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 Gyokuko Carlson
Gyokuko Carlson (left) 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.
Kakumyo Lowe-Charde (right) has been practicing at Dharma Rain since 1998, was ordained in 2002 by Gyokuko, 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. His responsibilities with Dharma Rain for the past several years have focused on the development of the new campus. Kakumyo currently serves Dharma Rain as the Kanin (Director of Operations and Development). He finished his kessei term in December 2016, and is moving through the process of being formally approved as co-abbot. Assuming all goes as planned, he will be installed as such in August 2017.