Wedding at Green Gulch

R and I went out to Green Gulch again today. This is the second time this month after never having gone there before. My friend, Nathan went with us and he’s staying here at the house for a few days after coming down from Seattle. (Mostly, he’s spending time with my Nintendo Wii but we’ll see…)

Nathan and Rebecca

The wedding was between Ryan and Yuhuan, two members of the San Francisco Zen Center. Ryan and I used to work together 13 years ago at Spry, back when “Internet in a Box” was the big product there and I was a webmaster. Ryan went on to Amazon and I went to Microsoft following this. I met Nathan through Ryan and the community of Burning Man people that he hung out with in Seattle back when Ryan had no particular interest in Buddhism. Independently, we both moved to the Bay Area and reconnected at various points largely though Nathan.


The wedding was a nice, brief ceremony. It was conducted by the abbot there at Green Gulch and largely consisted of the bridge and groom repeating their precept vows followed by more traditional wedding vows. The gathered attendees chanted the Metta Sutra together as well:

[...] This is what should be done By one who is skilled in goodness, And who knows the path of peace: Let them be able and upright, Straightforward and gentle in speech. Humble and not conceited, Contented and easily satisfied. Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways. Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful, Not proud and demanding in nature. Let them not do the slightest thing That the wise would later reprove. Wishing: In gladness and in saftey, May all beings be at ease. Whatever living beings there may be; Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, The great or the mighty, medium, short or small, The seen and the unseen, Those living near and far away, Those born and to-be-born, May all beings be at ease! [...]

Afterwards, there was a vegan reception and we got a chance to hang out with some other Zen Center members that Ryan knows and some mutual acquaintances of Nathan’s and mine from the private e-mail list, Void, that Nathan runs. Two of the people that we spoke with, Walker and Evan, were a couple that had met while living at Green Gulch. He and she were able to explain quite a bit about the day to day life of living at the monastery, which was very interesting to Rebecca and me.

While we were out there, I made a point of tracking down where Shunryu Suzuki’s memorial marker was placed. When we had been out last time, I hadn’t realized it was there and only found out after we returned. Given his pivotal role in American Zen, it seemed a worthwhile thing to do.

Memorial Marker