May 2011 Newsletter 


Tuyết Sơn Thiền Tự

Mt Adams Zen Buddhist Temple

 

We are a small Thien (Zen) Buddhist Temple practicing  "laughing farmer zen" - living our practice, sitting zazen, being here - right now!

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Calendar

May  2011 

1 - Beltane Druid Ceremony at Trout Lake Abbey 1PM  

3 - New Moon* 

5 - Cinco de Mayo (Mexican Holiday)

7 - Saturday Service Here 

8 - Mother's Day   

8 - Buddha's Birthday Japan (sometimes celebrated in April)  

8 - Hood River zazen (Dharma Rain)  

10 - Buddha's Birthday Day  (traditional Chinese calendar)

12 - Celebrate Buddha's Birthday (Vesakha)  HERE 9am

14 - Open house at Ser Cho Osel Ling Retreat Center  

16 - Prison Ministry CRCC 

17 - Full Moon*   

17 - Buddhist Lunch at Keith and Corkey's, call - 503.890.4229

21 - Temple Closed (Retreat) 

20 - 22 Coexist Interfaith retreat at http://www.coexistcelebration.org/ 

21 -  Armed Forces Day

22 - Hood River zazen (Dharma Rain)  

28 - Saturday Service Here

30 - Memorial Day 

 

 

June 2011

 

1 - New Moon*

4 - Saturday Service Here

6 - Prison Ministry CRCC 

?  Hood River zazen (Dharma Rain)  dates not available on website 

 - Zen Lunch at Debbie's call 360.951.2329

11 - Saturday Service Here

14 - Flag Day 

15 - Full Moon*   

18 - Saturday Service Here

20 - Buddhist movie night at the Abbey - 6 pm - join us

25 - Saturday Service Here

 27 - Prison Ministry CRCC  

? Hood River zazen (Dharma Rain)  dates not available on website 

 

* Buddhist Ceremonies  

Thien (Zen) services are in blue    

++Summer Service++

Our last Saturday service will be on June 11.  We will have a 9AM Sunday service

from June 19 - Sept 30th

Thich Nhat Hanh Speaks:

 "Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today."

Thich Nhat Hanh"We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize."

 

"Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful."

 

"Smile, breathe and go slowly"    

 

"Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life."

Dogen Zenji

Dogen Zenji

"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?"

 

"In a mind clear as still water,
even the waves, breaking,
are reflecting its light."

 

"Enlightenment is intimacy with all things."

 

"Through one word, or seven words, or three times five, even if you investigate thoroughly myriad forms, nothing can be depended upon. Night advances, the moon glows and falls into the ocean. The black dragon jewel you have been searching for, is everywhere."


Empty Mind Sayings   

 "All things in their diversity are signs of the Truth, all are part of the Truth, and it is the diversity which brings us to religious training.  But if we get caught up with liking or disliking, then we are very far away from the Truth, and 'isms' exist.  You have to accept things as they are.  That is why all-acceptance is the key to the 'gate-less gate' of Zen." 

Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett   

 

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him."  Buddha 

 

 

   "All know the Way, but few actually walk it.  If you don't find a teacher soon, you'll live this life in vain. It's true, you have the buddha-nature. But without the help of a teacher you'll never know it. Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher's help.

   If, though, by the conjunction of conditions, someone understands what the Buddha meant, that person doesn't need a teacher. Such a person has a natural awareness superior to anything taught. But unless you're so blessed, study hard, and by means of instruction you'll understand."  Bodhidharma


A Brahmin once asked The Blessed One:   "Are you a God?"

"No, Brahmin" said The Blessed One.

 

"Are you a saint?"

"No, Brahmin" said The Blessed One.

 

"Are you a magician?"

"No, Brahmin" said The Blessed One.

 

"What are you then?"

"I am awake."  Buddha's dialogue  



Join us for Meditation

Monday - Friday at 6:30 AM for our usual daily service. (We have an extra early sit at 6 AM M-F for those wishing more meditation time). 

+ Thursday and Friday Evenings at 6:30pm

+ Saturday Morning at 9 AM 

 

Starting June 18 our weekend service will be on Sunday morning at 9AM ( we will not have service on Saturday's for the summer) 

 

Clounds and trees
When meditating, let thoughts pass through our mind, like mists through the trees

Garden ViewDear Dharma Friends,

Spring is here and we've started our gardens.  Our largest garden provides the local food bank with fresh, certified organic produce throughout the growing season.  We need volunteers to help weed, plant, and harvest crops.  Can you spare 4 hours a week or a day a month?  We'd like to add your energy to ours to provide food for those in need.  Volunteer days are on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.  Hard work is a good friend when it helps others - and it can also be a wonderful time of companionship and laughter.  Come and join us. 

 

In loving kindness,
Thich Minh Tinh

    Green Living 

Green Living

 Good Works  Good works is an ongoing process of mindfully easing suffering a small bit at a time.  It might be as simple as a prayer for peace and an incense offering or it may be a financial donation or volunteering time.  The intent to help without personal gain is the goal.    

 

This month's lesson comes from our Catholic brothers and sisters.   Upon hearing of Osama bin Laden's death, many common people and world leaders rejoiced in his passing.  One path of Good Works includes speaking of our own values.

 

The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi said, 

"Osama bin Laden, as we all know, had the very grave responsibility of spreading division and hatred amongst the people, causing the death of countless of people, and of instrumentalizing religion for this end". "In front of the death of man, a Christian never rejoices but rather reflects on the grave responsibility of each one in front of God and men, and hopes and commits himself so that every moment not be an occasion for hatred to grow but for peace."

 

Father Federico Lombardi's statement also reflects core Buddhist values.  There is no rejoicing in the death of any being, regardless of their actions.  Rather, let us look into ourselves and realize that each of us has the ability to be Hitler or Mother Theresa - let us choose our life journey with wisdom and compassion.  Let us choose to speak from mindfulness and compassion and not in the heat of the moment. 

The Noble 8 Fold Path by Thich Tam Tri
8 fold path

This month brings us to the last  three portions of the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Effort, Right Mindfullness, and Right Concentration. These three make up the concentration (Pali samadhi) section of The Path. In developing our minds, our habits will follow. The Buddha said:

"All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind. Speak or act with a corrupted mind and suffering follows as the wagon wheel follows the hoof of an ox.
All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind. Speak or act with a peaceful mind, and happiness follows like a never-departing shadow."

Right Effort is about pointing our minds in the right direction, over and over (and over and over) again. In performing right effort, we form an intent to avoid unskillful or harmful habits, to abandon the unskillful habits that we have, to form skillful habits, and to increase skillful habits that we currently engage in.

However, right effort also means not doing this at all costs. Much like dieting: if we vow to stop eating ANY junk food or fattening food, EVER, we may lose weight, but eventually we will tire of these efforts and fall off the diet wagon, finishing off an entire pint (or two, or three) of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Similarly, if we vow to eradicate all our faults RIGHT NOW, we will soon approach spiritual burnout and give up in frustration when we don't instantly become perfect. If, in our diets, we make no effort at all to eat healthier, our bodies follow into poor health. When we make no effort to practice, our practice becomes unmanageable. The idea is to apply oneself somewhere in the middle...

Right Mindfulness is about keeping our minds open to the now: to the phenomena around us and within us. When sensations, feelings, or judgments arise, as they will, we register them and then drop them. Sometimes it takes us a while to realize these mental formations exist, and that's OK. It may be a few days after we have an argument with someone that we note we're still harboring anger. We can then be calm and say, "Oh, what is this? What does this anger feel like? Which one of my myriad buttons being pushed started this off? OK, now I have registered this feeling. Now I can let it go."

Right Concentration, in its simplest of forms, means single-pointedness of mind, and filling our awareness with the object of our concentration, such as when directed at the breath. It also means when our concentration is devoid of any unskillful means. I could use single-pointed concentration on how I'm going to tell someone off the next time I see them, but it wouldn't be Right Concentration!

By developing Right concentration, we learn to direct our thoughts and evaluations, we learn to increase our awareness of what is going on right now. In being open to the now, we develop equanimity by letting go of our judgements. In that equanimity, we find peace.

In developing our minds, we develop our actions. Through mindfulness of the present moment, we can be present for ourselves and for others, without judgment. As our practice increases, we increase our skillful habits and decrease our unskillful ones. Our suffering decreases, as does the suffering of those around us. Where our minds go, our actions follow.

Meditation by Thich Minh Tinh 

   Buddha was in seated meditation as he became enlightened. Thien (Zen or Ch'en) practice returns to the same seated meditation again and again. For over twenty-five hundred years that meditation has continued, from teacher to student, from generation to generation. It's the heart of following Buddha's way.

   In early traditions in the Pali Canon and the Agamas (writings from very early Buddhist Schools) meditation is explained as part of the Noble Eightfold Path.

+ Right Mindfulness  - exemplified by the Buddha's Four Foundations of Mindfulness.

+ Right Concentration  - culminating in jhanic practice (Profound stillness and concentration - the goal of Thien meditation).

+ Right View - embodying wisdom traditionally attained through the meditative development of vipassana (insight - allowing one to explore and discern "formations" - conditioned phenomena based on the five aggregates).

 

   The Buddha said, "Serenity and insight are conduits for attaining Nirvana".  In the Pali canon, the Buddha never mentions independent samatha and vipassana meditation practices, rather he speaks of a group of ongoing practices leading us to awakening. 

   Charles Luk writes," The Buddha Dharma is useless if it is not put into actual practice, because if we do not have personal experience of it, it will be alien to us and we will never awaken to it in spite of our book learning."

   In the Great Heart of Wisdom Sutra you will find the statement "wisdom beyond wisdom"  that is the gate-less gate that can only be entered from within. It is the profound and real experience of the Universe connection that is beyond all learning and thought.

   Meditation is a cornerstone of spiritual practice.  May all beings find peace. 

Nam M A Di Đ Phật

Mt Adams Zen Buddhist Temple, PO Box 487, Trout Lake WA 98650

509.395.2030   (e-mail -put in the @ sign) kozen1at embarqmail.com