Dharma Rain Blog

Practicing with Brightness

Ko’in explores Dogen’s Komyo (Brightness), Koun Ejo’s Komyozo Zanmai (Treasury of Luminosity) and how she has been practicing with brightness and these teachings in this student talk.

This Sunday is the end of Rohatsu, and the end of fall Ango. We’re flashing back to an earlier time, when we traditionally ended Rohatsu with a special Festival of Jodo. This will take the place of Full Morning Service.

This talk was given Sunday, December 9.

Dharma Rain News

We are on Rohatsu Sesshin this week. Annen shared this beautiful image of the crescent moon and the morning star over the Sodo on Monday, December 3. She points out that we are blessed to practice in this beautiful place.

In other news, the 2018 Annual Report is now available for your perusal on the web site. Check out this impressive report of the year just past.

Dharma Rain News


Fall’s beauty invites photographs. Between Rocky Butte to the east of us, and the beautiful trees and shrubs all around us, we are blessed in this land. We are moving toward Rohatsu next week, and looking forward to sharing silence, sharing space, sharing beauty.

Ember happily puts lids on packages of pumpkin pie filling donated by Grand Central Bakery. Looks like lots of yummy pies in the future. Don’t worry, we’ll share!

Dharma Rain hosts regular Wednesday work parties but Next Wednesday (December 5) there will be no regular work party because of Rohatsu. There will be one more this year, on December 12, before the temple closes for two weeks.

Perfect Wisdom

Genko Rainwater
Prajnaparamita, Perfect Wisdom, completes the series of talks on the Six Perfections. Wisdom has been an integral part of each of the other five we’ve discussed, and is one of the key wings of practice we cultivate (along with Compassion). It can be difficult to talk about, but we will provide some pointers at least.

Join us this Sunday, December 2, for zazen, sanzen, and Genko’s Dharma Talk. Genko and Jiko offer sanzen.

8:30am Zazen (with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin (walking meditation)
9:10 Zazen
9:40 Full Morning Service
10:10 Break / Announcements
10:30 Perfect Wisdom
11:30 Community Lunch – All Welcome

Dharma Rain News

We hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday. We had a few friends over at the Sodo, had lots of food that couldn’t be beat, lots of laughter and conversation, music, games, etc.

Now that the holidays have officially arrived, here are some upcoming events to keep in mind. Rohatsu is coming up in a week. The end of Rohatsu is the end of fall Ango.

A week of light schedule – Wednesday evening and Sunday morning programs only – is followed by the temple closing for two weeks. Refuge Recovery continues meetings through the holidays, however.

On New Year’s Eve, our annual celebration with Heart of Wisdom is held here this year. It’s a great evening, beginning with a potluck, followed by sacred dancing, then Fusatsu ceremony, zazen, a New Year’s ceremony, and finally sparkling cider served formal tea-ceremony style at midnight. All are welcome to join us.

Beginning January 2, we start classes about the Precepts, in preparation for Jukai Sesshin in February. If you are interested in taking the Precepts, let the Center know about your interest (email staff at dharma-rain.org), and prepare to take the Wednesday night classes studying these.

Wednesday Work Parties
Dharma Rain hosts regular Wednesday work parties from around 9am to 3:30pm. There is plenty of work for people to do, inside and outside, light and heavy. Come for as much or as little of the time as you wish. We have tools and gloves, but if you have your own, feel free to bring them. There is an open sitting meditation period from 11:30am to 12:30pm in the zendo. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

“Bad Students”

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
It’s easy to get the idea that certain thoughts and feelings are not part of Zen practice. We may think that to be a good student of Zen is to be free of strong emotions or points of view. What is the relationship between powerful and even overwhelming emotions and our practice? What does it really mean to be a “good” student of Zen?

This talk was given Sunday, November 18.

Dharma Rain News

On Saturday, students in the Blueprint Foundation came to work on the property, and helped move a greenhouse from Gyokuko’s house to our garden. This is one of many community organizations that Dharma Rain Zen Center partners with.

Another partner is Madison High School’s urban agriculture program. Several students came on Wednesday with their teacher to winterize their garden beds (out in back of the barn).

And, of course, we had many volunteers also working on Wednesday to winterize our gardens.

Wednesday Work Parties

Dharma Rain hosts regular Wednesday work parties from around 9am to 3:30pm. There is plenty of work for people to do, inside and outside, light and heavy. Come for as much or as little of the time as you wish. We have tools and gloves, but if you have your own, feel free to bring them. There is an open sitting meditation period from 11:30am to 12:30pm in the zendo. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

Perfect Meditation

Genko Rainwater
For this fifth out of a series of six talks on the Paramitas, we look at Zen’s core practice. “Meditation and Wisdom, the final two Buddhist Perfections, … [are] the culmination of the sequence … upon which the entire structure is founded” (from The Six Perfections, by Dale Wright).

This talk was given Sunday, November 11.

Founders Day

Jyoshin Clay
This Sunday, Jyoshin spoke about honoring lineage and tradition and at the same time exploring the tension between valuing and connecting with what we’ve done before while also responding to current conditions.

This talk was given Sunday, November 4.