Featured Stories

Shuso Hossen Fall 2021

December 11, 2021
On 11/21/21, the Monastery held a Shuso Hossen ceremony that capped our fall ango training period. During the ango, Degna Chikei Levister held the position of chief disciple acting as a model of practice for the sangha. What does ‘a model of practice’ look like? It looks like a true person bringing their whole self and dedicated commitment to every task set before them. The ceremony and Chikei’s exchanges with the sangha are a testament to that.  Click here to watch the proceedings unfold all over again or here for an audio-only version.
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Zen Tweens In-person Programs

September 15, 2021
The Zen Tweens program has been offering in-person programs monthly on the 2nd Sunday of the month since restarting in June, and will continue with outdoor programs October 10 and November 14, 9am-noon.  We focus on Zazen, concentration practices, and exploring perception through caretaking activities and creative games. We maintain Covid precautions, and hold space for the tweens to share their feelings and opinions on what we study and how it relates to what is going on in their lives. In September we made autumnal offerings to the chipmunks, birds, and other woodland creatures by creating cornmeal suet feeders and hanging them...
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Orchard Grasses

July 18, 2021
by Linda Shinji Hoffman Orchardist and Sculptor, Linda Shinji Hoffman shared on her blog, Apples, Art, and Spirit, about her experience being Shuso during the Spring 2021 Ango. The following is a slightly edited version. As spring slides into summer, I wanted to share about the last three months. I’ve been on an intense retreat—some of it quarantined in my studio, some of it at Zen Mountain Monastery, and some of it following our spring schedule at Old Frog Pond Farm & Studio in Harvard, Massachusetts. Last winter I was asked by my teacher, Shugen Roshi, to serve as Shuso,...
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Zen Kids: Grateful for Grapes and Taking Care of Dragon’s Eggs

April 30, 2021
By Simon Sekku Harrison The Zen youth programs, (Kids, Tweens and Teens) have been online for well over a year. We’ve welcomed new sangha members from all over the country and even as far afield as Colombia, SA. The Zen Kids program (4-10 years) joins together once a week to sit zazen, create art, share gratitude, use our imaginations and read inspiring stories together.  Zazen with the young kids is the same as with us grown-ups, but different. We encourage the kids to sit in the same posture, but to find our mudra we might imagine we are taking care...
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New Vows, New Aspirations

April 19, 2021
For those of us who live at the Monastery, it's been moving to watch remotely as home dwellers have taken refuge in their practice during the pandemic and continued to further explore commitment and self-study. As our lives are streamed every day (at least in the zendo), we residents also benefit from watching lay practitioners further explore their commitment to this path. Continue reading “New Vows, New Aspirations” »
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Memorializing a Year

February 25, 2021
March 11 marks a year since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge this milestone, the loss of life and the many challenges that accompany this situation. We acknowledge the uneven and tragic toll the pandemic is having on the Black community as well as Latinx, Asian, Indigenous and refugee communities. To honor the victims of this global tragedy, and to give voice to our sangha's personal losses and challenges, Zen Mountain Monastery held a memorial event on March 14th as part of our Sunday morning program. Continue reading “Memorializing a Year”...
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Awakening Justice: MLK Jr 2021

January 28, 2021
By Taikyo Gilman Honoring the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not on the MRO's annual calendar of events until sangha member Tanya Bonner brought it up. She asked the teachers, Why do I have to go somewhere else outside of my practice community to honor this ancestor? While not a Buddhist, Rev. King embodied the moral and ethical faith imperative to respond to suffering in his lifetime. So, planning began for the first annual event held in January 2019, organized by Tanya, other Black and POC sangha members and MRO staff. Simultaneous MLK Jr. events at...
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Remembrance and Atonement on Thanksgiving Day

November 20, 2020
We share with you this liturgy and dedication for Thanksgiving Day. Developed by Hojin Sensei and Shugen Roshi, this liturgy is offered at Zen Mountain Monastery on Thanksgiving to honor our ancestors, the original inhabitants of this land, and all beings of the great earth that support our lives. Call and response: LITURGIST : The Sangha has gathered on this day to witness and transform the karma of this land. May we do so with a mind of reverence and solemnity. SANGHA: On this day of remembrance LITURGIST: May we know that these sacred lands belonged to indigenous people for...
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Sustainable Monastery, Locally Grown

October 2, 2020
By Eve Romm The A-frame meadow offers a spectacular view of the gentle twin peaks of Mt. Tremper. Beneath them, deer wander through the meadow, cicadas and crickets buzz, even an occasional pack of wild turkeys passes. In the midst of all this the Monastery orchard and dye garden has flourished. Sunflowers tower over the indigo and coreopsis that eventually become our natural dye pigments; raspberries and blackberries ripen, and fruit trees promise an abundant harvest.  Five years ago we broke ground on the orchard and dye garden as part of a widespread shift in residency and monastic life towards...
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In Memoriam: Gary Shoso Peacock

September 14, 2020
May 12, 1935—September 4, 2020 Shoso at the Monastery in 2012 The sangha will miss good friend, committed Zen student and jazz legend Gary Shoso Peacock who passed away peacefully on September 4th, surrounded by family at his home in Olivebridge, NY. One week later, his ashes were interred at the Monastery cemetery, Nirvana Gardens, in an intimate ceremony officiated by Shugen Roshi, with family and monastics present.  Continue reading “In Memoriam: Gary Shoso Peacock” »
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