vital tradition of sewing.
Thank you, Laurie!