Dharma Rain Blog

Sangha Forum

The Dharma Council led the spring forum, and reported on what we’ve been working on over the past 6 months and some new offerings for the coming months. Kakumyo reported on the status of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) program, and also gave a financial and debt repayment overview. This was also an opportunity for sangha members to give feedback and ask questions about such things as whether offerings here are meeting your needs, thoughts about Denkoe being a cloistered retreat, the Spring Term Student program, and volunteering opportunities.

The Sangha Forum was Sunday, April 14.

Just Say Yes

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
There are so many ways that the world will say no to our desires. But we also say no to ourselves and to the world. How do we say yes? In Zen practice, there is a deep affirmation that we can bring to our everyday life as well as our practice.

Join us this Sunday, April 21, for zazen, sanzen, and Jiko’s Dharma Talk. Jiko and Kakumyo 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
10:40 Just Say Yes
12:00 Community Lunch – All Welcome

Dharma Rain News

We are on Denkoe Sesshin this week. It is a cloistered retreat, which means that it is closed from breakfast through dinner. Early mornings (5-7:20am) and evenings (7-9:25pm) are open for drop-in.

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. We have a mid-day sit from 11:30am to 12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

Coming Back to Life

Jyoshin Clay
In the depths of winter it is easy to be deluded that nothing changes and the grey and cold will last forever. In the depths of adult life that delusion can arise as well. Yes, little things change, but nothing fundamental changes, we think. Drifting and dreaming, life passes by. The practice of zen teaches us to wake up – either startling us to realization or helping us to slowly move towards wakefulness. This Sunday, Jyoshin will share a talk about waking up, springtime, and this mysterious path of practice.

This talk was given Sunday, April 7.

Dharma Rain News

Three new residents are now on site. Kemyo just moved in. Zonnyo is doing a residency for the month of April. Kakuon is resident for spring Ango, that is, March, April, and May. We are enjoying having full dorms and lots of people at meals. In addition to these three, residents include Jyoshin, Ember, Genko, Fujaku, and Minshu. Kakumyo lives close by and is here much of the time. Shin’yu lives away from campus, and spends most of her days here.

Plum blossoms have fallen off and new leaves are appearing on several trees. But there are still plenty of trees and other plants in full bloom. Quince and daffodils make a pleasing contrast. Forsythia is in its glory, as is rosemary. Cherry blossoms are at their peak. The new leaves on trees are slowly greening up the landscape, and the grass is now the particularly vivid green of April. The land rejoices in the rebirth of spring.

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. We have a mid-day sit from 11:30am to 12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

New Planned Giving Program: Branching Streams

Dharma Rain is pleased to announce its new planned giving program. The Branching Streams Society is a way for our members and friends to ensure our sustainability for future generations of way-seekers by including Dharma Rain in their estate plans.

Planned giving is for everyone, regardless of how small or large your financial estate may be. Arranging now to make a gift through your will, life insurance or retirement account will help Dharma Rain remain vibrant and accessible for many years to come. We have prepared materials that explain planned giving in simple terms, and are mailing those to members and friends in coming weeks.

We are grateful to the 17 individuals and couples who have already joined our Branching Streams Society. If you would like to include Dharma Rain in your estate plans, or have already done so, please contact Kakumyo by e-mail [kakumyo at dharma-rain.org] or contact the Center.

Nurturing Mind

In his “Instructions to the Cook,” Dogen lists three qualities of mind that the Head Cook, or Tenzo, of a monastery must cultivate: Joyful Mind, Nurturing Mind and Magnanimous Mind. Shin’yu explores the second of these, Nurturing Mind, and the wish to take care of the things and people of our world.

This talk was given Sunday, March 31.

Dharma Rain News

Ken Barker sent three lovely pictures – two of birds, and one of a rabbit. You can find a list of birds spotted at Dharma Rain by those participating in eBird. This is a citizen science project, a network of local, national, and international partners. They have a list of 94 species spotted and recorded on Dharma Rain’s property.



Here’s our old friend the crow – many of these on site, of course.

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. We have a mid-day sit from 11:30am to 12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

Denkoe Sesshin to be Cloistered

Each year we study a chapter of the Denkoroku as a way of honoring and learning from our ancestors. This year, April 16-21, Denkoe is a cloistered retreat on a trial basis. There are two entry points, at the Monday night beginning or on Friday for the weekend, with participants staying for the entire retreat or the entire weekend. Pre-registration is required, and closes April 11.

The drop-in schedule is as follows:

5am-5:50 Zazen
5:50 Kinhin
6-6:50 Zazen
6:50-7:20 Service

[Breakfast through dinner closed]

7pm-7:35 Zazen
7:35 Kinhin
7:45-8:20 Zazen / Dharma Talk
8:20-Kinhin
8:30-9 Zazen
9-9:15 Formal Tea
9:15-9:25 Vespers

As the Dharma Wheel Turns

Visiting Sangha Leaders

On March 24, the sixteen participants and three staff who worked together in an intensive 10-day training for sangha leaders finished their time together. Three of the participants shared short dharma talks that they developed in the course of the training to give the rest of us a taste of what they’ve did. People came from near and far to do this training, staying here, sharing meals and the schedule, and enjoying some outings. Kakumyo, Jiko, and Jyoshin organized and presented the training.

This presentation was Sunday, March 24.