I met Jana after Thanksgiving 2012. It seems a good time to re-post this video. Jana invited me to photograph and film her and one of the first things I filmed was this vigil for those that die on our streets, homeless. As I write, Jana herself is facing homelessness. Please donate, please help.
Welcome to ‘Walking Through Peace’. Thank you for being here. I hope you are well.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jana ….my name as a Soto Zen Buddhist Priest and Dharma Ancestor in the Lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi is Gengetsu Junsei…Mysterious Moon Complete Spirit.
This documentary series began during a recent downturn in my health when I could no longer leave my apartment. The teachings still needed to be shared and good fortune had brought Chris Spurrell, a wonderful photographer, into my life. We met when we were working at Maitri Hospice and he immediately became interested in documenting my work. Deep Bows of Gratitude to Chris.
The ‘work’ I speak of is simply that of a traditional monk on the streets of San Francisco, unsupported by any temple or church, freely sharing the path to peace of mind through such offerings as sitting meditation groups in a community garden and in a local church, groups in shelters, memorial services in SRO Hotels and for homeless folks, counselling and training volunteers and patients in hospices and hospitals and more which you’ll see in the videos.
The earliest videos were filmed when I still had a hospital bed in my living room, as I couldn’t get up the stairs to my loft-bed!! I told Chris it’s lucky that monks no longer care what they look like…as I was rather surprised at the way I looked lying on the couch in one video!!! It somehow brought home how ill I’d become!! Fortunately it’s simply total burn-out!!
All the teachings you see are ‘spontaneous’…I’m very aware of simply being a ‘vehicle’ that the words come through. Where they come from is an intriguing question…but in the end unimportant as long as they are helpful. I hope you enjoy these little works of art that Chris so kindly created….there are many more to come…and that you may find some useful teachings…or at least have a laugh as you watch!! May All Beings Live in Peace, Joy and Safety, Deep Bows, Jana
One of the services Jana provides is a Non-Religious memorial service, where there is no mention of God. This is especially helpful to those who die in on the streets and in the SRO hotels in San Francisco. They just need someone to remember them.