Featured Stories

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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Books on Refuge: Sanctuary, Street Zen & Contemplative Caregiving

September 8, 2020
Sanctuary: A Meditation on Home, Homelessness and Belonging, by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel; Street Zen: the Life and Work of Issan Dorsey, 2020 reissue, by David Schneider; Contemplative Caregiving: Finding Healing, Compassion & Spiritual Growth Through End-of-Life Care, by John Eric Baugher Home and homeleaving, taking refuge and building a sanctuary—these phrases resonate with our sense of place and belonging. Written decades apart, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel's Sanctuary: A Meditation on Home, Homelessness and Belonging, and the 2020 reissue of 1997’s Street Zen: the life and work of Issan Dorsey, take us to the heart of homeleaving, spiritual inquiry and taking refuge....
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Ecodharma and Environmental Justice

August 17, 2020
By Dojaku Niccolino If you’ve wondered how to respond to human-created ecological devastation and climate breakdown, so has author David Loy. "What does Buddhism have to offer?" is the question he posed for a discussion at Fire Lotus Temple last November, and the major theme of his upcoming Ecodharma retreat via zoom on Thursday, October 3rd. Continue reading “Ecodharma and Environmental Justice” »
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Gates of Zen Training Stay Open

August 8, 2020
By Eve Romm In the 2500 year history of Buddhism, sanghas and practitioners have always had to adapt to difficult times, and our own era is no exception. The dharma which has been passed down to us survived natural disasters and political marginalization, famine and war, conflict and corruption. So it’s no surprise that training in the MRO continues with vibrancy, creativity, and enthusiasm despite the fact that the Monastery’s and the Temple’s physical gates have been shut for several months. In the past few months, many of the traditional rhythms and forms of training have had to adapt to...
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Sangha / Gathering

July 6, 2020
On July 1, over 170 sangha members gathered on Zoom to reflect on the state of our distancing. We heard from board members who are part of a special "reopening subcommittee." They've been focused on the various questions that arise when considering any relaxing of the quarantine at the Monastery and our city center. Continue reading “Sangha / Gathering” »
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Building the House of Jizo

June 27, 2020
After more than a year of planning and fundraising, the humble and well-worn cottage across from the garden was torn down on June 18 to make way for a new Jizo House. That same week, another team successfully installed a lift in our main building. As part of a broader vision towards accessibility and inclusivity, these are long held dreams coming to fruition. The new Jizo House will greatly enhance our facilities in a number of important ways. Visit ZMM.org/JizoProject to see renderings, plans and testimonials from some of the many bodhisattvas who have stepped forward to support this important...
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Inside the Cloistered Cloister

June 10, 2020
by Hokyu JL Aronson >>> Lately I've been thinking. Years from now, everyone will speak of their life in quarantine, who they were with (if anyone) and how they occupied their time. But for now, and for a while to come, what many of us are reflecting on is where we were just prior. What was that life of easy mobility and carefree interaction? Where did it go? When will it be possible again? Although living in a Buddhist monastery grants me a stable predictability of schedule and community even through a pandemic, I'm also thinking of the lead up...
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Two Statements from the MRO responding to the ongoing killing of Black People in our country

June 6, 2020
Two statements—the first from the MRO People of Color Affinity Group, and second from Shugen Roshi and the white members of the BFoD Planning Group—were posted here in response to the surge in violence against men and women of color, and the persistence of unjust, white supremacist systems of oppression which remains invisible to the majority of Americans. As a sangha we are unified in our vows to serve, to alleviate suffering and the causes of suffering, and to respond with compassion and wisdom as challenges and conflict arise. We affirm our responsibility as individuals and as a community to...
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Covid-19 Enso Healing Altar

May 14, 2020
By Taikyo, Mariana and Laurel The Enso Healing Altar is like many home altars—symbolic and grounding—created as a personal space to share with others. It came into being early in the ZMM pandemic quarantine, first as a conversation between two nurses in residence about grief, gratitude, fears and hopes for a future that could transform suffering into healing. Talking with other residents, they began to gather items—a Medicine Buddha, an altar cloth from a blue hospital scrub, a hand-made bowl—sharing the urgent feelings of concern for those who were on the front lines. Continue reading “Covid-19 Enso Healing Altar” »
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