Featured Stories

Jisan Gokan Receives Full Monastic Ordination

August 7, 2015
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." Continue reading “Jisan Gokan Receives Full Monastic Ordination” »
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One Giant Bowl of Oryoki: Unfolding the Dharma with Shugen Sensei in New Zealand

July 26, 2015
by Cameron Kito Broadhurst, MRO Zen Institute of New Zealand Every year, our flock of New Zealand Zen practitioners leaves their home and local sangha practice to travel to Nelson for our national Zen workshops, social events and winter sesshin. At the same time, Shugen Sensei steps into the stomach of the iron bird and flies across the vast Pacific to the smaller but beautiful land of Aotearoa (Maori term for New Zealand), where his visit and the Zen training that surrounds it is much anticipated by us all. Continue reading “One Giant Bowl of Oryoki: Unfolding the Dharma with Shugen Sensei...
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2015 Being the Bowl Clay Retreat

June 25, 2015
by Roni Nyuko Schnadow, MRO On June 10, 2015 we began the four-day “Being the Bowl” retreat, led by Hojin Osho and assisted by Katie Yosha Scott-Childress. After being on the waiting list last year, I signed up early and was lucky enough to get to experience clay with nine other participants who had traveled from as far as Montana, Kansas and Canada to experience this art practice retreat. Continue reading “2015 Being the Bowl Clay Retreat” »
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Temple Kicks Off Summer Schedule with Sangha Work Day

June 9, 2015
By Dennis Daiken Ferrill, MRO On May 30th at Fire Lotus Temple, just a week after the end of our spring Ango, we celebrated a day of Fushin Samu, or Sangha Work Day. Traditionally, fushin samu refers to the ordinary work of communal labor. It was fitting that the day came at the end of three months in which we focused every day on Sangha and how to be within it, because this was a real demonstration of the seamless participation of our whole sangha family for the benefit of everyone. Continue reading “Temple Kicks Off Summer Schedule with Sangha...
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Spring Ango 2015 Comes to a Close

June 2, 2015
by Jeffrey Gyokudo Roberts, MRO Amidst birdsong and blue sky, our 2015 Spring Ango Intensive training period came to its end on Sunday, May 24th, and the sangha returned to harbor from the journey we set out on together during the snowy days of March. Continue reading “Spring Ango 2015 Comes to a Close” »
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Memorial Service for Maezumi Roshi

May 23, 2015
by Sankai Lemmens, MRO photo by Peter Cunningham courtesy of Stephanie Young Merzel On Sunday, May 17th, Shugen Sensei officiated a memorial service during the Sunday Morning Program to mark the 20th year of the passing of Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi—Daido Roshi's teacher and the first abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery—in May, the "Month of Azaleas." The service began with a food offering, then Sensei offered a poem (below), and the sangha chanted the Emmei Jukku Kannon Gyo. There were azaleas on the altar. Continue reading “Memorial Service for Maezumi Roshi” »
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Cunda Sutta

May 21, 2015
Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. Now at that time Ven. Sariputta was staying among the Magadhans in Nalaka village—diseased, in pain, severely ill. Cunda the novice was his attendant. Then, because of that illness, Ven. Sariputta attained total Unbinding. So Cunda the novice, taking Ven. Sariputta’s bowl and robes, went to Ven. Ananda in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery, near Savatthi, and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to Ven. Ananda: “Venerable sir, Ven. Sariputta...
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Born in a Moment

May 21, 2015
by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei Hui Ch'ao Asks About Buddha Blue Cliff Record, Case 7 Pointer The thousand sages have not transmitted the single word before sound; if you have never seen it personally, it is as if it were worlds away. Even if you discern it before sound and cut off the tongues of everyone in the world, you’re still not a sharp person. Therefore it is said, “The sky can’t cover it; the earth can’t support it; empty space can’t contain it; sun and moon can’t illumine it.” Where there is no Buddha and you alone are called the...
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Merle Kodo Boyd, Sensei, Leads Retreat at ZCNYC

May 8, 2015
White Plum teacher Merle Kodo Boyd Sensei visited the Temple for a full day retreat that she described as a “collaboration” between her and the sangha. Kodo Sensei is a successor of Wendy Egyoku Nakao, the abbot of the Zen Center of Los Angeles and a successor of Maezumi Roshi. She is part of our White Plum family, a “dharma cousin” of Shugen Sensei, and the first African American woman to have received Dharma Transmission within any of the Zen lineages. She leads the Lincroft Zen Sangha in New Jersey, which she founded, and she is part of the Zen...
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Zuisei Goddard Becomes Dharma Holder

May 5, 2015
On Sunday, April 26th concluding the April Apple Blossom Sesshin, Shugen Sensei conferred the title of Dharma Holder to Zuisei Goddard. This indicates that she is nearing the completion of her formal training and has received the "Seal of Forbearance" from Sensei, expressing his intention to transmit the Dharma to her at the appropriate time. The brief ceremony took place at the conclusion of morning service. Shugen Sensei offered a brief explanation of this transition and presented Zuisei with a dark blue rakusu. Zuisei then circumambulated the zendo in a walking bow to receive the sangha's support.
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