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…
In April 2023, five MRO students formally receive the sixteen Buddhist precepts in a ceremony officiated by Shugen Roshi, taking up these living teachings, living vows in the company of the sangha with family and friends. They are Scott Jokai (“Steady Undoing”) Forster, Deborah Kyoshin (“Mirror of Natural Peace”) Hovland, Michael Gashin (“Authentic Self”) Kaup, Malcolm Chosei (“Morning Spirit”) Barrett and Mary Juyu (“Gentle Courage”) Bosakowski (listen to that ceremony here).
After the end of Spring ango, the sangha shifted into the summer months. The summer training period is a shift from the intensity and rigor of ango, with plenty of time for tending to the gardens and orchards, and for travel. In June Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei, traveled to visit the Buffalo, NY Affiliate, and in July Shugen Roshi traveled to New Zealand, the first visit back to the kiwi sangha since before the pandemic.
In June the Monastery offered the very first multi-day sesshin by and for the BIAPoC Sangha (Black, Indigenous, Asian and People of Color), attended by over 40 people from near and far. Guest teacher Simone Chimyo Atkinson, Osho and MRO senior students Chikei Levister and Gikon Vasan led a five-day sesshin that brought in many new people as well as long-standing training students and sangha members. Kudos and gratitude to the BIAPoC Affinity Groups (including the Asian Sangha Gathering and the People of African Descent Affinity) who worked closely with the training staff to create, support and bring this event alive.
In July, Ron Hogen Green, Sensei, officiated at a Jukai Ceremony for the Bodhisattva Precepts for three of his students at ZCNYC—Fire Lotus Temple in Brooklyn. Congratulations to Gale Onjin (“Peaceful Faith”) Delaney, Beverly Kyokei (“Offering Kindness”) Corbett, and Ravi Baikei (“Cultivating Prajna”) Mishra. (Listen to that ceremony here).
Also in August, another joyful life-passage with the novice ordination for monastic Julia Jiryu Krupa, officiated by her teacher, Monastery abbot Shugen Roshi. Jiryu has been an MRO student since 2010 and also spent several years training at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, as well as residency at ZCNYC-Fire Lotus Temple. She currently serves as the Program Coordinator at the Monastery.
Many things to celebrate! In August at the Monastery, MRO student Polly Kiho Horne married Dan Burney in a ceremony officiated by Shugen Roshi. The couple formerly lived in Brooklyn where they met at ZCNYC-Fire Lotus Temple. They have done periods of residency at the Monastery and now live in Johnson City, TN.
At the end of August, a funeral and interment of ashes for MRO student Mary Juyu Bosakowski, formerly of Phoenicia NY and NYC’s lower east side. Juyu was a filmmaker and librarian, as well as co-founder of pick up softball league The Phoenicia Ticks. She was an MRO student for many years, studying early on with Myotai Sensei and Daido Roshi, and becoming a student of Shugen Roshi’s in 2017 and receiving the Bodhisattva Precepts from him earlier in 2023.