Since the founding of Zen Mountain Monastery in 1980, the Monastery kitchen has been an emotional hearth, a training hall, and the birth place of approximately 38,850 meals. It has also remained functionally the same for much of that time, even as other parts of the main building have been renovated and other structures on the property have been raised or rehabilitated.Read more
The monastic calling can sweep up the young in their daisy-eyed enthusiasm. It can take root in older practitioners, too: a penchant for absolute commitment previously unknown to the individual. It can also burn steadily, if flickering, throughout decades of practice, finally being realized when circumstances come together or after a very long period of discernment.Read more
On Sunday, June 18, 2017, Shugen Sensei completed a process of dharma transmission to Jody Hojin Kimmel as a large gathering of sangha shared the moment. Denbo, the actual transmission empowerment, took place—in accord with tradition—at midnight the evening before without witnesses. Dharma transmission is an intimate expression of the student meeting the teacher’s understanding and conveyance of the Dharma. Hence it is referred to in Zen as a direct mind-to-mind transmission, beginning with the Buddha and his student Mahakashyapa and onward through the ages.Read more
With the onset of summer, our Spring Ango training period came to a close with multiple displays of dedication and playful inquiry. First, on May 17 and 18, art presentations were held at the Zen Center and at the Monastery, giving ango participants the chance to share their work. Over the course of the ango, we took up the Karaniya Metta Sutta as an entry point for creative explorations. The results came in photos, poems, sculptures, video, watercolors, collage and in just about every size and shape you could imagine. (Medium, short, small, or otherwise!)Read more
On Sunday, April 23, Shugen Sensei officiated over a jukai ceremony for six students who have been practicing and studying the Bodhisattva precepts for several years.Read more
Happy Earth Day.
This week, Zen Mountain Monastery welcomed the Woodstock Interfaith Council and community members to celebrate a common vision of respect and identification with the Earth. The Council is a volunteer body of clergy and leaders of spiritual communities in the greater Woodstock region who meet regularly to discuss a range of issues, from administrative challenges to theological points of interest.Read more
Something fermented this way comes.
Recently, sangha member Achong Chen visited the Monastery kitchen to share some of her passion for kimchi. Normally associated with Korean cuisine, kimchi is also very popular in Japan, Taiwan (Achong’s home turf), and increasingly in the US. While there are many different recipes, Achong had us make a fairly standard kimchi using daikon radish, carrot, napa cabbage, ginger, garlic, scallions and the salt and chili that give all kimchis their distinctive, fermented punch.Read more
On Sunday March 5, the Monastery marked the beginning of the Spring training period with an Ango Opening Ceremony. This brief yet meaningful service brings the sangha together and reminds us of both our personal commitment and the shared experience of intensifying our practice.Read more
Dear Sangha Family,
I am sincerely honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as Chief Disciple for the Spring Ango. When Shugen Sensei requested that I step into this service position, I felt both the gulp! of nervousness, anticipating the exposure and responsibility of this role, as well as a surprising readiness to step forward into the unknown, offer myself to the sangha, and learn as much as I can from this experience.Read more