On Sunday, December 11th, Shugen Sensei officiated a Dharma Successor Welcoming Ceremony for Ron Hogen Green, formally marking the transmission of the dharma to Hogen. This brief, simple ceremony was the culmination of the week-long transmission process, held mostly in private in the Monastery’s Buddha Hall.
Gikon Meets the Sangha in Dharma Encounter
photos by Joel Sansho Benton, MRO
On Sunday, November 20th, at the conclusion of a full and steady Shuso Hossen Sesshin, Chief Disciple Prabu Gikon Vasan offered his first talk and met the sangha in dharma encounter. After several sunny days that barely felt like autumn, Sunday dawned cold and snowy. Shoan, as head liturgist, declared it a most auspicious forecast for the Shuso Hossen Ceremony.
by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei
From The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines
Listen to this talk
The Buddha said, ‘It is as with a mother who has many children five, or ten, or twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred, a thousand. If she fell ill, they would all exert themselves to prevent their mother from dying, to keep her alive as long as possible, and to keep pain and unpleasantness away from her body.
by Suzanne Taikyo Gilman, Mountain Record Editor
I arrived at the monastery for the first time curious about Zen but prepared to stay on the sidelines. Organized religions of any kind were to me male-defined, patriarchal institutions I was better off avoiding, and yet here I was. When I turned toward the monastic in the zendo for beginning instruction there was a woman—in black robes and distinctive bald head—and she spoke with a clear, soaring enthusiasm for the dharma. A sudden recognition, and a new picture came into view—this is my seat.
The Bees and the Mountain Bears
For many years the Monastery garden has shared space with a trove of bee hives, growing to a whopping six active, thriving hives this summer. In addition to providing pollination for the gardens and beyond, the bees have shared the surplus of their delicious raw honey, which we have been selling at the Monastery Store.
Dakota Access Pipeline Project
My great-grandmother became known as Pearl, as her Sioux birth name was forgotten. Her legend in my family suggests that her patient endurance—despite the traumas of her life during the Western expansion—was similar to the Earth’s great offering of itself. The Earth has offered a great quantity of petroleum, transformed from her earliest life forms, to allow for our great industrial age.
New Zealand and the ‘Climate Angels’
“It’s different when you arrest an angel.” That’s what I thought when in May 2016 I saw the Climate Angels being carried away by police at the blockade of the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, Australia. Protestors are often dismissed and ignored, and their messages even more so. Even this message, which should strike so desperately close to home: that Australians will lose much that they love (including the great barrier reef) to climate change unless the vast majority of coal reserves are kept in the ground.
A Conversation with Women Teachers in the Mountains & Rivers Order
Jody Hojin Kimmel, Osho, and Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, with Danica Shoan Ankele
Shoan: I wanted to speak to you as women teachers within what has historically been a very patriarchal tradition. As you know, some spiritual paths speak about spiritual development in terms of balancing “the masculine” and “the feminine” within us. I’d like to begin with a question I heard recently that has been nagging at me: “Where is the feminine in Zen?”
by Shannon Shinko Hayes, MRO
The Mountains and Rivers Order sangha has recently been formally introduced to our women ancestors. For several years our Sunday morning program has included a service at the Mahapajapati altar during which we chant a short list of names. We now begin a new tradition, chanting a long list of the names of women ancestors, at the Monastery and Temple every other Sunday, alternating with chanting the list of our lineage—all male ancestors—that has been part of the Sunday service for the past 35 years.
July 22, 1946 – August 4, 2016
A large circle of mourners stood around the fresh grave and a neat, wooden marker. Shido, whose dharma name means “Way of the Poet,” was laid to rest at ZMM’s cemetery, not far from his mother’s grave and surrounded by pine trees.