Dharma Rain Blog

Dharma Rain News

We hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday. We had a few friends over at the Sodo, had lots of food that couldn’t be beat, lots of laughter and conversation, music, games, etc.

Now that the holidays have officially arrived, here are some upcoming events to keep in mind. Rohatsu is coming up in a week. The end of Rohatsu is the end of fall Ango.

A week of light schedule – Wednesday evening and Sunday morning programs only – is followed by the temple closing for two weeks. Refuge Recovery continues meetings through the holidays, however.

On New Year’s Eve, our annual celebration with Heart of Wisdom is held here this year. It’s a great evening, beginning with a potluck, followed by sacred dancing, then Fusatsu ceremony, zazen, a New Year’s ceremony, and finally sparkling cider served formal tea-ceremony style at midnight. All are welcome to join us.

Beginning January 2, we start classes about the Precepts, in preparation for Jukai Sesshin in February. If you are interested in taking the Precepts, let the Center know about your interest (email staff at dharma-rain.org), and prepare to take the Wednesday night classes studying these.

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.

“Bad Students”

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
It’s easy to get the idea that certain thoughts and feelings are not part of Zen practice. We may think that to be a good student of Zen is to be free of strong emotions or points of view. What is the relationship between powerful and even overwhelming emotions and our practice? What does it really mean to be a “good” student of Zen?

This talk was given Sunday, November 18.

Dharma Rain News

On Saturday, students in the Blueprint Foundation came to work on the property, and helped move a greenhouse from Gyokuko’s house to our garden. This is one of many community organizations that Dharma Rain Zen Center partners with.

Another partner is Madison High School’s urban agriculture program. Several students came on Wednesday with their teacher to winterize their garden beds (out in back of the barn).

And, of course, we had many volunteers also working on Wednesday to winterize our gardens.

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 Meditation

Genko Rainwater
For this fifth out of a series of six talks on the Paramitas, we look at Zen’s core practice. “Meditation and Wisdom, the final two Buddhist Perfections, … [are] the culmination of the sequence … upon which the entire structure is founded” (from The Six Perfections, by Dale Wright).

This talk was given Sunday, November 11.

Founders Day

Jyoshin Clay
This Sunday, Jyoshin spoke about honoring lineage and tradition and at the same time exploring the tension between valuing and connecting with what we’ve done before while also responding to current conditions.

This talk was given Sunday, November 4.

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.