Dharma Rain Blog

Manseong’s No Cultivation

Jill Bukkai Washburn
At the center of this Sunday’s Dharma Talk will be a twentieth century Korean koan from The Hidden Lamp collection entitled “Manseong’s No Cultivation.” Bukkai will respond to the material and offer her thoughts on related teachings.

One day a nun asked Manseong Sunim, “How do I cultivate the Way of the Buddha?”

“No cultivation,” answered Manseong.

The nun persevered: “How, then, can I obtain release from birth and death?”

“Who chains you to birth and death?” Manseong asked in return.

Join us this Sunday, May 21, for zazen, sanzen, services, and Bukkai’s Dharma Talk. Bukkai and Jyoshin offer sanzen.

8:30am Zazen (with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin (walking meditation)
9:40 Full Morning Service
10:10 Break / Announcements
10:30 Manseong’s No Cultivation
11:45 Informal Community Lunch – all invited.

Dharma Rain News


Wednesday’s work party did a variety of things, including working on the Founders Shrine. We are adding trim to make it more similar in style to the Sodo, and also tightening up the building to make it more functional.

The lupine flowers, along with a lot of other plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees, are everywhere in profusion right now. Everything is green and growing. Spring has finally established itself convincingly.

We will be moving out of the Siskiyou House at the end of June, as we don’t want to renew a year-long lease. Residents will move into the 85th House as possible. If you are interested in renting the house, please contact staff for contact information for the most excellent landlord.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have work parties most Wednesdays from 9am to 3:30pm, and 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. You are welcome to join us at mid-day meditation in the zendo from 11:30am to 12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, lunch is provided.

Take Away the Staff

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
When we begin to practice, we feel a sense of hope and promise. In time, this fades and we feel disappointment again. What does it mean to let go of our expectations and hopes, and really fall into this disappointment? How do we practice when our supports are taken away, one by one?

This talk was given on Sunday, May 14.

Dharma Rain News

This week’s work party moved items from the garages at Siskiyou House and 85th House to the barn and Conex and continued organizing them. Also did a lot of gardening and landscaping.

We will be moving out of the Siskiyou House (corner of 84th and Siskiyou Street, with a great view of the property) at the end of June, as we don’t want to renew a year-long lease. Residents will move into the 85th House as possible. If you are interested in renting the Siskiyou House, please contact staff for contact information for the most excellent landlord.

The new seminary adviser is Annen. If you have concerns or questions about participating in the seminary program, please contact her [moyerjl at gmail.com].

Wednesday Work Parties

We have work parties most Wednesdays from 9am to 3:30pm, and 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. You are welcome to join us at mid-day meditation in the zendo from 11:30am to 12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, lunch is provided.

Wesak! Festival of Buddha’s Birth

Wesak is the festival of Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth and is a very precious time when the entire sangha – adults and kids, parents and those without children – celebrate together.

For the Wesak ceremony, a bower built over a statue of the baby buddha placed in front of the main altar. The statue depicts the baby with one hand pointing toward heaven and the other pointing toward the earth, and it stands in a deep bowl of sweet tea. The children meet before the ceremony to lavishly decorate the bower with flowers.

The ceremony includes singing “Holy Day of Wesak” and chanting the Heart Sutra. We process in a serpentine fashion around the zendo, with each person passing by the bower, bowing, and pouring a ladlefull of sweet tea over the Buddha’s head, reflecting the legend that sweet rain and flowers fell from the sky when the Buddha was born.

After the ceremony, everyone meets elsewhere for the birthday party. Naturally, Buddha has a large birthday cake, and needs the very youngest kids to blow out the candles on it. A white six-tusked elephant zeñata is then systematically dealt with, starting with the littlest kids and proceeding up to blind-folded middle and high schoolers (if it survives that long).

Join us this Sunday, May 7, for zazen, sanzen, services, and Wesak. Genko and Gyoshi offer sanzen.

8:30am Zazen (with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin (walking meditation)
9:40 Full Morning Service
10:10 Break / Announcements
10:30 Wesak! Festival of Buddha’s Birth
11:45 Informal Community Lunch – all invited.

Dharma Rain News

Painting the Barn and Conex



This week’s nice weather has allowed us (finally!) to finish painting the outside of the barn and the Conex. Zonnyo stands on top of the Conex (Natalie also assisted with the top); Joel works on the front of the barn, and Yoan paints the front of the Conex (also assisted by her sister). A lot of outdoor work got done on Wednesday, including landscaping, gardening, weeding, and the like.

Chickens!

Students at Madison High School, together with Dharma Rain volunteers, work on making a chicken run back behind the Conex, near their own garden beds. The chickens arrived yesterday, and are settling in to their new home.

Duplexes Update

The long-anticipated arrival of the two duplexes, to be used for resident housing, Frog Song Preschool, and retreat accommodations, has been delayed yet again by factors beyond our control – bureaucratic concerns with Rose Festival traffic, etc. The new date is more than a month out.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have work parties most Wednesdays from 9am to 3:30pm, and 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. You are welcome to join us at mid-day meditation in the zendo from 11:30am to 12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, lunch is provided.

They Will Come to These Places

Todd Tsuho Sattersten
Pilgrimage has been a part of Buddhism since the very beginning. In this student talk, Tsuho discussed his travels to Japan and India and how we can use place as a method for practice.

This talk was given Sunday, April 30.

Dharma Rain News

On April 7, six new Lay Disciples were ordained with their teachers Kakumyo and Jiko. They received rakusus and a new Dharma Name. The photo shows the ordinees approaching the altar in the back of the hall. From left are Eric Kosen Johnson, Stacy Zonnyo Riger, Richard Hanshin Schuler, Harry Ban’an Hesselgesser, Jane Myoho Endacott, and Alison Muchaku Dunfee. Jisha Nicole Ko’in Newsom guided them around the zendo as they bowed to several altars during the ceremony. Kosen and Hanshin are Jiko’s disciples, and the other four are Kakumyo’s.

Duplexes to Arrive Soon

The two duplexes, which will be used for resident housing, Frog Song Preschool, and retreat accommodations, are now due to arrive Sunday May 7 and Sunday, May 14.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have work parties most Wednesdays from 9am to 3:30pm, and 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. You are welcome to join us at mid-day meditation in the zendo from 11:30am to 12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, lunch is provided.

Mandala Practice

Mandala-diagram2015Kaishin’s student talk focuses on the mandala model that informs our organizational structure. The mandala comes to us from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which is distinct in key ways from Zen. Within the Tibetan tradition the mandala provides a conceptual model for the energetic and inter-dependent underpinning of the human psyche. Kaishin considers a few questions: How does this model – organized around the individual – function in a community context? How does community behavior from this view resemble a natural ecosystem? More particularly, how does this model provide a perspective that can inform and deepen our practice in sangha, as well as in our daily lives?

This talk was given Sunday, April 23.

Dharma Rain News

Kakumyo Ratified as Abbot

kakumyoVoting closed March 22nd in the Abbot ratification process for Kakumyo and here are the results: 154 ballots were sent out to sangha members, and we got 85 responses (a 56% return rate) with 100% yes votes. The Board meets tonight to determine next steps, but barring impediments, his installation as Abbot is scheduled for August 6, at the end of the AZTA Conference.

Duplexes to Arrive Soon

The two duplexes, which will be used for resident housing, Frog Song Preschool, and retreat accommodations, are due to arrive Sunday April 30 and Sunday, May 7. They will be trucked in and raised up over where they will eventually land on the gravel pad subgrade. The foundation gets built underneath them, and then they get lowered and tied to the foundations. In addition to utility hookups, they will also need renovation. The entire process is likely to take a year or more, though it will be done in phases, so we hope to have some functional spaces well before that.

In Other News …

The BARN has passed final inspection, and has had electrical hookups done. Volunteers are continuing to organize and otherwise make the space work for us.
P2017-0420barn-organization2-900

Earth Day Work Party

Saturday, April 22, from 9am – noon, come join friends and neighbors for ecological restoration work at Dharma Rain Zen Center to celebrate Earth Day. On a 14-acre former landfill, a new gathering place is taking root at Dharma Rain – a place where people can walk in tranquil native habitat, work in community gardens, bring their children to school or study, and practice meditation. We’ll be doing trail repair and invasive removal in the ravine. There will be a wide variety of tasks for different levels of skill and fitness, and kids are very welcome. Lunch will be provided after.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have work parties most Wednesdays from 9am to 3:30pm, and 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. You are welcome to join us at mid-day meditation in the zendo from 11:30am to 12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, lunch is provided.

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