Dharma Rain Blog

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.

Chapter Headings

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
Kakumyo speaks about Dharma Rain’s path as a sangha and institution. What does our trajectory look like, and what are the values and context that are shaping it?

This talk was given Sunday, August 26.

When the Ordinary Is Just … Ordinary

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
There are many stories of awakened life as that of the “everyday,” when our ordinary experiences and the objects we meet take on a luminous quality. But what happens when we look around and find that our ordinary lives are just…ordinary?

This talk was given Sunday, August 19.

Perfect Morality

Genko Rainwater
Genko continues to look at the Six Perfections, with the second of the Perfections: sila, usually translated “morality” or “ethics.” The problem with focusing on morality is that we sometimes get into judgments of good and bad, which is not so helpful. How can we live an ethical life and still find contentment and a sense of self-worth? Genko talks about how we work with the Precepts to create a state of mind that lends itself to taking moral action naturally.

This talk was given Sunday, August 12.

Successful Fundraiser!


A wonderful time was had by all at our summer party on August 4. Croquet, cornhole, competitive oryoki, and a bounce house were some of the entertainment that kept everyone happy during an afternoon of perfect weather. Gyokuko is shown rallying the troops when we were about 2/3 to our goal, as shown by the lovely graphic behind her. She took her check to the donation table, and others continued to pitch in, until we made our goal of $20,000 and a little more. Ticket sales covered the cash costs of the event, which also included lots of wonderful food, both catered and home-made. Something on the order of 100 people came to participate in this very successful event. Many thanks to everyone who helped prepare for this, and also to all who participated by bringing yourselves and your good energy to the day. And of course, to all who contributed monetarily so we could reach our goal and balance our operating budget for the year.

Wednesday Work Parties

We have 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.