Open Access

Receiving That Which Can Not Be Given – Reflections on Zuisei Sensei’s Dharma Transmission

· Open Access, Sangha News

By Robyn Ikyo Love

On April 8, 2018, Shugen Roshi completed the process of dharma transmission for Vanessa Zuisei Goddard. Zuisei first came into residency in 1995, fresh out of university. She spent 14 years as a monastic and returned to lay life in 2014, continuing to work full time for the Monastery in various capacities. She became a dharma holder in 2015, enabling her to begin leading retreats and training as a teacher both at the Monastery, at the Zen Center of NYC, and with our affiliate groups.

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Building Our Beloved Community

· Open Access, Sangha News

Posted by Danica Shoan Ankele

Among the present blessings of my monastic life, I count the chance to be part of a newly formed collaboration between members of the Temple’s People of Color Tea Group and the Monastery’s Beyond Fear of Differences Planning Group. Together, nineteen of us (about half of us identify as people of color and half as white) are working on creating a more inclusive and diverse community within the MRO. We’ve been referring to our joint group simply as POC/BFOD.

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photo by Chizen Brown, MRO

With Nothing to Call My Own

· Dharma Discourses, Open Access · ,

by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

LISTEN TO THIS TALK>

Book of Serenity Case 14

Attendant Huo Passes Tea

The Pointer

Probing pole in hand, shadowing grass around him, sometimes he wraps a ball of silk in iron, sometimes he wraps a special stone with silk. To determine the soft by means of the hard is of course right; what about the matter of being weak when meeting strength?

Main Case

Attendant Huo asked Deshan, “Where have all the sages since antiquity gone?”
Deshan said, “What? How’s that?”
Huo said, “The order was for a ‘flying dragon’ horse but a ‘lame tortoise’ shows up.” Deshan let it rest.
The next day when Deshan came out of the bath, Huo passed him some tea.
Deshan patted Huo on the back. Huo said, “This old fellow has finally gotten a glimpse.” Again Deshan let the matter rest

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Receiving Kindness

· Editorial, Open Access · ,

Editorial: by Suzanne Taikyo Gilman

How do you experience gratitude? Gratefulness, as David Steindl-Rast writes, happens when the heart flows over and must be expressed. Gratefulness arises like the surf or a fresh breath, natural and in accord—a basic, personal awareness that something good has happened. When we look at our lives for these moments, we find them filled with gifts: a sudden smile; caring and being cared for; meeting a teacher of the Dharma; finding our way through the twisted tangles of our greed, anger and ignorance; and, being in the company of good friends and guides.

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photo by William Carpenter

The Lessons of Gratitude

· Open Access · ,

by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

These two people are hard to find in the world. Which two? The one who is first to do a kindness, and the one who is grateful and thankful for a kindness done.”

AN 2.118

In saying that kind and grateful people are rare, the Buddha isn’t simply stating a harsh truth about the human race. He’s advising you to treasure these people when you find them, and—more importantly—showing how you can become a rare person yourself.

Kindness and gratitude are virtues you can cultivate, but they have to be cultivated together. Each needs the other to be genuine —a point that becomes obvious when you think about the three things most likely to make gratitude heartfelt:

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Shuso’s Letter Spring Ango 2018

· Open Access, Sangha News · ,

Dear Sangha,

On Mt. Tremper we are alive in cold February. The wind stings, the ice cracks underfoot, and at night we are dazzled by bright, bright stars. What a privilege it is to live on this mountain and feel the earth turn from season to season and to share our practice with the sun and snow. Now the sun swings around and begins to consider Spring 2018, and we begin to consider Ango. Again, like softening earth, we’ll deepen our practice and find what grows within us.

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photo by Will Carpenter

Sangha Reflections on Gratitude

· Open Access, Sangha Reflections · ,

Gratitude


I walked against the stream in this river all of my life because I used to believe I did not deserve anything unless I suffered first. It was disheartening and often excruciating yet I always told myself Don’t be a wuss. Try a little harder and just a little longer. I did not acknowledge the pain and suffering for so many years because that would have meant admitting defeat.

One day, I found myself paralyzed in the stream. I could no longer move. Utterly exhausted, I had no strength or will left to step forward.

Just let go, said the voice.
Trust me, the river said.

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The Light That Shines Through Infinity

· Open Access, Reviews · ,

Media Review
The Light That Shines Through Infinity:
Zen and the Energy of Life

by Dainin Katagiri
Edited by Andrea Martin
Shambhala Publications
Review by Richard Superti, MRO

In this collection of transcribed talks, Dainin Katagiri, one of the founding teachers of North America Zen, manifests how the universe is suffused with a dynamic energy that fills and sustains our lives.  I use the word ‘manifest’ here because, in my experience, this book is an actual manifestation of its title, shining a new light on my experience of the world.

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The Diary of a Bookseller

· Open Access, Reviews · ,

Media Review

by Shaun Bythel
Profile Books LTD
Review by Sandy Joshin De Valle, MRO

Shaun Bythell’s “The Diary of a Bookseller” is a gem of a book. Bythell, the owner of Scotland’s largest second-hand bookstore, gives us this day-by-day account of his life as a bookseller. It’s a warm and funny book marked by Bythell’s dark, dead-pan humor. He begins by admitting that he fits the stereotype of the “impatient, intolerant, antisocial proprietor.” But this wasn’t always the case: he began when he bought his shop as eagerly and naively as any thirty-one-year-old embarking on their first business venture. The shop, though—with its haggling customers, arguing staff and the “constant barrage of dull questions”—turned him into a bit of a misanthrope.

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Dharma Action Day

· Open Access, Photos, Sangha News

On Sunday, January 28, 2018 over 75 sangha members gathered to share and investigate ways to actively and intentionally channel our collective concern for our world into beneficial action. 

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