Featured Stories

Digital Refuge in the MRO

March 27, 2020
By Eve Romm Until two weeks ago, joining the residents for zazen meant hurriedly finishing the dinner dishes, throwing on my coat and heading down the road to the Monastery. Opening the front door, I would be greeted by the smell of incense and the wooden dragon's arresting gaze before finding an empty seat in the zendo. These days, sitting with the sangha has a very different routine. As 7:30 pm approaches, I along with practitioners living down the road or as far away as New Zealand will make room on our altars for a laptop and open the Monastery...
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Cabin Quarantine Hermitage

March 25, 2020
By Taikyo Gilman I'm sitting outside the Sangha House on day nine of quarantine away from other residents and monastics (I get wifi here), and its a bright, drizzly spring day. A friend down with Covid-19 after we visited—maintaining appropriate distance—and so protecting the other 35 residential sangha members, including our monastic teachers, is a huge priority. So just in case (I feel fine, so far so good), I am practicing solo. The escalation of new cases in New York this week has us all on edge. Continue reading “Cabin Quarantine Hermitage” »
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Cloister Living in the ‘New Normal’ at ZMM

March 20, 2020
The garden is always a refuge but especially now—the delights of the greenhouse and the fresh earth outside are intoxicating—spring has truly come. In the "new normal" at the Monastery and the Temple, life continues with adjustments great and small. Here are some highlights from our new precautions and practices as the reality of social distancing in a communal monastic cloister comes home to us. Continue reading “Cloister Living in the ‘New Normal’ at ZMM” »
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Excerpt: Creative Process as Art Practice

March 18, 2020
This excerpt is from Mountains and Rivers, the annual book-length journal of the MRO which features original contributions from dharma teachers like Hojin Sensei, an artist, ceramicist and director of training at Zen Mountain Monastery. Learn more here about the journal and enjoy this teaching Hojin offered on creativity, connection and spiritual integrity. Hojin Sensei: You can do an entire art practice with your eyes closed, so it’s not about technique. It’s about connections, about staying connected, turning off those voices that judge. Or, let the judge do your work! What does ‘judging my work’ actually look like? What would...
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Update: Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 17, 2020
Like many communities around the world, at both Zen Mountain Monastery and the Zen Center of NYC we are concerned about the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 and are monitoring the unfolding events related to the virus. Continue reading “Update: Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic” »
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Excerpt: Manifesting Buddha

March 6, 2020
This excerpt, Manifesting Buddha by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, is from the new journal Mountains & Rivers: Zen Dharma and Practice and explores how Buddhist practice manifests in our daily lives as illustrated by the Ten Guiding Values of the Beyond Fear of Differences. The journal features original contributions of dharma teachings and more from MRO dharma teachers, sangha artists and practitioners. Continue reading “Excerpt: Manifesting Buddha” »
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Spring Ango 2020

February 29, 2020
by Jeffrey Gyokudo Roberts Even though the Catskills are frozen and quiet right now, if I close my eyes, I can already hear the returning song of the Hermit Thrush and smell the tulips blooming.  Slowly the Esopus Creek, covered in ice, will loosen its grip on Winter and Spring will come. Continue reading “Spring Ango 2020” »
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Delving into “What is Whiteness?”

February 14, 2020
by Eve Romm The first two meetings of the ZMM sangha's new “What is Whiteness?” (WIW) group began the same way: enlarging the circle of chairs in the Sangha House to accommodate far larger numbers than expected. The overwhelmingly high attendance on Sunday afternoons didn’t come as a surprise. Since the BFOD forum last March which invited the larger sangha into the anti-racism work—which smaller planning groups have been engaged in for a decade—many white sangha members have expressed different versions of the same sentiment: “When can we start?” Continue reading “Delving into “What is Whiteness?”” »
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Zen on the Trail

February 10, 2020
Book review by Hokyu JL Aronson Many years ago, still in college, I hitchhiked north from Berkeley to the uppermost reaches of California, my last ride dropping me off at the foot of Mt. Shasta in the southern Cascade Range. I didn’t yet know of the Zen monastery there but I’d come on a quasi-spiritual quest all the same. A friend had recently committed suicide and, in his honor, I wanted to test the fragile membrane of my own existence, going deep into solitude amidst the quiet embrace of a mountain landscape. Zen on the Trail: Hiking as Pilgrimage by...
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Transcending: Trans Buddhist Voices

January 30, 2020
Book Review by Finn Jogen Schubert This book is unlike any book I have ever read. Like a quilt, each piece contributes a unique perspective and style, coming together to provide warmth and comfort on the dharma path. Whether you are cisgender, trans, questioning, or something else entirely, you will find fresh perspectives on the dharma that will speak directly to your own experience, as well as perspectives that you may have never considered before. Transcending: Trans Buddhist Voices, Edited by Kevin Manders and Elizabeth Marston, North Atlantic Books (2019) Continue reading “Transcending: Trans Buddhist Voices” »
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