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Mt Adams Zen Buddhist Temple

 

July 2014 Newsletter

 Dear Dharma Friends,

   The 4th of July is upon us - A time of celebrating our nation's freedom from a foreign power.  I am so grateful to have been born an American.  Our country has been so very blessed in so many ways.

   I am also reminded of Buddha's teaching about freedom.   "Just as there is only one taste in the ocean, the taste of salt, so in the Dharma there is only one taste; the taste of Freedom".

   In Buddhism, Dharma is a discipline that leads to Freedom. Many of us think that discipline and freedom are opposite things. But they're not; It takes more discipline to live free than to simply follow. Freedom also requires courage.  


Many many famous folks have talked about freedom. Some of my favorites are:

 

"Freedom doesn't mean the absence of restrictions. It means possessing unshakable conviction in your choices in the face of an obstacle".  Gandhiji 

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." Nelson Mandela

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be".  Voltaire

"May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right".  Peter Marshall

"The mind is everything. What you think you become.  That is freedom". Buddha

I will be on retreat July 6 - 13.  The temple will remain open but there will not be any scheduled services. 

Buddhism introduction to American culture via fiction
   I have just read 2 books which were early introductions of Buddhism or Buddhist practices to the American Public.  While there were scholarly works available, these books reached the average American public.
   The first book was Kim by Rudyard Kipling.  It is the story of an Irish boy who was orphaned at a young age in India and raised on the streets.  His early life, learning many languages and cultures, paved the way for him to become an agent of the British rulers of India.  In the story Kim hooks up with a Tibetan monk who is a learned and kind old man.  The overall tone of the Buddhist monk is a kindly one and there are several sweet Dharma tales in the book.
   The second book was the Glass Bead Game (aka Majester Ludi) by Herman Hesse.  In his story Hesse develops a special, almost religious, organization that is ruled by art, logic, study, and meditation.  There are many examples of great mental discipline and meditation as part of this group's practice.
   Both novels were kind and gentle introductions to Buddhist practices, although Hesse's book does not speak specifically of Buddhism.  There are several other novels etc. which presented Buddhism or Buddhist practices to the US public.  From Kim and the Glass Bead Game I can see how Buddhism was perceived as a gentle and loving faith of great discipline.  It was a unusual fiction-reading adventure for me and both books were very enjoyable.     Thay Kozen
Labyrinth Construction
We start laying out the labyrinth on Saturday July 19 from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 11 am - 1 pm.  Please come and join us as we mark paths, haul rocks, make garden areas, and take the first walk into this walking meditation journey.  All faiths are welcome.
Our Mandala is finished and then unfinished.....
We worked on this mandala for over a week with many lay people adding a little bit of color to the whole.  It was a wonderful experience.  As soon as it was done we mixed all the colors together - bringing a reminder of impermanence into our everyday life.  Local artist, Ardiss Defreece has drawn 5 new mandala patterns for us to work on in the next few months.

Venerable Miles and Pattie O'Shanecy add colored rice to our Lotus mandala.
 July Retreat 
Monks and lay persons will gather at Chua Thien An in Lucerne Valley this month to retreat and join in practice.  Kozen will be gone from July 6-13th. 
No scheduled meditations will be held but the temple will be open.  
Labyrinth under construction Join us in constructing our Labyrinth on
July 19th and 20th, Saturday and  Sunday. 
 
we will use gravel paths instead of grass 
 

We need help laying it out, carrying stones, making a flagstone patio, planting a tree and applauding the work.  Do join us!

Here is our plan and orientation - it will be a large Labyrinth.
Our Labyrinth will be made of medium size stones lining the paths and gravel in the walkways.
We are a small Thien (Zen) Buddhist Temple practicing  "laughing farmer zen" - living our practice, sitting zazen, being here - right now!

Calendar

 

JULY  

6-13 California monk's retreat Retreat   

19-20 Labyrinth work   

20 - visit from Tacoma Sanga & potluck (10a - 3pm) 

26 celebrating our temple's 5th anniversary.   

 

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER

regular schedule

 

OCTOBER  

7 - 26 Kozen to China

We have just completed the construction of the last huts in our retreat area,  
The Clositer. 

They are named:
Hut Debby
Hut Shanti
Hut Dharma
Hut Bodhi
Hut Samadhi
Hut Mahayana
Hut Dana

We will start on Landscaping in July and August
Is your group part of the Northwest Dharma Association? 
if not, it is time to join!  If you are a solitary practitioner or without a sanga you can still donate dana (money).  The are a clearing house for Buddhist Activity in the Northwest and need our support. 
 
read more about the NWDA at http://www.northwestdharma.org/ 


Our small shrines in The Cloister area continue to grow in number and nature
BUU-HUNG Buddhist Monastery temple members visit
located at 17808 NE 18th St. Vancouver WA 98684
Tel. 360-718-6158.  Venerable Suko Huệ Hương is their leader and a most charming teacher of the Dharma.  Do visit this temple if you live in the area.  They have a class in English once monthly.

A wonderful vegetarian meal was enjoyed by all

A Dharma talk and meditation in the main temple.
Eleanor Roosevelt
To my way of thinking, one of the brightest women of the 20th century was Eleanor Roosevelt.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from her via http://www.brainyquote.com/

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people".

"When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it"?

 

"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts".   

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' "   

"In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility".   

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

"You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give".

Much of what Mrs Roosevelt said is very much in accord with Buddhist Concepts.  The "natural" process of awakening seems to come up again and again as we look into the lives of self-actualizing individuals.  Kozen
 The path of the Bodhisattva  

Beings are numberless, I vow to save them   

Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to end them   

Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them

Buddha's way is unsurpassable, I vow to become it.

PO Box 487, Trout Lake WA 98650     www.MtAdamsZen.org

509.395.2030  (e-mail -put in the @ sign) kozen1 at embarqmail.com