Sangha Reflections

Sangha Reflections on the Jizo Project

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The Jizo Project is an important sangha-supported initiative to make Zen Mountain Monastery a more accessible and accommodating refuge for practice. Here are several reflections from sangha members on what the initiative means to them. Care to contribute your voice to the conversation? Email us at jizoproject@mro.org

“For me, what comes to mind about this project is, ‘May all who seek the dharma have access to it.’  The Jizo Project is beautiful on so many levels.” — Rachel Yuho Rider

“I’ve been a student in the MRO since 1996. Since then, I’ve gone from being a healthy, energetic middle-aged person to an old lady with a legion of health problems past and present. I’m unable to do a full sesshin, and have increasing trouble with stairs. The Jizo Project will make it possible for me to continue to come to the Monastery. I’m overjoyed that it’s happening, and deeply, deeply grateful to all who can contribute, and to the foresight and generosity of this vision.” — Chase Takusei Twichell

“This practice and this place have given so much to me, changing my life for the better in so many ways. I have the experience of coming to the Monastery and feeling as if I’m “taking” — taking the enormous  generosity of the teachers, the monastics, the residents, the place itself.  We now have a tangible opportunity through the Jizo Project to give back, and that’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us.” — Richard Shozen Hamlin

“I am thrilled to think that I can be here my entire life, in a beautiful space, with my sangha family around me, practicing together.”  — Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

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Perspectives: Beyond Fear of Differences

· Sangha News, Sangha Reflections

The Beyond Fear of Differences (BFoD) Planning Group held a public forum at the Monastery on Sunday, March 3, 2019—a moment 10 years in the making. It was a chance to welcome the whole Sangha into the development of the BFoD mission and vision process, to share the details about the process that the committee had been involved in, and to let people know how they can get involved. A similar forum was held one week later at the Zen Center of NYC.

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Precepts in the World: Sangha Reflections

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Originally published in Mountain Record journal: “Morality in the World” (2002)

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Sangha Reflections on Buddhist Pilgrimage

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NOTE: In October 2018, 16 sangha members, including Shugen Roshi and Hojin Sensei, travelled to India and Nepal “in the footsteps of the Buddha.” Here are some of their reflections and photos. More photos from an earlier blog post here.

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Sangha Reflections on Resilience

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photo by Will Carpenter

Sangha Reflections on Gratitude

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Gratitude


I walked against the stream in this river all of my life because I used to believe I did not deserve anything unless I suffered first. It was disheartening and often excruciating yet I always told myself Don’t be a wuss. Try a little harder and just a little longer. I did not acknowledge the pain and suffering for so many years because that would have meant admitting defeat.

One day, I found myself paralyzed in the stream. I could no longer move. Utterly exhausted, I had no strength or will left to step forward.

Just let go, said the voice.
Trust me, the river said.

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Photo by Henry Fernando

Sangha Reflections on View

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View


When my son was born 20 years ago, I became very afraid of flying on air planes. It was not just a case of the jitters but more like curl-up-in-a-ball-and-miss-your- flight terror. While it is certainly possible to live a happy, fulfilling life without getting on an airplane, I started to doubt that I was re ally living from a place of clarity with this fear looming in the background. There was something just so off about how it ruled my behavior and, about nine months ago, my dis comfort with its constriction was becoming unbearable.

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Photo by Chizen Brown, MRO

Sangha Reflections

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Discernment

Learning how to listen to, recognize and act upon my longing has pulled the strings of my discernment. This is how I have made decisions in my life about my life and my Zen practice. But I don’t always know this. And I have had to be patient. It almost feels like I am being discerned.

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New Zealand Sesshin, July 2017

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NOTE: This July, Shugen Arnold Sensei made his annual trip to New Zealand to lead retreats and public programs with our substantial sangha there. He first visited NZ almost 30 years ago with Daido Loori Roshi and he and other teachers in the Order have been visiting ever since. In this blog post, sangha member Navina Clemerson shares her reflections on the sesshin that took place . To read an account of the public talk given by Shugen Sensei in Nelson, click here to read another post by Myokei Adams and Gensei Moore. 

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Shugen Sensei visits New Zealand

· Open Access, Sangha News, Sangha Reflections
NOTE: This July, Shugen Arnold Sensei made his annual trip to New Zealand to lead retreats and public programs with our substantial sangha there. He first visited NZ almost 30 years ago with Daido Roshi and he and other teachers in the Order have been visiting ever since. In this blog post, MRO students Myoke Adams and Gensei Moore share their thoughts on the first few days of this summer’s teaching. To read an account of the sesshin that followed, click here to read another post by Navina Clemerson, MRO.
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