Happy Earth Day.
This week, Zen Mountain Monastery welcomed the Woodstock Interfaith Council and community members to celebrate a common vision of respect and identification with the Earth. The Council is a volunteer body of clergy and leaders of spiritual communities in the greater Woodstock region who meet regularly to discuss a range of issues, from administrative challenges to theological points of interest.
Something fermented this way comes.
Recently, sangha member Achong Chen visited the Monastery kitchen to share some of her passion for kimchi. Normally associated with Korean cuisine, kimchi is also very popular in Japan, Taiwan (Achong’s home turf), and increasingly in the US. While there are many different recipes, Achong had us make a fairly standard kimchi using daikon radish, carrot, napa cabbage, ginger, garlic, scallions and the salt and chili that give all kimchis their distinctive, fermented punch.
On Sunday March 5, the Monastery marked the beginning of the Spring training period with an Ango Opening Ceremony. This brief yet meaningful service brings the sangha together and reminds us of both our personal commitment and the shared experience of intensifying our practice.
Sesshin with the Buffalo Zen Dharma Community
post by Shea Ikusei Settimi, MRO
The train ride from Rhinecliff to Buffalo took about six hours, with snow along the way whiting-out the view. Gwen Kimu Coe, MRO, was waiting for Zuisei and I at the Amtrak station. We made a brief stop at her house, where her husband Ray Eigen Ball, MRO, was finishing up assigning service positions to the roster of attendees for the Buffalo Zen Dharma Community’s (BZDC) annual sesshin, February 16-19, 2017.
On Saturday, February 11th, a group of 16 gathered at the Temple in Brooklyn to explore the color blue. An Overview of Blue: Introduction to Indigo and Shibori, a day-long workshop led by Robyn Ikyo Love, MRO and Bob Seiyu Lanaghan, MRO, offered an opportunity to explore the history and chemistry of indigo in a very hands-on way. The day started with a brief period of zazen and an invitation to take up working with the materials with a mind of zazen—directly and with awareness of how we handle them, our connection to them and to others.
On Saturday, January 21st, we saw a tremendous outpouring of support from around the US and the world for the rights and well-being of women and all who suffer injustice, discrimination and inequality. We would like to share some of the excitement from this momentous day with you.
The sangha chants the Four Vows during fusatsu, or renewal of vows ceremony.
Shugen Sensei officiated a fusatsu, or renewal of vows ceremony, shortly before midnight on Saturday, December 31st as the Monastery’s Rohatsu Sesshin drew to a close. The ceremony included a talk (video below) on the precepts, or moral and ethical teachings, and Sensei finished by encouraging the sangha to use the final minutes before midnight to reflect on their vow for the New Year.
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.
A Dharma Discourse by Shugen Sensei
One week following the US elections, many of us are still reeling with frustration, confusion, sadness, and anger. In the Karaniya Metta Sutta, the Buddha said:
This is what should be done by one who is skilled in goodness
And who knows the path of peace.
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.