Sangha News

The Wild Grasses sit at Fire Lotus Temple

· Retreats, Sangha News

post by Theresa Braine

“Wild Grasses. We are all wild grasses.”

With these words, Hojin Osho opened the second all-woman Zazenkai at Fire Lotus Temple, the Zen Center of New York City. Nearly 30 of us gathered, sitting in a circle, the room divided into four quarters for daisan purposes. The poetry of Otagaki Rengetsu, “Field of Wild Grasses,” set the scene and the tone:

Read more

Jisan Gokan Receives Full Monastic Ordination

· Sangha News

On Sunday, August 2nd, at the conclusion of our Interdependence Sesshin, Bear Gokan Bonebakker received shukke tokudo, or full monastic ordination, from Shugen Sensei in a moving ceremony attended by a zendo full of family and sangha. During the ceremony, Gokan received the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts and the five monastic life vows of simplicity, service, stability, selflessness and to accomplish the Buddha’s Way. Shugen Sensei also gave Gokan a monk’s bowl and kesa, and the ordination name Jisan, or “Loving the Mountain.”

Read more

One Giant Bowl of Oryoki: Unfolding the Dharma with Shugen Sensei in New Zealand

· Sangha News

by Cameron Kito Broadhurst, MRO

Zen Institute of New Zealand

Every year, our flock of New Zealand Zen practitioners leaves their home and local sangha practice to travel to Nelson for our national Zen workshops, social events and winter sesshin. At the same time, Shugen Sensei steps into the stomach of the iron bird and flies across the vast Pacific to the smaller but beautiful land of Aotearoa (Maori term for New Zealand), where his visit and the Zen training that surrounds it is much anticipated by us all.

Read more

2015 Being the Bowl Clay Retreat

· Sangha News

by Roni Nyuko Schnadow, MRO

On June 10, 2015 we began the four-day “Being the Bowl” retreat, led by Hojin Osho and assisted by Katie Yosha Scott-Childress. After being on the waiting list last year, I signed up early and was lucky enough to get to experience clay with nine other participants who had traveled from as far as Montana, Kansas and Canada to experience this art practice retreat.

Read more

Temple Kicks Off Summer Schedule with Sangha Work Day

· Sangha News

By Dennis Daiken Ferrill, MRO

On May 30th at Fire Lotus Temple, just a week after the end of our spring Ango, we celebrated a day of Fushin Samu, or Sangha Work Day. Traditionally, fushin samu refers to the ordinary work of communal labor. It was fitting that the day came at the end of three months in which we focused every day on Sangha and how to be within it, because this was a real demonstration of the seamless participation of our whole sangha family for the benefit of everyone.

Read more

Spring Ango 2015 Comes to a Close

· Retreats, Sangha News, Zen Training

by Jeffrey Gyokudo Roberts, MRO

Amidst birdsong and blue sky, our 2015 Spring Ango Intensive training period came to its end on Sunday, May 24th, and the sangha returned to harbor from the journey we set out on together during the snowy days of March.

Read more

Memorial Service for Maezumi Roshi

· Sangha News

by Sankai Lemmens, MRO
photo by Peter Cunningham courtesy of Stephanie Young Merzel

On Sunday, May 17th, Shugen Sensei officiated a memorial service during the Sunday Morning Program to mark the 20th year of the passing of Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi—Daido Roshi’s teacher and the first abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery—in May, the “Month of Azaleas.” The service began with a food offering, then Sensei offered a poem (below), and the sangha chanted the Emmei Jukku Kannon Gyo. There were azaleas on the altar.

Read more

Merle Kodo Boyd, Sensei, Leads Retreat at ZCNYC

· Sangha News

White Plum teacher Merle Kodo Boyd Sensei visited the Temple for a full day retreat that she described as a “collaboration” between her and the sangha. Kodo Sensei is a successor of Wendy Egyoku Nakao, the abbot of the Zen Center of Los Angeles and a successor of Maezumi Roshi. She is part of our White Plum family, a “dharma cousin” of Shugen Sensei, and the first African American woman to have received Dharma Transmission within any of the Zen lineages. She leads the Lincroft Zen Sangha in New Jersey, which she founded, and she is part of the Zen Peacemaker Circle.

Read more

Zuisei Goddard Becomes Dharma Holder

· Sangha News

On Sunday, April 26th concluding the April Apple Blossom Sesshin, Shugen Sensei conferred the title of Dharma Holder to Zuisei Goddard. This indicates that she is nearing the completion of her formal training and has received the “Seal of Forbearance” from Sensei, expressing his intention to transmit the Dharma to her at the appropriate time.

The brief ceremony took place at the conclusion of morning service. Shugen Sensei offered a brief explanation of this transition and presented Zuisei with a dark blue rakusu. Zuisei then circumambulated the zendo in a walking bow to receive the sangha’s support.

Read more

Jukai for Five Students at ZCNYC

· Sangha News

On Sunday, April 19th, Shugen Sensei officiated a Precepts Ceremony—Jukai—for five MRO students. The zendo was filled to capacity with Sangha, family, friends, plus a contingent from Mount Tremper.

From left to right, in the featured image: Carey Joyu (“peaceful courage”) DePalma, Clyde Fusei (“sacred wind”) Forth, Gwen Kimu (“awakening from the dream”) Coe, Sara Itoku (“sincere heart/mind”) Ahbel-Rappe, Shugen Sensei, and Vinny Unsan (“cloud mountain”) Bogan

Congratulations!

Read more