Sangha News

Monastery Residents Travel to Albany for Climate Rally

· Earth Initiative, Sangha News

On Wednesday January 13th, a dozen monastery residents and local sangha joined several hundred state-wide protesters in Albany, NY to urge New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, state senators and legislators to stay focused on renewable energy and to discontinue reliance on coal, oil, nuclear and “fracked” natural gas. Rally participants traveled to Albany from the downstate metro area as well as from the Western Tier, Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley regions.

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The Monastery Hosts Its 27th Annual Community Holiday Dinner

· Sangha News

post by Es Taylor

The Monastery halls were rife with excitement, children’s laughter, and the delicious smell of gravy on the morning of Saturday, December 19th for our annual Dana Dinner. This 27-year tradition was started as the Monastery’s offering to the community and includes a meal, gifts, and live entertainment open to all who are able to come.

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Ikusei Receives Novice Ordination

· Sangha News

On Sunday, December 6th, Shea Ikusei Settimi received novice ordination at the Monastery from Shugen Sensei. A full zendo of sangha, friends and family came to share the day and support Ikusei in this next step on her path.

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Fall 2015 Ango Closes with Shuso Hossen Ceremony

· Retreats, Sangha News, Zen Training

post by Suzanne Taikyo Gilman, MRO; photos by David McNamara, MRO

The zendo at the monastery was overflowing on Sunday, November 22nd, when the sangha celebrated the Shuso Hossen ceremony with chief disciple Richard Ryoha Dunworth, MRO, marking the culmination of three months of intensive ango study and training.

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Jukai for Five Students at the Monastery

· Sangha News, Zen Training

On Sunday, November 15th, Shugen Sensei officiated a Precepts Ceremony—Jukai—for five MRO students at Zen Mountain Monastery. The zendo was filled to capacity with sangha, family, friends, plus a sizable contingent of students from the New York City sangha.

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The Passing of Moss the Cat

· Sangha News

After 15 years of dedicated prowling, purring, sunning himself and serving the Monastery sangha in numerous ways, Moss passed away on November 10th, surrounded by those who loved him. A service was held with recognition of all benevolent creatures of the earth, expressing gratitude for Moss’s life. A resting place was made near the garden and the woods where he loved to roam.

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Wild Grasses Sesshin Culminates with Full Monastic Ordination for Sensui Shoan

· Retreats, Sangha News, Zen Training

October 22nd-25th marked the second annual Wild Grasses Sesshin at the Monastery—a meditation intensive for women led by Hojin Osho. By Friday evening, eighty women sat together in the zendo, in long, curving rows. Amid preparations on Thursday morning, Hojin Osho envisioned a zendo set-up that dispensed with the usual straight rows in favor of a more spacious layout.

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The MRO Celebrates its 35th Anniversary

· Sangha News

by JL Aronson, MRO

“Happy 35th Anniversary Dragons and Elephants,” proclaimed a bright red and white painted banner hanging over the Monastery’s dining hall, a salute to the noblest creatures of the land, sea and air. October 9-11 brought nearly 150 sangha members (dragons and elephants alike) together for a weekend of reflection, celebration, dreaming and practice.

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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:

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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.”

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