We are delighted to announce that our dear friend Andre Elsen has been invited to be the “shuso” (head student) at Black Mountain Zen Centre for the upcoming The Path to Liberation practice period. Being shuso is a practice gate for a mature student, their first chance to give dharma talks and enter the path of becoming a teacher. As shuso, Andre will lead two retreats at Black Mountain, one on Saturday, June 22 & Sunday, June 23 and one on Sunday, July 21. His term as shuso will culminate with the five-day sesshin in Benburb from August 27 to September 1, during which he will sit beside Paul Haller, symbolically sharing the teacher’s seat. As shuso, he will give talks during the one-day sittings, meet informally with practitioners for practice discussion, and ring the wake-up bell every morning during sesshin. The confirmation of his having entered this gate is the shuso ceremony (traditionally called hossen-shiki) which will take place on the afternoon of Sunday, September 1. During the shuso ceremony, each member of the community is encouraged to ask a question that comes from the heart, and Andre will respond with a brief answer that expresses his understanding of the dharma. These ceremonies can be wonderfully electric and unpredictable, and we expect Andre’s spontaneous responses to the high-energy event to manifest the kindness and clarity that we have appreciated over many years.