Dharma Rain Blog

Sangha Forum

Twice a year, the sangha has an opportunity to hear from our governing bodies and to ask questions and give feedback. This forum is primarily sponsored by the Board of Directors, giving updates on where we are with the property development, fundraising and finances, board activities, and more. The Dharma Council will also give a brief report. In addition, the forum will report on the outcome of the investigation into Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and release the final draft of that report to the sangha.

Join us this Sunday, October 28, for zazen, sanzen, service, and the Sangha Forum. Jiko and Genko offer sanzen.

8:30am Zazen (with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin (walking meditation)
9:10 Zazen
9:40 Full Morning Service
10:10 Break and announcements
10:30 Sangha Forum
11:45 Informal Community Lunch – All invited.

Dharma Rain News


A large part of Wednesday’s work party focused on the playground structures. There is now soil in the eco-roof waiting for plantings. And the climbing structure has the slide and climbing wall attached, and all the floors are trimmed and looking good.

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.

Meditation Off-Trail

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
Kakumyo describes a recent (experimental) sesshin he participated in and some of the lessons learned for trusting and deepening meditation.

This talk was given Sunday, October 14.

Dharma Rain News

Wednesday’s work practice included work on playground structures in preparation for a Frog Song parents work day on Saturday. The children were fascinated with the workers (in this case Zonnyo and Kakumyo), and the workers sometimes stopped to interact with the kids.

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 Energy

Genko Rainwater
Genko continues a series looking at the six perfections (paramitas) with Virya, sometimes translated as Energy. Dale Wright says in The Six Perfections: “Virya mean[s] the energy of accomplishment, the effort, courage, and power to see spiritual endeavor through to its completion. Viryaparamita is the perfection of this energy, the power of unyielding commitment to the ultimate goal of universal awakening.” Genko explores some of the facets of this perfection and how it works in our lives.

This talk was given Sunday, October 7.

Report from SZBA Conference

Jyoshin and Shin’yu attended the biannual conference for the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA) at Zen Mountain Monastery September 19-23 in New York. The theme of the conference was Interconnecting: One Soto Zen, Many Expressions.

Both Jyoshin and Shin’yu found the conference very inspiring, as it moves the SZBA forward in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, which we are also working with here at Dharma Rain. One of the outcomes of the conference was a proclamation that was read. You can read a Lion’s Roar report on the conference, including the proclamation here.

Tenku Ruff, President of SZBA, sent a preliminary report to SZBA members, which included this paragraph: “At each SZBA conference, we hold a Dharma Heritage Ceremony in which current full members welcome new members to the organization. New members are priests who have demonstrated fulfillment of the SZBA Membership Standards. This year the SZBA welcomed fifteen new members first with a formal tea and then in the Dharma Heritage Ceremony.” Jyoshin Clay was one of the new members so honored this year. Congratulations to Jyoshin.

Two Ancestors

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
Every year toward the end of September we celebrate the contribution of Eihei Dogen and Keizan Jokin to the establishment of Soto Zen. Dogen is considered the founder of Soto Zen in Japan, having brought it from China in the 1200s. Keizan, four generations later, popularized it and was instrumental in its spread.

This talk was given Sunday, September 30.

Dharma Rain News

This week’s Wednesday work practice focused on the garden. On a stunningly beautiful day, Zonnyo and Phyllis, along with Gemmon and Nelly, all worked outside to beautify the garden. Here, Phyllis pulls out old artichoke plants.

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. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

Perfect Patience

Genko Rainwater
Genko continues to examine the six Perfections (Paramitas) and this month looks at Kshanti, translated variously as patience, tolerance, and forebearance. Patience has gotten a lot of press in Buddhist teachings, being considered a central virtue. According to Dale Wright, who wrote The Six Perfections, “Bodhisattvas who have trained in this virtue are imperturbable and well-composed, calm and focused in the midst of adversity.”

This talk was given Sunday, September 23.

Dharma Rain News

This week we are on Heart of Work retreat. This means that it has been very quiet around here during the day while people are working elsewhere. There are retreatants around during the morning and evening. This week we are short two of our ordained staff who are at the biennial SZBA conference in New York.

Even so, Wednesday’s work practice was lively, with people working on the covered playground structure and in the gardens. The playground structure will have an eco-roof, and the structural elements of it are almost done.

This is a retreat-intensive time of year. For those not counting, the Space Between Weekend retreat was September 7-9, the Term Student day-long retreat was last weekend, September 15, and this week is Heart of Work. Next Saturday is a day-long Beginners Day retreat. That retreat is a great opportunity to get an introduction to our retreat forms, and registration is up for that online.

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. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.