Featured Stories

Sangha / Gathering

July 6, 2020
On July 1, over 170 sangha members gathered on Zoom to reflect on the state of our distancing. We heard from board members who are part of a special "reopening subcommittee." They've been focused on the various questions that arise when considering any relaxing of the quarantine at the Monastery and our city center. Continue reading “Sangha / Gathering” »
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Building the House of Jizo

June 27, 2020
After more than a year of planning and fundraising, the humble and well-worn cottage across from the garden was torn down on June 18 to make way for a new Jizo House. That same week, another team successfully installed a lift in our main building. As part of a broader vision towards accessibility and inclusivity, these are long held dreams coming to fruition. The new Jizo House will greatly enhance our facilities in a number of important ways. Visit ZMM.org/JizoProject to see renderings, plans and testimonials from some of the many bodhisattvas who have stepped forward to support this important...
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Inside the Cloistered Cloister

June 10, 2020
by Hokyu JL Aronson >>> Lately I've been thinking. Years from now, everyone will speak of their life in quarantine, who they were with (if anyone) and how they occupied their time. But for now, and for a while to come, what many of us are reflecting on is where we were just prior. What was that life of easy mobility and carefree interaction? Where did it go? When will it be possible again? Although living in a Buddhist monastery grants me a stable predictability of schedule and community even through a pandemic, I'm also thinking of the lead up...
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Two Statements from the MRO responding to the ongoing killing of Black People in our country

June 6, 2020
Two statements—the first from the MRO People of Color Affinity Group, and second from Shugen Roshi and the white members of the BFoD Planning Group—were posted here in response to the surge in violence against men and women of color, and the persistence of unjust, white supremacist systems of oppression which remains invisible to the majority of Americans. As a sangha we are unified in our vows to serve, to alleviate suffering and the causes of suffering, and to respond with compassion and wisdom as challenges and conflict arise. We affirm our responsibility as individuals and as a community to...
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Covid-19 Enso Healing Altar

May 14, 2020
By Taikyo, Mariana and Laurel The Enso Healing Altar is like many home altars—symbolic and grounding—created as a personal space to share with others. It came into being early in the ZMM pandemic quarantine, first as a conversation between two nurses in residence about grief, gratitude, fears and hopes for a future that could transform suffering into healing. Talking with other residents, they began to gather items—a Medicine Buddha, an altar cloth from a blue hospital scrub, a hand-made bowl—sharing the urgent feelings of concern for those who were on the front lines. Continue reading “Covid-19 Enso Healing Altar” »
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Uppalavanna’s Courage

May 7, 2020
This dharma discourse by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold is excerpted from Mountains & Rivers: Zen Dharma and Practice, 2020 available here. The bhikkhuni Uppalavanna said to Mara the Evil One: Though a hundred thousand rogues just like you might come here, I stir not a hair, I feel no terror; Even alone, Mara, I don’t fear you. I can make myself disappear. Or I can enter inside your belly. I can stand between your eyebrows, yet you won’t catch a glimpse of me. I am the master of my own mind, the bases of power are well developed; I am freed...
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One Continuous Thread: Virtual Sesshin

May 4, 2020
By Taikyo Gilman The wake-up drum and bell sounding through the hallway, people moving quietly before dawn, three rings on the bansho bell beginning morning zazen. Sesshin has its soundscape, and with a little bit of added technology, an unprecedented 133 people shared the experience of the Apple Blossom sesshin sounds. Continue reading “One Continuous Thread: Virtual Sesshin” »
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New Bees In Town

April 15, 2020
By Joel Sansho Benton Last Saturday a group of new residents entered the monastery for the first time—about thirty thousand of them to be more precise. On Saturday I picked up three new packages of bees from Hudson Valley Bee Supply to replace the hives we lost over the winter. Each package holds approximately ten thousand bees, each with its own queen. Continue reading “New Bees In Town” »
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Conversation: A New Journal from the MRO

April 8, 2020
Print is in some ways an outmoded format, lacking the speed of digital or the ease of consuming audio/video content, so it was with some degree of soul-searching that the Monastery staff decided to collect a years' worth of teachings and practice in the new annual journal Mountains & Rivers: Zen Dharma and Practice. Continue reading “Conversation: A New Journal from the MRO” »
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Reflections on Temple Resident Life Under Quarantine

April 1, 2020
Residency at our Brooklyn Temple has always been an interweaving of NYC energy with the Zen Buddhism of a lay practice center. In these early weeks of the pandemic, our current residents Oliver, Jo and Brian, have shifted gears from their personal and Temple related routines. Here they offer an inside view of their lives and Zen training, greatly changed and yet in important ways still very much the same. — MR Continue reading “Reflections on Temple Resident Life Under Quarantine” »
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