On Saturday, May 31, 2014, Unyo (Priscilla) Brown received full ordination as a Soto Zen monk from Sokuzan who presided over the ceremony. Through the offering of incense, the reciting of the sixteen Bodhisattva precepts, receiving her hand-sewn Okesa, and the cutting of hair as a symbol of her deeper commitment to this path, Unyo remarks at how “heavy”–and unavoidable–this step in her practice and training feels.
“The actual weight of the Okesa on my head during the Takkesage (robe chant) is a tactile reminder of the burden of suffering in the world. I am extremely happy that I have lived long enough to come to this new beginning in my life and am deeply indebted to my Teacher, Sokuzan, for hisunconditional love, generosity, and willingness to share the Buddha’s teachings so freely to all who ask. May I, too, serve others in that way.”