Winter 2017 Updates

Teaching in the Ten Directions

Hojin Osho with the New Zealand sangha

Shugen Sensei continued his monthly meetings with the Woodstock Interfaith Council through the winter, discussing issues related to serving our regional communities. In January. Hojin Osho traveled to New Zealand to lead a week-long arts workshop and a full-week sesshin at a retreat center in the mountains of Staveley with a gathering of sangha (see photos on this page). In February, Zuisei traveled across the state to visit with the Buffalo sangha where she led a four-day sesshin and offered a public talk.

The Training Office continues to provide a series of live video conferences with teachers for students who live at a distance from the Monastery or cannot visit. Last fall and winter Shugen Sensei offered two seminars on cultivating and maintaining bodhicitta, Hojin Osho offered one on art practice, Hogen Sensei gave one on practicing without a formal sangha, and Zuisei provided one on practicing relationship.

Upcoming video conferences are available to all MRO students and will cover topics such as the Bodhisattva Vows, lay training, creating personal liturgy, the role of faith and the topic of mindfulness. For more information on video conferences, please contact the Training Office.

Transmission Ceremony—Ron Hogen Green Sensei

On Sunday, December 11th at the Monastery, Shugen Sensei officiated a Dharma Successor Welcoming Ceremony for Ron Hogen Green, MRO. After offering bows to the Buddha and to Shugen Sensei, Hogen received the transmission rakusu from Sensei and offered a few words. After making a walking bow through the zendo to receive everyone’s support, he then turned to the sangha and offered his vows as a teacher of the Dharma in the Mountains and Rivers Order. Completion of the transmission process allows Hogen Sensei to begin taking formal Zen students of his own within the MRO sangha.

The week-long transmission process began early the previous Monday morning, much of which was held in private in the Monastery’s Buddha Hall. Residents of the Monastery saw Hogen Sensei offering incense at the altars throughout the building several times each day, as well as officiating services in the zendo. He also joined the residential sangha for meals.

In keeping with the tradition established by the Fifth Ancestor in transmitting the dharma to the Sixth Ancestor, Hui-neng, in a rice shed at midnight, on Saturday evening during the Buddha’s Enlightement Vigil, Shugen Sensei, Hogen and his attendant for the week, Zuisei, met shortly before midnight in the Buddha Hall for the final aspects of the private ceremony.

Hogen Sensei began his formal Zen training with Philip Kapleau Roshi in 1978 and first came to Zen Mountain Monastery in 1988, eventually becoming a formal student and ordaining as a monastic. After living at the Monastery with his wife Eiho for twelve years and serving as the Director of Dharma Communications, Sensei returned to lay life. He currently serves as the Co-Director of the MRO’s city center, Zen Center of New York City in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, and lives on a farm with his multi-generational family in Danville, PA.

Dana Dinner

In mid-December, the Monastery held its 28th Dana Dinner with a record number of volunteers helping to make it happen. This annual event opens our doors to members of the Catskill community, individuals and families who might not otherwise experience a warm, festive holiday meal.

Donations of food and gifts from local businesses help us to provide a memorable event to the guests in a sumptuous feast. Sangha families and the Zen Kids helped with other volunteers to engage in selfless giving within community. Although the area was blanketed in a foot of snow early that morning, those who braved the icy roads enjoyed the visit with the many elves on hand. Later in the day, extra prepared meals were delivered to group homes and family shelters, providing another chance to extend our Holiday dana beyond the Monastery gates.

Monastery Renovations

During the winter, long-anticipated renovations to the first floor men’s bathrooms became a reality. The old space and the adjacent closet were gutted and combined to create a greatly expanded new facility. In addition, upgrades of the electrical and lighting systems continued throughout the main building. Plans for further renovations in the mainhouse are under development and will likely continue through the summer, so stay tuned!

New MRO Students

In January, Walter Burton, Scott Forster, Deborah Hovland and Sanbo Bell all passed through the five barrier gates to become formal MRO students.


The Monastery would like to thank Donna Nicolino, Jill Hamer, and Steve Miron for helping to organize and coordinate the Women’s Marches in DC and NYC, and to those who donated bus tickets for sangha members. We are also delighted with a gift of yoga blankets from Barbara Boris. Gratitude to Karen Fuyu Spicher for her faithful production of the Brooklyn Temple Notes, and to the bodhisattvas who donate their time to help at the Temple. The Monastery is grateful for photo work by David McNamara, MRO.

Begging Bowl

The Monastery kitchen would appreciate a new Vitamix. The Temple would be delighted to receive three large oryoki serving bowls (for specifics check with Temple staff), and a DVD player.

Comings & Goings at the Monastery

Residents for the month of November were Maire Tosho O’Brien, MRO, Toronto, ON, Ali Kestrel Mills, Denver, CO, Caroline Kamei McCarthy, MRO, St. Davids, PA, Aya Mares, Vinalhaven, ME, Devon Loughran, Jacksonville, FL, Polly Horne, MRO, Brooklyn, NY, Kogaku Tazawa, Yokohama, Japan, Wendy Terumi Richardson, Fayetteville, AR, and Peter Kokai Bowron, MRO, Belvedere Tiburon, CA. Two-month residents beginning in December were Sushravya, Raghunath, Halfmoon, NY, and Kelley Williams, Asheville, NC, one month for Devon Loughran, Jacksonville, FL, and Cameron Kito Broadhurst, MRO, of Auckland, NZ, and two weeks Elise Lark, MRO, Olivebridge NY. Beginning a year of residency in December was Ian Falcon, Brooklyn, NY. Residents for the month of January were Angeleah Hatty Cresse, Twin Falls, ID, Daniel Smith, Leverett, MA, Adriana Silva-Moertl, MRO, Austria, Nolan Wilder, Willow, NY, Angela Generosa, Somerville, MA, Christine Fowle, Lewiston, NY and for several weeks Eve Romm, Barrytown, NY, Ajay Chandra, Gaithersburg, MD, and Donald Brown, Stroudsburg, PA. In January Alli Renji Liss, MRO began a five-month residency. In February we were joined for the month by Maria Josenhans, West Vancouver, BC and Anna Josenhans, Los Angeles, CA, and Sharon Bean, Dobbs Ferry, NY, and for several weeks by Joshua Dittmar, Leeds, NY, Shell Yang, Cannon Falls, MN, and John Jogan Kain, Seattle, WA.

Comings & Goings at the Temple

New residents at the Temple in December were Sahra Ali and Maija Kaunismaa for one month and Edyta Klimczakfor two weeks, and we said good-by to Aki Shimazu ending a six-month residency to return to Japan. In January Armen Kassabian and Polly Horne, MRO, each began three month residency, and Ben Ehrlich began a six month residency. For the month of February, Adriana Couta Siva-Moerti, MRO was in residency, Jordan Burnett began a six-month staff residency, and Phil Duval ended his six-month staff residency to return to Brooklyn, NY.