Dharma Rain Blog


A special thank you in three directions. First, we received a very generous, $250,000 gift from an anonymous donor, paying out over 10 years. This gift helps reduce our debt over time. Secondly, Nancy Kodo Conover and David Ellston forgave their $45,000 portion of the Semble loan. Dharma Rain took out this loan from friends and members in order to complete the purchase of the site. Including this recent gift, $150,000 of this loan has been forgiven so far. Finally, we received a $46,000 bequest from the estate of Carolyn Glass, a former participant and member of Siskiyou Cohousing. See more information on planned giving or the Branching Streams Society. We are deeply grateful for, and inspired by, the generosity of all of our donors.

New Lay Disciples; Garden Waking Up

On March 9, six people became lay disciples. Kakumyo’s students are Minshu, Honei, Yusatsu, Sokuchu, and Zuiryu. Jiko’s student is Daiko. All of them have sewn rakusus and met all other criteria for becoming lay disciples. The sangha rejoices.

The weather is slowly getting better, and we are beginning to work outdoors again. Wednesday’s work party saw lots of mowing and spiffing up the grounds in preparation for guests. Compost processing is happening. Here, Ember tenderly cares for a special worm bin.

The SOTO of Zen

Richard Fumyo Mishaga
Especially during challenging times or when experiencing personal difficulties, we can find comfort by focusing on our core practice – our Soto style of Zen. Fumyo highlights some practical aspects of our Soto Zen including its beginnings as a unique style and its subtle pragmatism. He also touches on deep questions at the heart of our everyday koans and, finally, on the student-teacher relationships that overlay the whole of practice.

This talk was given Sunday, March 3.

What is a Teacher For?

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
Several people became lay disciples this week. The decision to enter a formal teaching relationship is a serious one. But it’s not magic – teaching takes place both in and out of such a relationship. What does a teacher do? How do we work with the embodiment in front of us?

This talk was given Sunday, March 10.

Fujaku and Frog Song

Fujaku gave a lesson in putting up a curtain rod to the students of Frog Song this morning. The children watched him work with great interest and had many helpful suggestions!

The Art of Patching Leaks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
Keeping things dry in an Oregon winter can be tough, but not as difficult as not leaking our practice intention. This Sunday, we’ll explore the process of diverting attention on a few different timescales, and find some tips to keep this from happening.

This talk was given Sunday, February 24.

20 People Take the Precepts at Jukai

20 new Buddhists took the Precepts to become Lay Buddhists on March 17 after a week-long sesshin. It was the largest group in several years, and is indicative of a growing sense of vitality and stability in the sangha. Congratulations to all new ordinees.

Visiting Teacher Intensive in March

March 14-24 Dharma Rain will host a residential training for senior practitioners from other sanghas. The 10-day intensive is designed to help newer teachers become more effective at presenting and demonstrating Dharma as well as navigating institutional and social challenges in a practice environment. It will be the first time we’ve offered this event, and 15 participants are coming from across the country. Dharma Rain’s Ango schedule will stay the same during this period, but you’ll notice extra people at events. Please be welcoming and curious! If you’d like to help (cooking meals, airport shuttles…) please email staff.

The Marathon Monk of Mount Hiei

by Todd Tsuho Sattersten

I prepared this report for a seminary class I took at Dharma Rain Zen Center and found the topic so fascinating I wanted to share it further.

In 2015, James Lawrence completed a feat in endurance sports. Lawrence, who is also known as the Iron Cowboy, completed fifty Ironman marathons across fifty states in 50 days. Each day, he swam, biked and ran 141 miles and in the roughly two months, he covered over 7,000 miles.

Take a moment and note your reaction to that story. Do you believe me? Do you think it was a waste of time? Do you wonder why anyone would do that? I appreciate all of those reactions, but I want to tell you another story that may seem even more unbelievable.
read more…

Jukai Ceremony – Lay Ordination

This Sunday culminates several weeks of study and one week of retreat for those taking the Precepts in our annual Jukai Ceremony. The retreat is in full swing, leading up to the ceremony on Sunday, when individuals receive the Bodhisattva Precepts and formally become Buddhists. Please come to witness this important event in the growth of the Sangha.

Join us this Sunday, February 17, for zazen, sanzen, and the Jukai Ceremony. Jiko and Fumyo offer sanzen. Note that the schedule is a little different.

8:30am Zazen (with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin (walking meditation)
9:10 Zazen
9:40 Short Morning Service
10:00 Break / Rehearsal
10:45 Jukai Ceremony – Lay Ordination
12:00 Community Lunch – All Welcome