Dharma Rain Blog

Dharma Rain News




Every Saturday morning, a happy group of immigrants from Ethiopia and Eritrea come to work in the community gardens next to the barn on Siskiyou property. This is a partnership with the Oregon Food Bank’s Seed to Supper program and the Ethiopian and Eritrean Cultural Resource Center. The garden has also received some financial support from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) and the East Portland Neighborhood Office.

Yonas was trained and hired to serve as a Seed to Supper Ambassador so that he could bring gardening to his community. The program is designed to empower immigrant and refugee community leaders with the tools, resources and skills needed to teach their respective communities how to garden on a budget and to create thriving community gardens.

On Saturday, July 21, they were celebrating three of the women being pregnant, and also beginning to harvest food from their garden beds. Four boys decided they were going to dig a tunnel in the compost pile.

Here are some additional photos from the garden.

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 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 Generosity

Genko Rainwater
A new book – The Six Perfections by Dale Wright – inspires this talk. He writes about how to cultivate character using the Buddhist teachings on the paramitas. Genko reports on this and then goes on to explore the first paramita – dana, generosity.

This talk was given Sunday, July 15.

Dharma Rain News

Frog Song is in the midst of their first week of summer camp – studying all about bugs!

Otherwise, this week is very quiet, because many of the staff are at Dharma Camp, and so most programs here on the Siskiyou campus are on hiatus. First reports from camp are that it is mellow this year, and going well. Here we had 13 people come to Wednesday evening program, 8 of whom were new. Those of us not at camp are taking advantage of the opportunity to get some things done that are difficult to fit into the regular schedule. Dharma Camp ends tomorrow, and we will be back to “normal” on Sunday.

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 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.

Musings on Time

Gyokuko Carlson
Shinshu Roberts recently blessed us with readings from her book, Being-Time, and shared some important points about understanding Dogen’s chapter on Being-Time. In this talk Gyokuko shares some of her personal musings on the practice of being one with time.

This talk was given Sunday, July 8.

Dharma Rain News

This last Sunday, Kakumyo enlisted help from sangha members to move the canopy that has been in the Frog Song playground the last few years to back behind the barn. Frog Song has a new structure in the works that will replace the canopy as a covered area for the playground.

Wednesday Work Parties

The regular Wednesday work parties AREN’T happening next week because of Dharma Camp. They resume July 18.

Orienting Towards Buddahood

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
Kakumyo talked about some of the lessons of the last two weeks, pulling threads from the “Juki” chapter of the Shobogenzo, which we studied at Genzoe sesshin last week, and weaving those with themes from the three day pastoral care workshop that happened this week.

This talk was given Sunday, July 1.

Shuso Hossen

Front row, from far left: Jyoshin, Gyoshi (holding microphone), Fumyo, Bukkai, Kakumyo, Gyokuko, Kaishin [shokki], and Annen.
Photo by David Choten Robinson

This last Sunday, Annen ended her 6-month term as shuso by presenting a verse from Genjokoan by Dogen. Dharma Rain and visiting teachers, as well as sangha members, questioned her, testing her understanding of the verse. She passed the test, according to her teacher Jiko, and received congratulations. This coming Sunday Yoan will be installed as the shuso for the coming 6 months.

Wednesday Work Parties

The regular Wednesday work parties AREN’T happening next week because of the July 4 holiday, nor will they happen the following week because of Dharma Camp. They resume July 18.

Dharma Rain News

The weeks around summer solstice are the only time of the year when you see sunlight on the north side of the Sodo. Also the only time of year when sunlight comes through the north windows to illuminate the altar and cast these interesting shadows.

The people participating in Genzo-e Sesshin have been privileged to practice intensely with light and silence and affirmation at this time of the year.

Shuso Hossen

Jeanna Annen Moyer
This Sunday, the current shuso, Jeanna Annen Moyer, will take her “final exam,” presenting a verse and answering questions from teachers and sangha members. Come help “prod the loaf” to see whether she’s done. This will take the place of the usual Dharma Talk.

Join us this Sunday, June 24, for zazen, sanzen, service, and Shuso Hossen. Fumyo and Jiko offer sanzen.

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

Twigs, Vines, and Blackberry

Gyokuko Carlson
Gyokuko has been working in her yard, like a lot of other people. On July 17, she talked about finding the right tool for the right job.