Dharma Rain Blog

Yes and No

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
Sallie Jiko Tisdale
Our practice includes the big “yes” of acceptance and the big “no” of impermanence. Our daily lives also include yes and no, as we choose how to meet conditions. We are in a time of uncertainty, intense emotion and cultural confusion. Many people are wondering how best to respond to the political situation. How does our practice of yes and no allow us to decide what to do?

Join us this Sunday, March 26, for zazen, sanzen, services, and Jiko’s Dharma Talk. Jiko and Kakumyo offer sanzen.

8:30am Zazen (with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin (walking meditation)
9:40 Full Morning Service
10:30 Yes and No
11:45 Informal Community Lunch – all invited.

Dharma Rain News

P2017-0318Event-900A neighborhood coalition studying ways to improve 82nd Avenue and environs rented Dharma Rain’s Sodo for an afternoon last Saturday, March 18. An estimated 50 or so people came to participate, first listening to a presentation and then giving suggestions around tables on maps. James Helms from Madison South said, “Awesome turnout, lots of excitement, ideas, hopes, dreams & energy around this discussion.” Many people who attended had never been here before, and thanked us for hosting, looked at the bulletin board, and just generally enjoyed the space.
Wednesday’s work party this week included raising the Founders Shrine 6 inches off the ground as a way to discourage invasions by local wildlife, especially bugs and worms. Volunteers also sealed a lot of cracks. Today Jyoshin took to the shop vac in an attempt to debug as much as possible. An added step in front assures the building’s continued usefulness for sanzen and other activities.

The gardens are spouting signs of spring, including literal new signs painted and installed Monday to label various of the permaculture beds. This flower bed cheerfully expresses the hope for colorful blooms in the coming months. Residents are also working on their garden beds, even beginning to plant things.
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. And if you are around at 12:30pm, lunch is provided.

Thank You!

We rely on the generosity of volunteers who do all kinds of work at the temple, as well as all of us continuing to pay pledges faithfully, in order both to keep our programs running and to make improvements to the buildings and grounds. In addition, special people sometimes bring offerings to the kitchen. Here’s a partial list of these over the last several months:

  • T’suho – apples
  • Joel – apples, kiwi
  • Zoki – cookies
  • Sue – cakes
  • Mia – cookies
  • Kate – cookies
  • Nancy – cookies, bread, etc.
  • Jeff & Ken – pumpkin
  • Seido – produce
  • San – pears
  • Karen C – cookies
  • Susana – cookies
  • Hisako – many sweets
  • Marilyn – banana bread, jam
  • Eishin – tea
  • Jonathan – eggs
  • Natalie – cupcakes
  • Nathan – bread
  • Ota Tofu – tofu

All of this bounty is much appreciated by both residents and guests!

Passing on the Lore

J2017-0323wagessa-workshop-900This morning, Domyo from Bright Way Zen on the west side brought some of her students over to learn how to make wagessas. We give these to people who take the Precepts (see our post on last month’s DaiJukai), both here at Dharma Rain, and at affiliated groups like Bright Way. Sewing master Genko Rainwater walked people through the many steps of making a wagessa.

Special Workshops in April

Yogacara: Living with Engaged Compassion

WHEN: Saturday, April 8, 10:00am – 4:00pm
WHERE: Sodo, 8500 NE Siskiyou St, Portland
COST: $80 members / $120 non-members

Special guest Ben Connelly teaches this workshop, which will focus on key teachings from Yogacara: how to live a live of engaged compassion by cultivating mindfulness of emotions and interdependence. The workshop will involve meditation, teachings, and dialogue. We will explore how these are powerful methods for personal and social healing. Ben Connelly is a Soto Zen teacher and Dharma heir in the Katagiri lineage. He teaches at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. For more information and to register, click here.

Enneagram Weekend: To Forget the Self

WHEN: Friday, April 28, 4-9pm, Saturday, April 29, 9am-9pm
WHERE: Sodo, 8500 NE Siskiyou St, Portland
COST: $80 members / $120 non-members

Would you like a new way to look at stuck places and access transformation? You’ve experienced the benefits of meditation practice. You are grateful for the groundedness and mental clarity it brings you. With this clarity, you’ve been able to release some attachments and make positive changes. Yet some things change slower than you would like or remain stuck. The Enneagram is a well-developed and trusted system of naming common karmic patterns.

The weekend as a whole will be a combination of learning new concepts, self-reflection, meditation, whole group discussion, and embodied practice. Facilitated by Kakumyo and LaShelle Yoan Lowe-Charde.

Read more and register here.

Jumping and Stumbling

Jill Bukkai Washburn
Jill Bukkai Washburn
Inspired by Dogen’s Dharma Hall Discourse #68, “Jumping and Stumbling in a Fragrant World,” Bukkai will examine the life of practice of an ordinary bodhisattva in this 21st century world.

This talk was given Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Dharma Rain News

P2017-0313barn-interior-900As spring emerges from a difficult winter, Wednesday work parties are again in full swing. The barn’s interior walls have now been constructed, and we are moving towards getting signed off on the building by the city and setting up our storage more permanently. Everything is out of the rented long-term storage unit, and now we want to move things currently residing in the houses and garages into the barn.

P2017-0315_forsythiagarden-600Volunteers also replaced a couple of lights on the path in the oak savannah, which is much appreciated by those who walk there at night.

The gardens are beginning to look like gardens, with blossoms appearing, the soil looking like it could be worked, and even some unexpected overwintered vegetables. Residents are gearing up to work their raised beds, and volunteers are coming forward to help with weeding of the common beds.

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. There is mid-day meditation in the zendo from 11:30am to 12:25pm, and you are welcome to join us. And if you are around at 12:30pm, lunch is provided.

Learning from Winter

Genko Rainwater
Genko Rainwater
Before we turn completely toward spring, it seems useful to pay attention to the winter just past to see what it has taught us. Genko looks back at the challenging weather, illness, and darkness with curiosity, and is also interested in hearing from others what they have learned.

This talk was given Sunday, March 12.


Six new lay Buddhists took the Precepts on February 19 this year in a joyous celebration. From left, the Ordinees are Abbey Pacia, Lisa King, Chad Ellis, Sega Kaposi, Marilyn Grisham, and Kate Reinhart. Interspersed with them are jishas Ko’in and Hoka (at each end) and Abbot Gyokuko Carlson in the middle.

Responding to the Call

Gyokuko Carlson
Gyokuko Carlson
Ango has begun again and so the bell rings for zazen. We are all called to intensify our practice and go deeper. How do we answer the call? Dip a toe? Dive in headfirst? Pretend deafness?

This talk was given Sunday, March 5.

Page 1 of 4812345...102030...Last »