Each year Red Cedar Zen Community accepts a vial of Salish Sea water in the Spring at Larrabee Beach in our Receiving Water ceremony. This water is then carried throughout our ritual hiking season.
In July it is divided into three vials on Skyline Divide in our Dividing Water ceremony during our Opening of the Mountains Hike. Throughout the summer we hike into the upper high reaches of the three tributary watersheds of our river; the North, Middle, and South branches of the Nooksack River. There the water in each vial is exchanged with pure mountain runoff in our Exchanging Water ceremonies.
Then in October the three vials of mountain water are combined again atop Oyster Dome during our Closing of the Mountains hike in our Combining Water ceremony. Then it is brought to Larrabee Beach for the final ritual of our hiking season, the Returning Water ceremony.
In this way each year we carry water, and follow the way of water, as water flows up to the mountains and back to sea, giving life to all beings of our home, and to the great Earth. Dogen Zenji, the founder of our Soto way, has written in the Mountains and Waters Sutra - "When water solidifies, it is harder than a diamond. Who can crack it? When water melts, it is softer than milk. Who destroy it?...When you investigate the flowing and not-flowing of a handful of water, thorough experience of all things is immediately actualized."
Please join us at Larrabee Beach to actualize our commitment to our practice in this place, as we return this "handful of water" to the sea.
We will meet at the parking lot near the band shell at Larrabee Park at 3pm. The hike group from Oyster Dome will be arriving approximately at that time, but their arrival time may vary. So the ceremony group will await their arrival before heading down to the beach. Going to the beach is a short walk of a quarter mile, but involves going down some long flights of steps.
Some participants may choose to carpool from the Forest St. Community Food Coop. Please indicate on the registration form which way you will be arriving.