On the evening of Wednesday, April 8th, about 40 residents and local MRO students gathered in the performance hall for the first Sangha Treasure Meeting, a new forum for the sangha to reflect on and share their experience of practice and training within the MRO community. The idea for holding such a meeting arose in the aftermath of Ryushin Sensei’s departure; up until now, there really hasn’t been a place for sangha members to raise their concerns, particularly when those concerns have to do with a teacher. Although the idea for the meetings was born from a troubling situation, their purpose is not necessarily to explore problems but simply to give the sangha a chance to communicate with each other, providing a window onto how others are experiencing things. However, if problems arise that need to be addressed, then these meetings are also a space where people can give voice to them. Read more
post by Alison Mills
photographs by Nicholas Lue, MRO
On Sunday, March 29th, Shugen Sensei opened the first Dharma Encounter of the ango by asking the sangha, “What is Buddha?” and “What does it mean to take refuge in the Buddha?” Read more
On Sunday, March 8th, Shugen Sensei officially stepped into the role of Abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery in a brief but emotional ceremony as the sangha prepared to enter into the Spring Ango Intensive training period.
Coming on the heels of the weekend’s Ango Opening Sesshin, the Sunday morning program began as usual with a liturgy service, after which the timekeeper announced, “Prepare for Abbot’s Installation Ceremony.” Read more
From December 19th to December 21st, a number of ZMM residents had the rare opportunity to step off campus and attend a retreat offered by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD), the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery just down the road in Woodstock. Tenzin Palmo, reknowned for being one of the first Westerners ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun and for the twelve years she spent in solitary retreat in a Himalayan cave, offered teachings on the Six Realms of Existence, among other things. The retreat, entitled “Understanding Emptiness: The Twelve Links of Dependent Arising—Wheel of Life,” was an exploration of samsara and karma. Over the weekend, it was powerful to experience the liturgy, form, and aesthetics (Gold statues! Saffron robes! Intricate thangkas!) of another tradition. At the same time, Tenzin Palmo emphasized teachings which various schools of Buddhism share. Read more