On Wednesday, several people came out from Great Vow Zen Monastery to participate in our regular work practice day. Many got together to help move the tall pole sign from the back of the truck to where it will stand up on its base. Ropes were attached so people could hold it while it was… Read more »

A sizable portion of our Sangha could be described as ‘growing old’. For those of us in that demographic, is this just the bad news of deteriorating body and diminishing capabilities or can it also present us with a unique opportunity to deepen our practice? Kyogen once said that there are certain aspects of practice… Read more »

Work continues, slowly, on the barn interior framing, as well as finishing tasks inside the Sodo. The tomato plants are all done and black, but a solitary pumpkin is still ripening. The seasonal changes invite us to turn inward and reflect on the year just past. It is wonderful to have facilities, including parking, so… Read more »

Buddhist history is filled with stories of mystical and supernatural power. Dogen said mystical power “is the tea and meals of Buddhists.” What can this mean for our practice today? Are there such things as miracles? This talk was given Sunday, November 13.

Sherman and Gary work on painting benches while Gemmon continues work in the Japanese style garden in front of the Sodo. The benches have been a great addition to the engawa, providing both space to sit and places to store shoes while people are in the building. On sunny days, it’s especially nice to sit… Read more »

“When I joined Dharma Rain it immediately felt like home. Homitsu was precentor in those days, and I knew I wanted to learn to do that. As my practice in zazen deepened, I found a wealth of tools to help me through hard times. I was blessed to be Kyogen’s formal student for 11 years.… Read more »

I’ve been asked many times in the last couple of days how Buddhists (should, could, and do) respond to political and social traumas. I’d like to respond while this issue is fresh because I think the answer will be different a month from now. Buddhists tend to get the difference between pain (ouch) and suffering… Read more »

When we were children we made wishes on the first star, on a few lighted candles on a birthday cake, and on the “wish-bone” of the Thanksgiving turkey. There is usually a sweet innocent selfishness to childhood wishes. Now as adults, what do we wish for? How do we improve and broaden our hopes and… Read more »

Overnight November 5-6, we will hold our annual Founders Vigil in the Sodo, beginning Saturday night at 8pm and ending at 6:45am Sunday morning. This date is close to the anniversaries of the deaths of both of our founders, Keido Chisan Koho Zenji (d. November 1, 1969) and Roshi Jiyu Kennett (d. November 6, 1996).… Read more »

Yoan paints the characters that Kakumyo carved into the new sign in a large piece of wood. The characters say Ho-U-Ji, which means “Dharma Rain Temple.” The footing got poured yesterday, so the sign should be installed soon. The trash and recycling building got new doors finished and handles put on, and that building is… Read more »

Three new community workshops begin in November, one each month. They are each two hours long, free, and don’t require any Buddhist background or interest. A mix of explanation, meditation, experiential exercises, and facilitated discussion will be used to ensure that the workshop is practical and translates to your life. Cultivating Compassion Feel caught by… Read more »

On October 28-30 we hold our annual weekend Segaki retreat, focused on cleansing karma and releasing attachments to the past, including 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.… Read more »

Yesterday’s regular Wednesday work party did a lot of things undaunted by intermittent rain. Gemmon continues to work on the Japanese-style garden in front of the Sodo. She fills a wheelbarrow with gravel from the back, wheels it around to the front, dumps it where she wants it, and rakes it into place. Then goes… Read more »

Anthony Fujaku Stevens was ordained as a Soto Zen priest on Friday, October 21. A nice crowd of more than 50 people came to witness and celebrate this fine event.

At last weeks Sangha Forum, members requested an opportunity to talk more about succession, the abbot’s role, how this might look and why it matters. This week, Kakumyo will speak briefly about his perspective here, and then invite questions. This talk was given on Sunday, October 23.

The Oregon Tradeswomen continue to work Thursdays on the barn. Framing up the inside will allow it to be available to us as a workshop and storage. Yesterday’s work party involved being moved by wheelbarrows for landscaping. Curtains got put up. Other projects are moving forward. It is wonderful to have facilities, including parking, so… Read more »

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