Yay Susan
Monday, November 17, 2014 at 10:35AM
[chuck] in Dharma, Jion Susan Postal, Michael Wenger

Michael Wenger (see Sumi-e) wrote a beautiful appreciation of my late teacher Susan Jion Postal in the November 2014 newsletter of the Dragon's Leap Meditation Center. I can't find a link to the piece (came in an e-mail), so I offer the whole text below (thx, Miguel; thx, Susan): 

Susan Postal knew who she was. You may ask, "how can you not know who you are?" Perhaps because it is so painful to be who you are without hiding or touching up. When I think of Susan, I think she was, is, and will be many things, but her courage stands out.

When her first teacher, Maurine Stuart, died, she carried her life practice on with very little personal or institutional support. She met many fine teachers after that, but nothing quite clicked. Perhaps she was stubborn, perhaps she was strong willed, or perhaps she was just Susan.

Things changed when she met Darlene Cohen and asked her to be her teacher. They were well matched, each had had long battles with their health, and were strong, steadfast, Buddhist women practitioners. Their hearts truly opened to each other, but not without struggle.

For two people to truly meet, it may take some heated back and forth. During Susan's dharma transmission with Darlene, there was a palpable seriousness that was also warm and with some humor. Susan's warm heart was evident in everything she did with Empty Hand Zen Center and the practitioners there. This was clear to me every time I visited Empty Hand. Her close attention to detail of the Center was very evident.

With her giving dharma transmission to Dennis Kegan, she recognized him as a teacher to carry her lineage. Zen lineage hopes to be of help to many people as well as to replicate itself through time, so that the practice can continue through time and space. In all her struggles, Susan is a good example of someone who kept her strong practice intention through difficult times. Yay Susan.

[NOTE: Susan passed from this life in February 2014. Her teachings and influence, however, are still quite active in mine].   

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