Founder of the Monterey Bay Zen Center and one of the original students of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Katherine died on June 24 at the age of 85.
For more information, please see:
An informal gathering to mark the one-year anniversary of David Coady’s death will be held on Sunday, July 22 at 5pm.
Sunday, July 22
SF Zen Center Conference Center
308 Page Street
Anyone who knew David is welcome to attend.
Abbot Myogen Steve Stücky emailed members of the City Center sangha to say he’d be at Tassajara during the gathering. At Tassajara, they’ll be holding an anniversary memorial service on the 21st and an Oban ceremony the evening of the 22nd.
Abbot Steve continued:
As Patrick Arbore has reminded us, grieving is a life-long deepening of experience. All our lives are enriched by these ways we have to recognize that our connections with each other are already greater than our usual ideas of birth and death. Please enjoy each other’s company as you remember our friendship with the one we called “Coady.”
Please feel free to bring food, beverage, music, stories, photos, or other memorabilia that remind you of David.
Also at Sweeping Zen, David Chadwick — Suzuki roshi biographer and Zen priest — offers Katherine Thanas a loving farewell:
I met Katherine when she first came to sit and practice with Suzuki Roshi and the rest of us in 1967. She was older than many of us, late thirties, was quiet and curious. Katherine always questioned assumptions, not in a contrarian way, really sincerely. . . .
My agent and friend Michael Katz says he felt especially close to her, that she met everyone on level ground.
via Sweeping Zen: ‘Farewell dear friend’ by David Chadwick
Adam Tebbe at Sweeping Zen offers a thoughtful obituary for Katherine Thanas:
Kind. Considerate. Radiant. Playful. These are words people used to describe Katherine Sobun Thanas when I told them I’d be doing this piece on her. Katherine passed away at 9:45 this morning at the ripe age of 85, this after being hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit of Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz (having slipped in to a coma stemming from a serious head injury earlier in the week).
via Sweeping Zen: “In loving memory of Katherine Sobun Thanas, Roshi”
Sobun Katherine Thanas, founder of the Monterey Bay Zen Center and student of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Dainin Katagiri Roshi, Zentatsu Baker Roshi, and Tenshin Reb Anderson, died on June 24 surrounded by loved ones and disciples, after sustaining a head injury that had left her in a coma.
Mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Della was one of Suzuki Roshi’s early students at Sokoji Temple in San Francisco and lived in City Center’s 340 Page Street building for many years.
Della was an important member of the Zen Center community and will be missed.
Please see the announcement of Della’s death and comments on the announcement on the Sangha News blog.You are welcome to post comments in memory of Della here, too.
From The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Massachusetts:
David J. Coady, 46, of San Francisco, died unexpectedly Thursday, July 21, 2011. . . .
Services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, at United First Parish Church Unitarian (Church of the Presidents), at 1306 Hancock St., Quincy Center. Revs. Sheldon Bennett and James Ford will co-officiate. Friends of David and of his family are all welcome. http://www.ufpc.org/contactus/directions.html. Donations may be made in David’s name to the San Francisco Zen Center, http://is.gd/lsLWA7.
Read the full obituary: David J. Coady at Legacy.com.
Our heartfelt condolences to David’s family and friends at this time.
In his public dharma talk on Saturday at Beginner’s Mind Temple, Abbot Ryushin Paul Haller addressed what he called the “very delicate process” of healing, as a community and as individuals too. Of responding to the shock of loss:
As those shockwaves reverberate and we feel, start to make contact with our very human response — that sense of loss, that sense of the fabric of life being torn asunder, bent out of shape — how to discover that it’s taking a new shape, it’s reshaping, it’s rediscovering, is a very delicate process.
Part of the fierceness of life is, we can’t put it back together the way it was in those golden days before now. We move forward. We take what we have and we hold it with compassion, with courage, with patience, with wisdom, and, in the holding, something’s reshaped, something’s discovered about how to move forward.
In a way, this is no different from every period of meditation we have sat or we will sit. Our sincere intention is met by the urgent disorder of our life, our mind, our feelings, our memories, our anticipations. They demand attention. We can try to neglect, ignore, resist the world they create. Or we can discover how to meet it, how to be present for it, how in that presence, in that meeting, how to take the next breath, how to be available for what happens now.
Abbot Paul also read from and reflected on a poem by Mary Oliver (In Blackwater Woods): “To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.”
The Witnessed Cremation Ceremony for David Coady will be held on Tuesday, August 2, at 11:00 am.
Please arrive by 10:45 am, so we can begin at 11:00 am.
Most people will be standing outside during the ceremony, so please dress accordingly.
An altar will be set up in the doorway to the cremation chamber, which will be open. People will assemble outside, facing the altar and the cremation chamber, with seven people standing in the inner cremation room for the actual cremation.
We expect that people outside will be able to look through the doorway and the altar, and see into the cremation chamber. We will all chant together and be in the same location.
Just before the cremation, the container holding David will be opened so that poems, cards, or sentiments that people might like to offer can be added. These will be gathered up from the group just before the ceremony begins and taken into the inner chamber, and placed with David in the container.
We will chant the Metta Sutta and offer incense. Then, during the cremation, we will chant the Sho Sai Myo.
Chant cards and other articles will be brought from City Center. Flowers will be sent from Green Gulch Farm.
All are welcome.
If you have questions, please call the front office at City Center: 415.863.3136 (Mon – Fri 9:30 am – 12:30pm and 1:30 – 5:00 pm).
Last Wednesday evening, Abbot Paul announced that for the next seven Thursdays, memorials for David Coady will be held in the Buddha Hall at City Center during the time of morning service, 6:30am.
The first of the services, held last Thursday, July 28, is described in The Ino’s Blog: Evening Assembly, Morning Assembly. The remaining services will be on August 4, 11, 18, 25; September 1, 8.
Plans for the larger memorial service and funeral will be posted as information becomes available.