July, 1970, an Early Western Zen Buddhist Ordination Photograph

  I’ve recently been in contact with an old Dharma sibling, Mark Strathern, who provided this photograph. He says it is from July 5th 1970 (an old newsletter says the ordination took place on the 25th, but I’m inclined to think Mark is right). Six of us had just ordained unsui. In addition to Kennett Roshi, the picture includes two of her senior students and my first wife.

In the back row from left to right Aubrey Thornton, Mark Daiji Strathern, Mokurai Edward Cherlin and to the far right Leah Ford. In the middle row James Etsujo (later Myoun) Ford, Joshua Jitsudo Baran and Victor Isan Sacco. In the front row Myozen Delport, Houn Jiyu Kennett & Steve Kozan Beck.

I didn’t recognize my picture the first couple of times I looked, even though I knew I had to be one of them.

I’m moderately confident I was never that young, nor that thin.


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