Dharma Rain - News
Zen Center News
Women of the Way Book
On Sunday, January 29, Fall Term officially closed with the annual Shuso
Hossen. During this ceremony, the sangha and visiting teachers formally tested
understanding of the past year's shuso (chief junior), Tom Zenkyo Howard,
through Mondo, or dharma combat. Despite his hesitancy to announce this event
during the weeks leading up to it, Zenkyo passed with flying colors.
sangha is grateful for his year of service.
For the ceremony, the shuso selects a
verse of teaching to present and those in attendance test the shuso's understanding
of the verse. Zenkyo presented this teaching verse by Kakuan Zenji. It is associated
with the 10th Ox-herding picture:
Barefooted and naked of breast, I mingle with the people of the world.
My clothes are ragged and dust-laden, and I am ever blissful.
I use no magic to extend my life;
Now, before me, the dead trees become alive.
Following a period of questioning, the shuso offers a capping verse on the
teaching presented. This summarizes what the teaching means to the shuso personally.
is Zenkyo's verse:
Buddha's pure land is not far off as some might say.
Traveling distant roads I could not find the way.
Now before me spring buds awake, and pure dharma rain falls.
Uttering the name I surrender and let go.
In Amida's pure land I have found my home.
— Tom Zenkyo Howard
Our new Shuso, Mark Sosetsu Stauffer, was installed on Sun., Feb 5. Good
Luck in the year ahead, Sosetsu!
The annual Rohatsu Sesshin was held jointly with the GVZM, ZCO and Eugene
Zendo sanghas at Great Vow Zen Monastery from Dec. 411. All five teachers
(Kyogen and Gyokuko Carlson, Chozen and Hogen Bays, and Ejo McMullen) shared
sanzen time and gave Dharma talks on various aspects of the Buddha's (and
our own) enlightenment. On the last night, Gyokuko and Chozen led the Shosan
ceremony. Bukkai was tenzo, assisted by Kenryu — a truly daunting job,
since there were altogether about 80 participants over the course of the
Included in that number were three wild turkeys who took up residence at
Great Vow around the time of Thanksgiving, and were given amnesty. They have
designated as Tryptophan, Pot Pie and Tetrazzini. All three were prompt attendees
at each Dharma talk, coming to the window with attention (and sometimes criticism)
just in time every afternoon.
Many thanks to everyone for arriving with firm resolve and intention to
practice intensely throughout the week.
||14 of the ordained members of the three groups
Women of the Way Book
Women of the Way, written by Sallie Jiko Tisdale, will be published by Harper
San Francisco on Mar. 1. This book grew out of the women's lineage project
here, and includes an essay on the meaning of women's lineage and narrative
stories about each of the women recited in our women's line. Copies will be
available in the bookstore.
Newly updated Jôjû books are now available in the bookstore.
Jôjû means “everlasting” or “unchanging,” and is used in this context to talk
about our experiences with death and dying. The binder of material includes
Buddhist perspectives, practical guidance for such issues as talking to your family
and doctor about your wishes, organ donations, leaving instructions for after
death, and the actual ceremonies used in several types of Buddhist funerals, including
those for animals and an unborn child. This is a guide for how to plan for a time
when you are unable to make decisions for yourself, and the Advance Health
Directive used in such emergencies. The price is $15 with the DRZC chant book.
If you already have one, you can buy the binder separately for $10.
Thank you to all who give and support the stability and growth of the Center.
Gassho to: Luisa Centeno for the lopper and shears; Joseph Wolder for bread
and jam; Harold and Maiya for garbage cans, pillows, silverware, etc.
In addition to the ongoing financial needs, especially given the roof situation,
the center is in need of duct tape, and a strawberry bush and an elderberry
bush for our bird garden.
The paper copy of the newsletter is assembled and edited during the first
week of every other month. Submissions are welcome and needed. Please submit
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
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
questions or ideas for an article, contact Choten at the above email address.
Deadlines and possible topics:
- May-June issue (Ango, Denkoe, end of term, summer): deadline
- July-August issue (summer practice, poems, cartoons): deadline June
- September-October issue (fall term, term student program,
Segaki): deadline August 1
- November-December issue (Founders' Day, Rohatsu, Holiday
Season): deadline Oct. 1