Dharma Rain Blog

Reprise to 1994

Jill Bukkai Washburn
Bukkai plans to take another look at a poem by Dainin Katagiri that she first presented a long time ago and is still considering. The last section reads:

If I were not to agree with your teaching,
Believe it or not,
My life would be drifting in space,
Like an astronaut separate from her ship
without any connections.
Now I’m aware that I alone am in the vast openness of the sea,
And cause the sea to be the sea.

Just swim.
Just swim.
Go on with your story.

Join us this Sunday, November 19, for zazen, sanzen, service, and Bukkai’s Dharma Talk. Kakumyo and Fumyo offer sanzen.

8:30am Zazen (with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin (walking meditation)
9:40 Full Morning Service, Transition Ceremony for Bukkai
10:10 Break / Announcements
10:30 Reprise to 1994
11:45 Informal Community Lunch – All invited.

Dharma Rain News

We continue with getting ready for bathrooms and showers in the duplexes. There’s a lovely claw-foot tub (it’s in a living room now, but eventually …) The showers will have pocket doors, which are now framed in. We are hoping to have these ready by Rohatsu.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have regular Wednesday and Thursday work parties from around 9am to 3:30pm. (Though next week, November 23, is Thanksgiving, and we will be closed.) 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 invited to join us in meditation in the Sodo from 11:30am-12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

Right Speech in Tumultuous Times

Thomas Bruner
The Buddha, in the first sermon following his enlightenment, instructed us to practice Right Speech as part of the Eightfold Path. One version of the criteria he used for determining if speech is right is: Is is factual? is it true? Is it helpful? Is it endearing? Is it timely? Right Speech can be a challenging practice at any time, much less in times of social, political, and economic tumult. Lay Disciple Thomas Bruner explores the case for Buddhists speaking up about the issues of the day, and speaking up using the principles of Right Speech.

This talk was given Sunday, November 12.

Dharma Rain News


With the exterior mostly done, we turn our efforts to interior work on the duplexes – preparation and support for utilities, patching and walls. Also spreading dirt in the back in order to seed grass to create a bit of lawn back there.

Some of the interior work is to frame in where the extra showers will go in the unit closest to the Sodo. This will make it possible for people to stay in the Sodo during retreats and have showers available. We are hoping to have these ready by Rohatsu.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have regular Wednesday and Thursday 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 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 invited to join us in meditation in the Sodo from 11:30am-12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

Founders Day

Gyokuko Carlson

Gratitude for the past. Generosity to the future. After the all-night vigil beginning Saturday evening, November 4, at 7pm, Gyokuko puts this celebration into context.

This talk was given Sunday, November 5.

Dharma Rain News


The roofs are about 3/4 painted – all of the north duplex and the back half of the south one, next to the Sodo. The color of the houses now blends with the Sodo. The painters were halted by the rain, and hope to get it finished in a break in the weather next week.

Also, concrete slabs were poured by the back doors. And indoor work continues around cleaning up, removing old stuff, prepping for further plumbing and electrical work.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have regular Wednesday and Thursday 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 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 invited to join us in meditation in the Sodo from 11:30am-12:25pm. If you are around at 12:30pm, we feed you lunch.

In Other News …

The Lion’s Roar online magazine features Dharma Rain Zen Center in their current issue. “Feeding Hungry Ghosts on Halloween” features several photos from different years, including one from this year. Check it out – they did a nice job.

New Lay Disciples

On September 5, 2017, three new lay disciples were ordained. Jiko took Renso as a disciple, and Genko took her first two disciples, Kakuon and Ko’e.

From left, Jyoshin (jisha), Jean Renso Bond, Jiko, J Kakuon Christian, Genko, Ruben Ko’e Rivera, and Gemmon (jikko).

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Many Zen sanghas in the West, including Dharma Rain, have grappled with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion for decades. At the same time, our country, state, and city have been becoming increasingly diverse and multicultural. Taken together, these trends pose both opportunities and challenges in our effort to ensure that the dharma is available and accessible to all.

Dharma Rain has launched a diversity, equity, and inclusion assessment and planning process, which is being facilitated by Bruner Strategies. For clarity, a brief description of these terms follows:

  • Diversity – the demographic composition of the people in an organization, and the degree to which they reflect the demographic makeup of the community at large.
  • Inclusion – the culture of an organization, and the degree to which all voices are included, all people are valued, and everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
  • Equity – a commitment to make an organization accessible to all, and to identify and mitigate barriers or obstacles to full participation or access.

In coming months, we will be soliciting input from our sangha about their experiences, perspective, and suggestions regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion at Dharma Rain. Stay tuned for ways you can participate.

Founders Vigil

Keido Chisan
This year’s Founders Vigil begins Saturday, November 4, at 7pm and goes to Sunday morning at 6:45am. This date is close to the anniversaries of the deaths of both of our founders, Keido Chisan Koho Zenji (d. November 1, 1969) and Roshi Jiyu Kennett (d. November 6, 1996). There is no leader for this vigil, but someone will be present the entire time, with people taking turns being awake so that someone is awake at all times. Vigilants can rest, sit, or do kinhin as they wish. Sleeping pads are available. No sign-up required. The vigil ends Sunday morning just before breakfast, which will be available at 7am for those who sign up and wish to stay for it. There is a suggested donation for breakfast.

Sangha Forum

Twice a year, the sangha has an opportunity to hear from our governing bodies and to ask questions and give feedback. The fall 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 also gave a brief report on upcoming classes, changes in the past year, ongoing projects, and elections. In addition, the forum introduced a new initiative in the area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

The Sangha Forum happened on Sunday, October 22.

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