Dharma Rain Blog

Time, Seasons, and Lineage

Genko Rainwater
This Sunday we celebrate the Two Ancestors Memorial, honoring Eihei Dogen and Keizan Jokin. As part of that, we chant the “Life Span Chapter” of the Lotus Sutra, which describes the Buddha enlightened since the remote past, or the eternal Buddha. As the seasons change, time passes, people are born, sicken, and die, and yet … To what extent do our ancestors continue to teach us? To what extent are we all eternal Buddhas? What does that mean? On Sunday Genko wrestles with some of these questions.

Join us this Sunday, September 24, for zazen, sanzen, service, and Genko’s Dharma Talk. Genko and Fumyo offer sanzen.

8:30am Zazen (with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin (walking meditation)
9:40 Two Ancestors Memorial
10:10 Break / Announcements
10:30 Time, Seasons, and Lineage
11:45 Informal Community Lunch – all invited.

Dharma Rain News

The sudden change in weather means that we’re dealing with mud and weatherproofing. The first steps have been taken in roof repair and repainting (both roofs will match the Sodo roof soon). The priority now is finishing the siding and outside to weatherproof the duplexes before the steady serious rains set in. Some inside work has been done to get classrooms ready for Dharma School next week, but there is more to do. We could use extra help this week and next to get that done. The weather is supposed to clear up and get more pleasant and dryer, so please consider coming out to join the fun and help. We and the kids would appreciate it greatly.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have regular Wednesday work parties from around 9am to 3:30pm. We also have work parties on Thursdays and Fridays for the next few weeks while the weather holds. There is plenty of work for people to do, inside and outside, light and heavy. Come for as much or little of the time as you wish. We have tools and gloves, but if you have your own, feel free to bring them. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

Our Intention at Work

Jody Shintai Dungay
How do we carry our deepest intentions with us as we move through our daily life, including when at work? Last week, many in the sangha participated in the Heart of Work retreat. Each day, the retreat started and ended with meditation in the zendo, but the main venue for the retreat was our individual work places, wherever they may be. This week’s Dharma talk is about this practice of finding support for remembering our intention wherever we are.

This talk was given September 17, 2017.

Stretching Awareness

We want to be “more” aware, but doing so is not actually a process of becoming aware of more. It’s more a matter of lessening the obstacles to awareness. As we clarify mind, the play of arising phenomena includes some that were previously submerged. On Sunday we explore this dynamic, and see how it might inform our relation to floods and fire.

This talk was given Sunday, September 10.

Dharma Rain News

The photo shows the difference between the north duplex (to the left), which has new siding around the bottom half, and the south duplex, which doesn’t yet, but is being prepped to receive it. This week’s Wednesday work party was sparse, likely because of heat and smoke and generally unhealthy conditions to be outside. Still, work continues on utilities and cleanup. The weather is now improving, both in temperature and air quality.

Trenches in front and back, holding pipes for electrical, water, and sewer, will get filled in soon. Next week excavators return to the land to move a substantial part of the surcharge into various places, including around the duplexes to raise the level of the soil.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have regular Wednesday work parties from around 9am to 3:30pm. We also have work parties on Thursdays and Fridays during the summer. There is plenty of work for people to do, inside and outside, light and heavy. Come for as much or little of the time as you wish. We have tools and gloves, but if you have your own, feel free to bring them. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

Sun Face Buddha, Moon Face Buddha

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
The Sun Face Buddha lives for 1,800 years. The Moon Face Buddha lives for one day. But the length of the life is not what makes either a Buddha.

This talk was given Sunday, August 27.

One’s Whole Life

Carrie Schulz
As a lay person, sometimes it is a challenge to integrate practice into our lives. How do we practice with what is? How do we allow the unique experiences of our lives to unfold with the awareness and attention of practice? Carrie Schulz offers a student talk exploring this.

This talk was given Sunday, September 3.

New Corn Crop


Painted Mountain corn was developed by Dave Christensen in the 1970s to withstand the cold temperatures and arid soil of Montana. It was created by open pollinating up to 70 different varieties of ancient corn from northern tribes of Native Americans (particularly the Mandans) and also heirloom stock from the homesteaders of the plains. For this reason, it is genetically diverse and varied in appearance. It is also tough, nutritious and fast growing. Hanshin grew this corn and only watered it six times.


It will be ready to harvest in mid-September and then taken to the Dharma school kids to be shucked. Once it is truly dry, Hanshin will enjoy the company of any volunteer who wants to assist him in use a crank operated corn shelling machine. It will be a pleasant way to spend a sunny hour in early October. If anyone wants to help make it into hominy and cornmeal, please let him know. You can look forward to seeing this corn decorate the soto, your bowl at lunch, and also the cookie plate on Sunday. Enjoy the harvest; it’s September.

Dharma Rain News

We’re looking for a small rowboat or canoe to put in the Dharma Rain playground. It should be in fairly good condition, not rotting or splintery, but it definitely doesn’t have to be sea-worthy!

Please contact Shin’yu [shinyu at dharma-rain.org] if you have such a boat to donate. We can arrange pick-up.


This week work has been proceeding on the duplexes in several ways. The north building has had most of its new siding put up. This will eventually be painted to match the outside of the Sodo. Kakumyo and Joel work on hammering it into place.

Trenches in front and back, holding pipes for electrical, water, and sewer, will get filled in soon. Next week excavators return to the land to move a substantial part of the surcharge into various places, including around the duplexes to raise the level of the soil.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have regular Wednesday work parties from around 9am to 3:30pm. We also have work parties on Thursdays and Fridays during the summer. There is plenty of work for people to do, inside and outside, light and heavy. Come for as much or little of the time as you wish. We have tools and gloves, but if you have your own, feel free to bring them. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

Caterpillars and Butterflies

by Jyoshin Clay

Editor’s Note: This talk was given August 20, 2017. The recording failed for it, so Jyoshin graciously shared her notes.

“Hide and Reveal,” by Ken Arnold

What you cannot see,
What sunlight hides in the artful
Tangle of spring,
Draws you in.

Notice how the moss on this stone
Layers down its face
In scallop shells,
Thumbnailed in shadow.

Stone lanterns mark what you’ve
Left behind, no fire in their fireboxes.
The stones themselves illumine
The complexities of moss,

Complexities of mind.
Each twist of the rough stone way
Reveals what you desire
And buries what you cannot bear.

I have a deep appreciation for poets. I have a deep appreciation for artists, those who create with words and images. Evoking something rather than explaining, leading their audience to some insight or realization, allowing for discovery and delight.

My teacher had a gift for narrative. He would teach through story. I would come to him with a question or present my understanding of a concept, and inevitably I would be met with a story from his training at Shasta Abbey, or Parcival’s tale from the Arthurian legends or, much to my dismay, a scene from a Star Trek episode, artfully told to illustrate some dharmic point. Rarely did he explain anything forthright in those conversations, leaving me to elucidate meaning and assemble my own understanding from the tales he told.
read more…

Page 1 of 5412345...102030...Last »