Dharma Rain Blog

Caterpillars and Butterflies

Jyoshin Clay
We habitually locate ourselves, or rather our sense of self, at the center of our own story, our own narrative, the center of our drama. Often when people come to practice, there is a sense that giving up our story is part of the task of the practitioner and fear of losing ourselves arises. However, sharing our stories and narratives-of-self actually serve to increase intimacy and to see the fluidity of self.

Join us this Sunday, August 20, for zazen, sanzen, service, and Jyoshin’s Dharma Talk. Jyoshin and Genko offer sanzen.

8:30am Zazen (with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin (walking meditation)
9:40 Full Morning Service
10:10 Break / Announcements
10:30 Caterpillars and Butterflies
11:45 Informal Community Lunch – all invited.

Dharma Rain News

Work on the duplexes continues. This week we’ve been working on utilities, especially plumbing, and removing some siding that we are replacing with other siding. The torn-up land with caution tape will likely continue to be a presence for another week or so, until we can get some inspections completed.

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.

Lay Disciple Ordinations

On June 14, 2017, Wy’East Zen Center celebrated the lay disciple ordination of Kimberly Choan Wood-Saldana (in grey robe above), taking Jyoshin as her teacher. She is flanked by Shintai (blue rakusu) and Jyoshin (gold rakusu), who are Dharma Rain teachers serving the group. Next to Jyoshin are Gyokuko Carlson, abbot of Dharma Rain, and Genko Rainwater, another DRZC teacher, who drove up to Sandy for the ceremony. Others pictured, from left to right, are Sean Jorin Maloy, Shintai’s student; and Marty Genso Skinner and Emily Teiko Cartoun, both Kyogen’s disciples. Congratulations to everyone in the Wy’east sangha on this important step in the continuing growth of the sangha.

Coming up September 5 at another Lay Disciple ordination ceremony at Dharma Rain Zen Center, Jiko and Genko will take formal students. Please join us.

Respect Polka

Gyokuko Carlson
The source of respect is the unlimited heart of Buddha Nature. Jealousy and envy arise when we entertain the anxiety that there is not enough of something for us. Starting from the Buddha’s generous predictions of Buddhahood for his disciples, Gyokuko will explore our practice of giving and receiving respect.

This talk was given Sunday, August 13.

Dharma Rain News

The AZTA (American Zen Teachers Association) conference last week brought together teachers from all over the country to share information and do a little business. The sessions were helpful and interesting, and the schmoozing in between times were also helpful. It was a remarkable conference for harmony. The photo shows everyone who attended except Gyokuko, who was working on a Dharma Talk when the photo was taken. Also not shown were residents and other volunteers who did a lot of work on cooking and other housekeeping during the conference to make sure everything went smoothly. Great Gratitude to these Bodhisattvas.

At the end of the conference, on Sunday morning, August 6, Kakumyo was installed as co-Abbot. A standing-room-only crowd, including several visiting teachers, witnessed and participated in the installation.

Kakumyo takes his seat beside Gyokuko as co-Abbot.


Excavators were back Wednesday and Thursday, digging trenches for utilities to go to the duplexes. They also laid pipe into those trenches and around the house for plumbing. Volunteers also worked underneath the houses.

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.

Dharma Rain News

The AZTA (American Zen Teachers Association) conference has been meeting here since Wednesday night. In between sessions, the participants engage in lively discussions comparing notes about practices in different temples, etc. Our esteemed tenzo Shin’yu, aided by dedicated volunteers, has been making wonderful meals for conference participants.

This week’s work on the duplexes consisted mainly on fastening the houses to the foundations.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have regular Wednesday work parties from 9am to 3:30pm. We are back to also having work parties on Thursdays and Fridays. 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.

Co-Abbot Installation

This Sunday, August 6, at 10:30am, you are cordially invited to witness as Kakumyo is officially installed as co-abbot in an Ascending the Mountain ceremony. All are invited to witness and participate in this exciting and significant step in the growth of our temple.

Note that there will be NO Regular Sunday morning program that day. No zazen or service until the 10:30am installation. The American Zen Teachers Association (AZTA) will be concluding their annual meeting here at Dharma Rain Zen Center, and most will be staying to attend the ceremony and to have a special celebratory lunch with us. This will be a unique opportunity to meet Zen teachers from all over the country.

What We Remember

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
Memory is unpredictable. Certain events remain vivid; others fade away. Many of us will lose memories as we age. What is it in our practice that is remembered, no matter what? How do we retain wisdom even in forgetfulness?

This talk was given Sunday, July 30.

Dharma Rain News

We are in high summer, and this time of year, morning and evening light comes from the north, bathing the north side of the Sodo in a beautiful glow.

This week work continues on the duplexes, getting them ready to lower on to the foundations soon. Tai’an shows one aspect of “exploratory demo.”

The garden is in full harvest mode, and the plum trees in the ravine are producing sweet plums. The cucumbers are coming in, and we’re looking at pickling. The basket on the left is yesterday morning’s harvest. We’ve eaten zucchini and summer squash in all sorts of dishes, and have encouraged visitors to take some home. Also, do feel free to pick blackberries on the property – they are at their peak, and full of flavor right now.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have regular Wednesday work parties from 9am to 3:30pm. 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.

Note that this week and next week we do NOT have Thursday and Friday work parties (July 27-28, August 3-4).

Sacristan at Work

We have a sacristy team that works hard to keep our altars looking beautiful and clean. Here Sarah arranges flowers she has found on the property in different arrangements for different places.

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