Fall 2016 Updates

Teaching in the Ten Directions

This fall Shugen Sensei continued his monthly meetings with the Woodstock Interfaith Council, and hosted their October meeting at the Monastery; he also visited with Khenpo Karma Tenkyong at KTD Monastery in Woodstock and discussed strengthening the connection between the two monasterys. Sensei welcomed Seido Roshi, abbot of Toshoji in Japan, for an afternoon visit to ZMM. Seido Roshi lived at the Monastery for several years in the early 1980s, helping Daido Roshi establish it as a training center. In October, Sensei traveled to northern California to participate in The Future of Dharma in America: Stress Reduction or Awakening?, a conference convened by the Global Peace Initiative of Women. In August, Hojin Osho led a wilderness retreat in the Adirondacks specifically for women, and in September, Zuisei visited the Buffalo sangha, where she offered a public talk and led a zazenkai.

The Training Office is offering a series of video conferences to allow far-flung students to be able to engage in study and conversation with the teachers at a distance. Shugen Sensei, Hojin Osho, Hogen Green and Zuisei Goddard will each schedule approximately four of these video conferences throughout the year; conferences will be limited to about a dozen participants at a time. Hojin Osho offered the first of these, on art practice, in late October. Keep an eye on your email inbox for a list of dates, topics, and information about how to sign up.

Jukai Ceremony—Receiving the Precepts

On Sunday, October 16th, six Mountains and Rivers Order students received the Bodhisattva precepts in a ceremony officiated by Shugen Sensei at the Monastery. Fellow sangha members, friends and family were in attendance for the ceremony. Recipients are, left to right, Judith Taisei (“Authentic Peace”) Schutzman, Kerry Shoho (“Abundant Blossom”) Fristoe, Sandy Joshin (“Deep Peace”) Del Valle, Karen Fuyu (“Courageous Wind”) Spicher, Jude Kushu (“Sky Study”) Dinan, and Andy Jikai (“Compassion For The World”) Kriger.

Daojin Ordinations

On Sunday, September 18th, Michelle Seigei Spark, Patricia Kaishin Jamieson, and Ric Ryoha Dunworth all received daojin ordination at the Monastery from Shugen Sensei. A zendo full of sangha, friends and family came to share in the ceremony and support Seigei, Kaishin and Ryoha as they continue their own journeys on a challenging and rewarding path established by Daido Roshi over fifteen years ago.daojin

Similar to jukai or monastic ordination, daojin ordination consists of the sixteen precepts of the Buddha way, as well as the five daojin vows of simplicity, constancy, right livelihood, right action and awareness. The ordination service and passage is the result of 4 years of study and practice for these newly ordained members of the sangha. The daojin path is largely one of service, which entails continuing Buddhist study, practice, and service commitment to the MRO.

Happenings at the Brooklyn Temple

Hojin Osho and Hogen Green were on hand with Temple residents and staff to launch the Fall Ango with a talk and traditional monastery lunch of pasta and marinara sauce and dessert. Lay students in the metro area are now coordinating daily liturgy for the start of the week, and a rotation of MRO teachers and monastics are covering the weekends and other events. Helping make this possible is the first part-time staff member of the Temple, Phil Duval, who has taken on a one-year commitment to provide continuity and coordination of Temple activities. Phil, who is from Ithaca, NY, also did a period of residency at the Monastery last year.

Postulant Ceremony

taikyoOn Friday, September 30th, Shugen Sensei officiated at a brief ceremony during morning liturgy in which Suzanne Taikyo Gilman entered the first stage of monastic training as a postulant. Taikyo has been in residence at the monastery for several years and currently serves as the Mountain Record editor.

In Memoriam: Will Kishin Gamble
June 7, 1932 - August 8, 2016

William Kishin Gamble, a longtime Mountains & Rivers Order student, passed in early August. His funeral was held at the Monastery for family, friends and the sangha on Sunday October 2nd.

Kishin was one of Daido Roshi’s earliest students, having begun his training at the Monastery when it was newly forming in the 1980s. He lived in New York City for many years and practiced actively at Fire Lotus Temple as well as at the Monastery. Kishin was a lifelong photographer and devoted jazz enthusiast.

Hungry Ghost Ceremony

Hojin Osho officiated the Monastery’s annual Hungry Ghost Ceremony on the Thursday before Halloween. Due to an early snow fall, the ceremony, which typically takes place outside, was adapted to be held indoors. Jack-o-lanterns dotted the dining hall and Hojin Osho ignited a mini bon fire in a large ceramic bowl. Chanting, images, words and sounds were offered to appease the craving and suffering of beings in other realms. Then, the lights were raised and participants satisfied their own hunger with pumpkin pie and spiced cider.

New MRO Students

This fall, George Matthews and Anne Rubin all passed through the five barrier gates to become formal MRO students.


The Monastery would like to thank Donna Shoshin Chester, MRO for donating student oryoki sets, and to Joe Kenshu Mieloch, MRO and Mark Shinyu Palowski, MRO for help with the audio system at the Monastery. Continued thanks to Karen Fuyu Spicher for her weekly work on the Brooklyn Temple Notes, and to the bodhisattvas who donate their time to help with the caretaking, cooking, shopping and office work at the Temple.

Dharma Communications is grateful for transcribing work by Carolyn Kamei McCarthy, MRO, Paul Kyudo McCarthy, MRO and Lyn Matoon, MRO.Dharma Communications is grateful for transcribing work by Lyn Matoon, MRO, Carolyn Kamei McCarthy, MRO, Lindsey VanWagenen, MRO, and Connie Barrett. Our continued appreciation to all those bodhisattvas who donate their time to help with the caretaking, cooking, shopping and office work at the Temple.

Begging Bowl

The Monastery and Dharma Communications are in need of a new ipad. The Monastery would appreciate donations of used, large stainless steel pots for use with natural dyes.

Comings & Goings at the Monastery

Month-long residents in August were Nanja Van Zundert, Prinsenbeek, Netherlands; Christian Houston-Floyd, New York, NY; Zak Niazi, Brooklyn, NY and Itoro Udofia, Oakland, CA. Residents for the month of September were Joseph Kaufman, Brooklyn, NY; Nancy Kam, Philadelphia, PA; Cameron White, from Sylvania, Australia; and Ikyo Love, MRO, Long Island City, NY. In September, we were joined by Laura Cohen of Monroe, NY; Samson Zhilyaev of Amherst, MA, and John Caruso, MRO, of Mount Tremper, NY. Each of them began year-long residencies during the fall. Beginning a six-month residency in September was Chris Kensan Molloy, MRO, of Wellington, New Zealand. In October we welcomed Polly Horne, MRO, of Brooklyn, NY and Anastasia Gochnour of Broolyn, NY for the month. In September we said farewell to year-long residents clyde fusei forth, MRO, and Ryan Leonard, MRO. In October Eduardo Avila-Zayas completed a year of residency and in November, Alexandra White. New Zealander’s Michael Taikyu Apathy, MRO, and Selena Seian Clare, MRO, did four weeks of residential training in October and November.

Comings & Goings at the Temple

In August, Jing Mu joined us for six weeks of residential training. We said goodbye to Ian Falcon who completed six months of residency. In September, Sasha Elbaum and Mirko Amico began periods of residency, Gikon Vasan, MRO began a three month residency, and Phill Duval began a one-year residency as staff. In October, Jean Ann Wertz began a six-month residency.