Dharma Rain Blog

Dharma Rain News


Our annual Segaki ceremony, presided over by Jyoshin, was a huge success. Here the daimosho offering at the Segaki altar shows Gemmon, Jyoshin, and Renso, with Shin’yu, Annen, and Kaishin in the background. During the procession as we chanted the “Universal Gateway Chapter,” the sacristan read the list of names of those who have died during the past year. The adult ceremony was, as always, followed by the children’s ceremony, with much interest in an altar loaded with junk food and the presence of real live gakis (hungry ghosts). There were plenty of treats for all, and afterwards those on the Segaki retreat went back into silence until the ceremony in the evening.

At Segaki Toro outdoors, Jyoshin burned all the merit cards and lists from the previous year, and then individuals burned karma slips for those things we had an intention to let go of. More chanting finished off the evening and the retreat, with some staying to watch the fire and drink spiced apple cider.

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.

Segaki!

Every fall, we hold a weekend Segaki retreat, focused on cleansing karma and releasing attachments to the past, including honoring those who have died. The retreat is vigil-style, which means that people can come in and leave as they need to. We begin the retreat at 7pm on Friday and continue through Sunday evening. Zazen and ceremonies are free and open to all. See the flyer with the schedule.

Join us this Sunday, October 28, for zazen, and the Segaki Festival. NOTE that the schedule is different from our usual Sundays.

8:45am Zazen
9:15 Kinhin (walking meditation)
10:00 Segaki Festival
10:45 Children’s Segaki / Informal Tea

NOTE that there is No Community Lunch offered this Sunday.

Dharma Rain News

The last two Sunday afternoons we have hosted a garden work party in stunning weather. This last Sunday, Karen, Todd, Nancy, Mieka, and Ember enjoyed working on cleaning up and beginning to winterize the garden terrace. We are still getting tomatoes, kale, and chard from the garden.

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.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Report Released

At this last Sunday’s Sangha Forum, the final draft report from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion project done by Bruner Strategies, was released, introduced, and briefly discussed.

This is the beginning of a longer conversation within the Sangha. As this conversation develops, we will have the opportunity to shape the direction the sangha goes. Both the Dharma Council and Board welcome input from Sangha members and will work to keep these issues alive.

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.

This talk was given Sunday, October 21.

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.