Dharma Rain Blog

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.

Being a Buddha

Caverly Morgan
Zen master Bankei said, “Rather than trying to become a buddha, nothing could be simpler than taking the shortcut of remaining a buddha!”

We are that which we long for. In the original spirit of Zen, we focus on direct experience. We recognize that we are, already, the Buddha.

This talk by guest speaker Caverly Morgan was given Sunday, September 16.

Dharma Rain News

At last the rain, accompanied by cooler, cloudy weather, has returned to relieve the dry ground. Yesterday’s thunderstorms produced some spectacular drenching rainfalls, and this beautiful double rainbow over the Sodo and Rocky Butte. The garden and trees all appreciate the turn of the seasons.

Last week, Kakumyo and Kevin worked on the covered play structure on the Frog Song playground area. This is still a work in process.

The Daoren group is working on moving the library into Uji East, now that Frog Song has a new dedicated space. They’ve created a nice corner for people to sit and read if they wish. And, if you go to that corner and look back …

… you can see the bunk beds tucked into the library for flex overnights and possible residency. Screens, sleeping pads, and portable cots can expand that space as needed. The library becomes a space that can be used not only for meetings, library, and Dharma School, but also for folks to stay overnight during retreats, etc.

Other similar projects are organizing and setting up spaces: the office is expanding into the area the library occupied, and the sewing/craft room is beginning to take shape in Unit 2.

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.

Turning Up the Vivid

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
Fall term is in effect and practice is flowing. This Sunday Kakumyo will talk about one way we may notice the effects of contemplative practice, and how to make good use of this phenomenon.

Join us this Sunday, September 9, for zazen, sanzen, service, and Kakumyo’s Dharma Talk. Kakumyo and Genko offer sanzen.

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

Frog Song Opens for its Fourth Year

Claire, Danny (in back), and Diliana in a boat donated for the playground.
Students of Frog Song Montessori Preschool started their school year this Tuesday, putting lunch boxes and rain boots in their cubbies, and exploring their new classroom in duplex unit D2 (formerly known as Unit 4).

Frog Song, now in its fourth year, is in the process of becoming a state-certified preschool. This change allows us to offer a full-day as well as half-day program and also to accept children as young as 2½ years old. The program is fully enrolled, with a wait list for this year and next. The word about Frog Song is out!

In order to accommodate the longer day, we have hired a wonderful new teacher, Diliana Ovtcharova. She comes to us from Albuquerque, NM, with years of teaching experience, and joins teacher Claire Lundy and assistant Danny Brodie to offer guidance, support and understanding for our young students. We’re very grateful for our fabulous teachers!

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.

Beginnings and Endings

Jyoshin Clay
With the shift towards cooler weather and the return of rain, the mind naturally turns towards fall practice. The beginning of Ango, with a Term Opening Ceremony and the Daoren Entrering Ceremony, mark a starting point for particular sets of vows or intentions. (During the Term Opening Ceremony, each of us will have the opportunity to express a vow of practice for the term.) However, Buddhism has an intriguing way of looking at beginnings and endings. This Sunday, Jyoshin, will explore this theme and how zen holds these ideas.

Join us this Sunday, September 2, for zazen, sanzen, service, and Jyoshin’s Dharma Talk. Jyoshin and Jiko offer sanzen.

8:30am Zazen (walking meditation, with optional sanzen)
9:00 Kinhin
9:10 Zazen
9:40 Short Morning Service, Term Opening Ceremony, Daoren Entering Ceremony
10:10 Break and announcements
10:30 Beginnings and Endings
11:45 Informal Community Lunch – All invited.

Dharma Rain News


Last week five Dharma Rain members joined 15 other people in the 18th annual Cultivating the Way Retreat at Empty Field Zendo west of Eugene. Led by Dharma Teachers Seido and Genko, the 4-day retreat offered the participants a great container for practice in a beautiful organic farm setting. It being harvest time, the food was, as always, wonderful. We co-created a new and wonderful Sangha, which featured people from at least five different sanghas in Oregon – Portland, Beaverton, Corvallis, Eugene, and near neighbors.

Standing, left to right: Genko, Chris, Jitsuso, Richard, Bruce, Darcy, Joel, and Seido.
Seated, left to right: Karen, Kakuon, Hope, Kim, Josu, Rishin, Brian, Pam, Adele, Futai, and Seiryu. Not pictured: Senkei.

Late summer’s bounty continues to pour in to the kitchen. Thanks to Mark Sosetsu Stauffer for apples and pears, and to Seido for much delicious produce. We are also harvesting a bumper crop of tomatoes. So there has been much activity of canning, drying, roasting, freezing, and EATING lots of wonderful food.

Much work has centered around getting the Frog Song classroom ready to begin the new school year on Tuesday. They are meeting new requirements in order to be a certified Montessori program, and in order to operate a full-day program.

As a result of Frog Song moving into a duplex unit 4 (marked D2), we are also moving the library into Uji East, which creates more room for the office to expand. In addition, we are setting up the sewing/craft area in Unit 2 (marked C2). All of these areas are in process, and we will try to post pictures as they come together and get organized.

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.