|Men's Group Retreat: this year's retreat took place on a very rainy June weekend at the Clackamas River. Despite the weather, a good time was had by all and included hikes, meals by the camfire, and general merriment. Oh yes, they also read and studied two short texts by Manzan Dohaku.|
This year, the annual Mountains and Waters Retreat had a bit more water involved than some would prefer, leading to a different use of the word -retreat-. Bukkai Washburn sums up the event:
Walking in, we enjoyed the misty rain and rainbows over the long valley,
Then we climbed through a large area marked by fire.
Only stumps and
blackened trees in
pieces were left in the forest.
Even the large stones were scalded almost white,
Making clear their deep creases and folds,
Gaining altitude, the water fell more persistently and
it became hard to manage much beyond the next step.
Forgetting about mountain views and even the mountains themselves,
our world became
Finally, finally, it was time to stop, and
after first setting up tents in the rain,
then eating a
little in the twilight,
we worked to provide warmth and a feeling of
safety for ourselves and for each other.
Every task was done as well as each could do.
Luckily, capacity varied and
it was enough.
We could rest
for the wet, cold night.
Everyone ate a hot breakfast and made it down and out
the next day.
There was sunshine in the parking lot when we arrived.
Some of us lay right down in the dirt and enjoyed it!
That was just about the whole trip except for this:
Early on Saturday morning,
I walked through the swirling mists along the
Forgetting about but not forgetting the soaking
I was greeted by and spoke happily with several
A lot has happened in our prison sanghas this year. Suiho Jensen has taken the volunteer training offered by the Dept. of Corrections and made a commitment to help facilitate our groups at the women's prison at Coffee Creek. Consequently, we have been able to expand our services in the Medium Security Facility to every Friday night (instead of every 1st, 3rd and 5th). This fall we are starting with twelve classes on Tara Brach's book -Radical Acceptance.- So far this has been a popular class.
We have also been able to restart the sitting group in Minimum Security. This is particularly helpful right now since several of the members of our Medium group are making the transition to Minimum as they approach the end of their sentences. Through our revived Minimum group we will be able to continue to support their practice.
This spring Getsushin gave the precepts to five of the women at Coffee Creek and to one inmate at OSP. Both ceremonies were very touching. Thanks to a special effort by the chaplains at Coffee Creek, the wagessas have been approved as -personal property.- This allows the women to keep them in their cells and wear them in our groups. Unfortunately, the two Death Row inmates who have taken the precepts are not allowed to keep their wagessas.
Thanks to a generous donation from David Wilson, a long time member of our OSP group, a small fund has been started to help members of our prison sanghas when they transition back into society. David makes beautiful jewelry in prison, and you may have seen some of his Dharma pins in the Book Store. Many of the people in our groups have been in prison for many years; when they are released they are literally left on the sidewalk with nothing but the clothes on their backs. DONATIONS TO THIS FUND WILL BE RECEIVED WITH DEEP GRATITUDE.
Carpet installation in the Dharma House temporarily returned the Little Zendo to its original use; a dining room. Enjoying a meal are (clockwise from front left0: Kimberly Deckman, Gyokuko, Kyogen, Kenryu Binns, Sierra Moon, Domyo Sater, Genko Rainwater, laShelle Charde and Kakuyo Lowe.)
If you are interested in helping out, please call 503-239-4846 or email (Staff@Dharma-Rain.Org).
Dharma Rain Zen Center residents commit to becoming an intimate part of the residential community as well as deepening their relationship to the larger DRZC Sangha. They commit to spending more time and energy doing formal practice, within the context of Sangha, than is usually possible outside of residency. During their term of residency they seek out and accept guidance from the Center teachers, Soto Zen teachings, and the dharma inherent in the Center's training matrix and traditions. Practitioners associated with other teachers and Buddhist groups may be considered for residency, but only if they and the residential review committee determine that a full commitment to DRZC residency is compatible with any obligations and involvements they already have.
As work outside the temple and personal commitments allow, residents attend daily zazen, communal meals, Wednesday evening and Sunday morning programs, work practice days, monthly Fusatsu and in-town retreats. They have sanzen with the Center teachers at least once a month, and participate in the Term Student program. They also hold regular temple jobs and make themselves available for temple work projects. Current residents include Jiko Tisdale, Kakumyo Lowe, Genko Rainwater, Sierra Moon, Dun Gifford, and Catherine Clay in the Dharma House (along with Kyogen, Gyokuko, and Eppie the temple cat). Kenryu Binns, Domyo Sater, Suiho Jensen, LaShelle Charde, Kim Deckman, Zoki Orman, and LaShelle's dog Coraz- are the current residents of the Sangha House.
DRZC continues to grow as more guests and regular attendees become supporting members. Thank you to all who have made a commitment to practice, share and grow with Dharma Rain. If you have any questions regarding membership, please contact Kakumyo Lowe via email (email@example.com) or phone (503-239-4846).
The following is a list of those who have become new members over the last six months - please join us in welcoming them: Diane Cole, Clint Holcombe & Dorothy Anderson, James Neal, Scott Trahan, Stacey Bassett, Joanna Hamilton, Guy Berliner, Heather Miewald, Julie Kettler, Harold & Maya Williams, Melissa & Byron Cole. Welcome!
The newsletter is assembled and edited during the first week of every other month. Submissions are very welcome: short or long articles, which can focus on any point of practice, including travel, research or personal experience; descriptions of events we've had; the occasional poem or drawing. We do not print anonymous articles. Please submit typed submissions if at all possible, and by e-mail if you can, to: newsletter@Dharma-Rain.org. (This saves the newsletter staff from having to re-type the work.) If you have questions, contact Choten at the above e-mail address.
Deadlines and possible topics:
January-February (New Year's eve, precepts study, Hossen): December 1
March-April (Jukai, spring term): February 1
May-June (Denkoe, end of term, summer): April 1
July-August (summer practice): June 1
September-October (fall term, term student program, Segaki): August 1
November-December (Founder's Day, Rohatsu, Christmas): October 1
Please consider having your monthly pledges to DRZC automatically withdrawn from your personal checking account. DRZC has entered into an agreement with an accounting service to process the monthly withdrawals from the checking accounts of participating members and deposit them in our account for a monthly maintenance fee charged to DRZC. In additional to saving everyone paper, this process will save time for our treasurer and will conveniently reduce each participating members monthly "To Do" list by one item.
Sign-up forms are available at the Center; just ask one of the priests or Board members, or call or drop us a line. When you complete the form, just return it to the Center with a voided personal check and sit back and relax; well take it from there.
Another shot of the Men's group and their long, rainy trip up the mountain.
Thank you to all who contribute to keep the Center running! Thanks to Zenkyo and Mark for garden tools, construction tools, a bookcase and a workbench; Rich Mackin for books and bread; and all of you for helping the community in your own way.
Late-model van (our trusty Astro is approaching retirement); captain's beds (single bed frames with drawers underneath, opening on one side, allowing residents to keep personal items contained in tight dorm situations); someone to donate or build three donation boxes (lockable); a non-electric carpet sweeper; the book from Parallax Press Dharma, Color and Culture. Also, our main concern is paying for the $50,000 roof repair. Financial donations towards this would be greatly appreciated!
STILL POINT edit of 3 December 2005
Dharma Rain Zen Center Newsletter
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