In Zen practice there is no line drawn between a daily life of mindful attention and the spiritual exercise of meditation. Whether lecturing, giving private counseling, pointing out a mistake, or teaching by example, it is the purpose of our teachers to help each student find his or her own center in meditation, understand the Precepts in daily life, and bring an energetic mindfulness to all situations. Above all, they wish to help the students fully realize their own potential in practice.
Informal sanzen is available to all DRZC members with most of the transmitted teachers. Informal sanzen is a one-on-one dharma meeting with a teacher outside the calendar-scheduled formal sanzen times. It tends to have a more open structure than formal sanzen. It may extend longer, may cover several practice questions, and may be a more inviting and comfortable setting than formal sanzen for some people.
If you would like to schedule informal sanzen with one of the teachers, contact the Center and let them know which teacher you want to meet with and when you are generally available to meet. Staff will forward your request to that teacher, who will contact you to arrange a time.
Abbot Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
Kakumyo Lowe-Charde has been practicing at Dharma Rain since 1998, was ordained in 2002 by Gyokuko Carlson, and completed transmission in 2012. He has been heavily involved in the operations side of temple function and in residence for most of this time; practice and work at the temple is his full time occupation and avocation. Kakumyo has served Dharma Rain as the Kanin (Director of Operations and Development) since 2012. He was installed as co-abbot in August 2017 and became Abbot upon Gyokuko’s retirement on January 6, 2019.
Retired Abbot Gyokuko Carlson was ordained in 1975 by Roshi Jiyu-Kennett at Shasta Abbey. In 1980 she graduated from the seminary program, then remained at Shasta Abbey to deepen her practice and to help out as a staff member until she and Kyogen married in 1982 and came to Oregon to teach. The two of them worked together for decades to establish Dharma Rain Zen Center and arrange for its continued growth. Former Abbot Kyogen Carlson died September 18, 2014. See his obituary. Gyokuko Carlson retired as abbot in January 2019.