Back in March, I organized a small group of homeschoolers to come by the ZCNYC to learn about Zen. Shugen Sensei met us at the door and gave a wonderful introduction to the history and philosophy behind Zen. Then we went into the zendo and he led everyone through a short introduction to zazen. Fortunately we had two lively children - a brother and sister - who asked and answered lots of questions. Most everyone else seemed a little intimidated by the newness of it all. Their quiet demeanor did not reflect a lack of interest - I had lots of very good feedback that almost leads me to believe we could do another visit to keep the conversation going (but I will tread lightly here - I don't want to be seen as a Zen pusher, which are two words that do not go together well at all!).
About three days before the visit, it occurred to me that we should offer some kind of donation in thanks for taking up Shugen's time. I am usually a little slow off the mark like that. In any case, I was not really prepared when the day came and went. But it also occurred to me that among this group were many excellent knitters. In fact, everyone was a knitter. And I had some left over yarn from my Lion Brand window project. So, voila! A thank you gift was born.
I divvied out some yarn to each family to knit into a piece that could be a size and design of their own choosing.
After I collected all the pieces, I put them together and crocheted a border. Some of the blocks were quite fancy!
I hope it will keep residents and visitors warm for years to come.