In San Francisco, all the members were arriving and going back home on different days. Our only official communication was, “See you on May 29 at 8:30am at the Great Sacred Hall.” That’s how we approached this year’s Dansan Pilgrimage.

Early in the morning at 5:30am on May 29, the day of the Pilgrimage, everyone, except those who were staying at a hotel gathered at the 2nd Pilgrimage Hall dining hall to volunteer for breakfast service. We were grateful for the opportunity and everyone had smiles on their faces and was ready to serve. After serving and cleaning up, all sweaty and tired, we rushed to make it to the Great Sacred Hall by 8:30am. Even though it wasn’t easy to do all this, it was a precious memory for us. This is probably the most endearing part of the San Francisco sangha: although we are separated by distance and circumstance, we can always come together as one for a common goal; “Many in body, one in spirit.”