Sangha News

Cloister Living in the ‘New Normal’ at ZMM

· Sangha News, Zen Training

The garden is always a refuge but especially now—the delights of the greenhouse and the fresh earth outside are intoxicating—spring has truly come. In the “new normal” at the Monastery and the Temple, life continues with adjustments great and small. Here are some highlights from our new precautions and practices as the reality of social distancing in a communal monastic cloister comes home to us.

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Excerpt: Creative Process as Art Practice

· Creative Expression, Mountains & RIvers: Zen Dharma and Practice journal, Sangha News, Zen Training

This excerpt is from Mountains and Rivers, the annual book-length journal of the MRO which features original contributions from dharma teachers like Hojin Sensei, an artist, ceramicist and director of training at Zen Mountain Monastery. Learn more here about the journal and enjoy this teaching Hojin offered on creativity, connection and spiritual integrity.

Hojin Sensei: You can do an entire art practice with your eyes closed, so it’s not about technique. It’s about connections, about staying connected, turning off those voices that judge. Or, let the judge do your work! What does ‘judging my work’ actually look like? What would a judge draw? I mean, give ‘em a pen! Say “go to it, judge,” you know. They’d probably be, like, “naw, not that. You’re going to do that? no way, that doesn’t look like art.”

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Update: Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

· Sangha News, Zen Training · , ,

Like many communities around the world, at both Zen Mountain Monastery and the Zen Center of NYC we are concerned about the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 and are monitoring the unfolding events related to the virus.

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From Mountains & Rivers: Zen Dharma and Practice

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Dharma Discourses, Mountains & RIvers: Zen Dharma and Practice journal, Sangha News, Teachings

This excerpt, Manifesting Buddha by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, is from the new journal Mountains & Rivers: Zen Dharma and Practice and explores how Buddhist practice manifests in our daily lives as illustrated by the Ten Guiding Values of the Beyond Fear of Differences. The journal features original contributions of dharma teachings and more from MRO dharma teachers, sangha artists and practitioners.

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Spring Ango 2020

· Sangha News, Zen Training · , , , ,

by Jeffrey Gyokudo Roberts

Even though the Catskills are frozen and quiet right now, if I close my
eyes, I can already hear the returning song of the Hermit Thrush and
smell the tulips blooming.  Slowly the Esopus Creek, covered in ice,
will loosen its grip on Winter and Spring will come.

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BFoD presentation March 2019

Delving into “What is Whiteness?”

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Sangha News, Zen Training

by Eve Romm

The first two meetings of the ZMM sangha’s new “What is Whiteness?” (WIW) group began the same way: enlarging the circle of chairs in the Sangha House to accommodate far larger numbers than expected. The overwhelmingly high attendance on Sunday afternoons didn’t come as a surprise. Since the BFOD forum last March which invited the larger sangha into the anti-racism work—which smaller planning groups have been engaged in for a decade—many white sangha members have expressed different versions of the same sentiment: “When can we start?”

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Earth Initiative Winter Update

· Earth Initiative, Sangha News

Upstate sangha traveled to Albany on Monday, January 28, to join forces in urging New York state legislators to fully fund the CLCPA (Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act) so it can fulfill its far reaching mandate to bring NYS’s carbon production and usage down to zero. Ten sangha members joined with hundreds from all over the state organized by NY Renews to visit with legislators and to rally at the legislative hearing on funding the CLCPA.

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ZMM Roundup—Fall Ango 2019

· Sangha News, Zen Training

Catching up with rites of passage happening during fall ango’s 90 days of practice: Jukai for six students, novice ordination, and the Shuso Hossen for senior student Yosha Scott-Childress.

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Illuminated Journals

· Creative Expression, Sangha News, Zen Training · , , , ,

By Birgitte J. Haug

As fall ango came to an end, Monastery residents gathered to share their three-months of art practice. Led by Hojin Sensei, herself an artist, I felt that her deep interest in the work was contagious. Creative expression in art practice, one of the “eight gates” of Zen training, enriches our practice with something vital and uniquely alive. 

hello, puddle…
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Sangha marks 10th anniversary of Daido Roshi’s passing

· Photos, Reflections, Sangha News · , , , ,

by Sabine Russ

The mountain offered itself in full autumn splendor on Daido Roshi’s tenth memorial day: flaming colors, sharp lines, the most pristine of skies. Such effortless radiance of nature and the light, creating extra rich contrasts—ironically (given the person we were commemorating) a photographer’s field day. 

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