Featured Stories

An update on Senior Monastic Yukon Grody

January 25, 2024
Since early September, we've been keeping the sangha informed through email of our dear brother Mn. Yukon's health condition. In the interest of sharing this news more widely, we're adding Mountain Notes to the means of communication. The following post does not add much substantive information to the email sent out to formal students and Practicing Members in early December. All we can add at this point is that Yukon continues to teach us how to live in the present and practice the paramita of patience. We simply don't know the timing or exactly how things will unfold from here,...
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Fall Ango 2023 and Winter Training

December 8, 2023
As summer colors held fast we began the Ango Training period in September, a three-month span of retreats, training and commitments to personal practice taken up by nearly 300 people. Continue reading “Fall Ango 2023 and Winter Training” »
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Illustrating the Lojong—Slogans of Atisha

November 28, 2023
By Eliza Nappi Former ZMM resident and MRO student Eliza is an artist who, during the Fall Ango 2023 art practice, combined two of her favorite things: illustration and "Inktober" She writes: Continue reading “Illustrating the Lojong—Slogans of Atisha” »
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Spring Ango 2023 and Summer Training

September 7, 2023
Every season, rites of passage happen for students and practitioners in the Mountains and Rivers Order, some coinciding with the ango training period, some in the summer or winter months... Continue reading “Spring Ango 2023 and Summer Training” »
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Busy Bees and the Zen Tweens

August 24, 2023
In early June, Monastery Apiary beekeeper Sansho Benton engaged ten Zen tweens and teens in a program introducing the youth to Monastery beehives. Continue reading “Busy Bees and the Zen Tweens” »
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The Great Bodhisattva Vows

June 8, 2023
In the Lotus Sutra the Buddha said:  At all times, for all beings I teach the Dharma equally, never growing weary or disheartened.  To those in low positions, in high positions, to those of great wealth, to those in poverty, to those who have many blessings in their life, to those who live within great adversity, to those who follow the Precepts and live good lives, to those who don't.  I cause the Dharma to rain on all of them equally. This is the essence of the heart of the bodhisattva—to endeavor to be committed to bringing all that is...
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Rudy Redford (2015 – 2023)

June 3, 2023
Rudy, the Monastery's beloved, orange tabby, left his body on Thursday, May 31st, following a brief illness. He had undergone a number of tests over the past several months to determine what might have caused an increasing drop in energy, focus and acuity. Following an MRI exam at the Brewster Veterinary Hospital, it was determined that a sizable brain tumor had been causing various neurological impairments that were increasingly diminishing Rudy's quality of life. As surgery was deemed too risky, Rudy's transition was aided by the caring staff at Brewster Veterinary, with Mn. Yukon and resident Robert Pile, a registered...
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A Milestone in the MRO’s ‘Fossil Fuel Phaseout’ Plan

March 13, 2023
by Steve Seigan Miron Installation of Heat Pumps in the Zendo In speaking of our relationship with the Earth as Zen practitioners, Shugen Roshi observed, “We trace our heritage back to the early days of Chan Buddhism in China, where work, dharma practice, and intimacy with nature intertwined to enliven the religious life.” Our teachings are steeped in reverence for the natural world. Our practice includes caring for sentient and insentient beings, those seen and unseen, in our homes, at our formal places of training, and far beyond. This ancient practice is extremely relevant today, given our responsibility to address...
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Fall Ango 2022 into Winter 2023

February 10, 2023
The rhythm of the Monastery's training year brought the fullness of ango to a close with the Precepts Ceremony of Jukai for five students, followed by the Shuso Hossen for Joel Sansho Benton, and then opened up the quiet space of winter practice. Rohatsu sesshin was full of participants again this year, and with January came the Tokudo ordination for Jogo Kien Martin, and February the Novice ordination for Simon Sekku Harrison with Hojin Sensei at Fire Lotus Temple. This transition time also witnessed a renewed sangha discussion, within gender-affinity spaces, on the gender identities and histories we carry, and...
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Being Held By Refuge

July 27, 2022
By Sandy Joshin Del Valle When the situation seems to be permanent, overwhelming, and full of suffering, you have to practice taking refuge in the Buddha—the Buddha in ourselves. —Thich Nhat Hanh To take refuge has a quality of despair to it. It feels like someone is pursuing me or there is a danger somewhere that is so large, I cannot handle it alone. I need a place of safety and security. A place where I am no longer pursued but can find succor and maybe even ease. Minimally, “refuge” implies a respite from danger, possibly from suffering. Continue reading...
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