May 31, 1951 – June 27, 2017
MRO student Joseph Deumer passed away at the end of June at his home in upstate New York. Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Clarkson University, Joseph taught for twenty-eight years, focusing on contemporary American poetry and translations of Vietnamese poetry. He received the 2011 Poetry Award from American Literary Review and the 2001 Ohio State University Press/The Journal award for his book, Magical Thinking, which includes this poem:
Days are like grass the wind moves over:
first the wind & then the silence—
what cannot be said we must pass over
in silence, or play some music over
in our heads. Silently, a wind goes over
(we know from the motion of the grass).
Days are like grass; the wind goes over:
first the wind & then the silence.”
Joseph is survived by his wife Carole Mathey and four dogs, Dash, Oliver, Candy and Buckle.
Teaching in the Ten Directions
In June Shugen Sensei attended a workshop hosted by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, “Undoing Racism,” in New York City. Throughout the day, facilitators helped attendees to identify and better understand internalized personal and institutional bias. The workshop was specifically for community and business leaders to appreciate their unique role in affecting change.
Also in June, Sensei participated in an exploratory meeting of The American Buddhist Progressive Alliance, a coalition of Buddhists united by the conviction that our ethical commitment to the Dharma obliges us to advocate for and promote progressive social, political, environmental, and economic policies.
In July Shugen Sensei flew to New Zealand for his annual two week visit with our kiwi sangha. In Nelson he gave a public talk, Illuminated Mind: Seeing into the Illusory Self, and a weekend workshop, Playing in the Buddha Field: Compassion and Skillful Means. The following week the sangha gathered for a full week sesshin in the mountains outside of Nelson, a well-attended event both by long-term and newer sangha.