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Mt Adams Zen Buddhist Temple


April 2013 Newsletter
Dear Dharma Friends
Spring is here.  We usually experience Spring later than most places.  We see the grass turning a bit greener each day, the flowers budding out with some in blossom, the warmer days and nights - all promising growth and renewal.

To our Christian friends I send metta thoughts for you at this holy time of Christ's Resurrection.  To our Druid and Pagan friends I send metta thoughts for this season of the Spring Equinox. To our Jewish friends I send metta thoughts for you at this holy time of Passover.  May all of us celebrate the holidays with family and friends and may it be a time of ending anger and growing love. 

Michael Barnes has been our first one-month retreat practitioner.  He spent this last month in meditation and Buddhist practice; may his efforts benefit all sentient beings.  Michael - we'll miss your smiling face and good nature.

May we all live in peace.  With Metta,
Ven. Kozen
Happy Birthday Buddha
Saturday April 6 at 9 AM

Join us for a special ceremony of bathing the baby Buddha, a meditation period, Dharma talks, and a wonderful Birthday Cake. 

It is also Abby Layton's Birthday so we'll be extra happy on this day.   


Bathing Baby Buddha   

Rick McClure bathing the Baby Buddha. 

Celebrate Our Earth Day Retreat With Us

Friday - Sunday, April 19 - 20 - 21, 2013


Join us for Meditation, Dharma Talks, Ecological Teachings, Poetry, Birding, and Nature on our 23 acre organic farm.  You can explore first hand our efforts to live with the earth in a mutually supportive and sustainable manner.  You can also observe Animal Welfare Approved methods of raising animals, composting, and green building techniques.
See the schedule, registration information, and presenters  below.

One-day meditation intensive on April 27th and May 18th.

Join us for a 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. meditation intensive on either or both of these two dates. We will practice several forms of meditation, develop metta, loving-kindness practices for ourselves and others. A vegetarian lunch will be served. Please contact Abby for reservations at 509.637.4511 or e-mail her [email protected].  We're asking for a $30.00 donation, but we would rather have you here than your money, so don't let finances stop you from coming.
We are a small Thien (Zen) Buddhist Temple practicing  "laughing farmer zen" - living our practice, sitting zazen, being here - right now!


6 Buddha's Birthday 
19 - 21 Earth Day Retreat
22 Thay Kozen to CRCC Prison
27 One-day meditation Intensive
(7:30 am - 3:30 pm) 

6 Thay Kozen to CRCC Prison 
14-21 Thay Kozen traveling
18  One-Day meditation Intensive
     (7:30 am - 3:30 pm)
 18 Buddha Day Celebration 9a
Words of Wisdom 


(c. 440 AD - 528 AD)

 Bodhidharma brought Buddha's teachings from India to China


"But people of the deepest understanding look within, distracted by nothing. Since a clear mind is the Buddha, they attain the understanding of a Buddha without using the mind."


"Unless you see your nature, you shouldn't go around criticizing the goodness of others. There's no advantage in deceiving yourself. Good and bad are distinct. Cause and effect are clear. But fools don't believe and fall straight into a hell of endless darkness without even knowing it. What keeps them from believing is the heaviness of their karma. They're like blind people who don't believe there's such a thing as light. Even if you explain it to them, they still don't believe, because they're blind. How can they possibly distinguish light?"


"To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity."


"The true Way is sublime. It can't be expressed in language. Of what use are scriptures?  But someone who sees his own nature finds the Way, even if he can't read a word."


"Someone who seeks the Way doesn't look beyond himself."


"The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They're not the Way."


"But this mind isn't somewhere outside the material body of the four elements. Without this mind we can't move. The body has no awareness. Like a plant or a stone, the body has no nature. So how does it move? It's the mind that moves."


"Once you know the nature of anger and joy is empty and you let them go, you free yourself from karma."

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/ 

Earth Day Retreat Schedule



5:00PM check in and dinner 6:30 PM Evening Meditation 8 PM Star Gazing



9:00 AM Morning Service
11AM Rev. John Boonstra Keynote noon lunch
2PM Organic farming and sustainability 3:30 PM Birding and hedgerows -
Lew Ellingham
5:00 PM Supper
6:30 PM Evening meditation



6:30 AM Morning Meditation 8 AM Breakfast + walk
9 AM Morning Service
11 AM Dharma T

Earth Day Retreat
$55 registration fee includes meals
 and presentations

 Camping by donation
 Hostel  $20 night
 B&B Rooms as available (see website       for costs - www.TLAbbey.com)
 by phone 509.395.2030
 by e-mail: [email protected]

Endorsed clergy - contact Ven. Kozen for rates
Earth Day Retreat

Rev. John Boonstra Keynote address Our Earth Environment

 Lew Ellingham
poet and birder

Rev. Koro Kaisan Miles Stargazing and Buddhism

Ven. Kobai
Scott Whitney

Earth teachings of Buddhism - Ecology Dharma
Snow Mountain
Mount Adams is especially lovely this time of year.  This is the view from our front yard.
Ven. Tashi Tsering
Venerable Tashi Tsering passed away in February.  Our temple has sponsored him with a monthly stipend for the last 2 years.  He fled Tibet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has lived in India since then.

Taking Precepts
by Abby Layton
Abby did not write this article for publication.  She wrote it for her preparation to take the precepts.  Laughing - she told me that she would have done a "better" job of it if she had know it would go into the newsletter - laughing - it seems perfect to me. Kozen

I wish to commit to these precepts to provide a holding environment, a formless container, for deep practice. The precepts help me to live in the Buddha's way of peace, love and benefiting all beings.  These precepts challenge us to do good, and to cease  from doing harm. Until one has committed, one may draw back from trying their best.  A commitment, says, I put both feet, and my whole body in the circle, and fully live by the precepts.

These precepts give endless teachings of Dharma:  they are as mirrors, that go on and on reflecting images of light, which open facets of being, dissolving ego clinging, and allowing Buddha nature to be as it is.

The precepts are tools of awareness, in that in order to carry them out, one becomes more and more awake, as to carry out the precepts, one must understand them first. In this way, they are a means of awakening, right now, right here.  

Each one of these precepts is an endless practice that contains all Dharma in each precept, liked to a hologram.  Also, each precept is woven in each other precept, they are interconnected and not separate.

The Three Jewels are  reminders. The Buddha reminds us to rest in and to trust the awareness of the Buddha Mind. Buddha is all-ness, oneness, the fertile ground of awareness. The Dharma reminds us  to open the heart mind through the teachings of the Buddha. These teachings are happening every moment, so the Dharma asks that we stay awake.  The Sangha offers support by allowing us to  live in community that is doing the work of awakening together, and to help each other in this work of living in Buddha's ways.

In Japan, Jukai is the initiation ceremony that formally confirms one entering the Buddhist path.   It is known as "entering the stream".  Tokudo is becoming a formal student, or disciple.

The 10 Cardinal Precepts

I resolve not to kill, but to cherish all life.  

This precept first requires that I notice all life, that I recognize how precious life is to every living thing. It requires  that I know there is "not two" when recognizing any living thing.  It calls us to revel, in L'Chayim, that life is precious, and that life is full, and to be cared for.  Then, this precepts ask that I resolve not to kill. To not kill is endless, and can not be done perfectly ever.  We kill every time we breath. We kill when we flush the toilet, or do laundry. But this precept helps us to begin to be aware, of the delicate balance of life, and how important it is to do our part in sustaining this.

I resolve not to take what is not given,  but to respect the things of others.

Waiting to take until the "thing" is given is a very good practice.  And it takes patience and faith that you will receive what you need.  Leaving others' things alone, and not taking them for your own is a lifelong practice of awakening.  Consider taking anothers reputation, or taking credit for their teachings, or taking a friendship from them through wrong speech. Environmentally, this precepts teaches us to not eat more than we need, to not pollute this planet, to not live in greed and acquiring. By doing so we are stealing from others.   But often, I just notice myself taking a soda from Kozen and Kirk's fridge.  Little lapsed moments, mildly asleep.  I feel cleaner when I do not violate the boundaries of others, but respect what is theirs.

 I resolve not to engage in improper sexuality, but to lead a life of purity and self-restraint.

Again, this precept is about not violating another being,  but also it is about not betraying oneself.  Improper sexuality harms so many, from sexualizing contact to rape, from lewd speech, to incest, the common factor is the deep wound bestowed upon the victim, and upon the perpetrator.  There is a devouring, a taking, an overpowering that, if not mutually agreed upon, is injurious to all.  A life of purity to me means a life of non-harm, a life that is not tainted with self centered gluttony, the using of the other.  Self restraint, is simply the stepping back, the pause to consider, the reminder again to do no harm.

I resolve not to lie, but to speak the truth.

Now this is a difficult precept as they all are, but this one, stopping the stories we tell others, and that we tell ourselves is very difficult.  So much of what we tell ourselves is a lie; an appeasing of neurosis, a cover to translate reality in a way that serves our delusion.  And lying to each other contains not only the stories we tell, but what we leave out.  We humans try so hard to manipulate the world, and each other,  to fit our needs. Stopping this takes a constant awareness of our mind..  It takes listening to ourselves, and going slowly, each word being truthful.  And a coming to authenticity, the honesty of not hiding.

I resolve not to cause others to take substances that impair the mind, nor to do so myself, but to keep the mind clear.

In the easiest sense, this precept asks us not to do drugs or drink alcohol, and to not offer substances to others.  This is easy for me, since I am not drawn to drugs or alcohol.  But give me an unhealthy food, like potato chips, or chocolate, and all of a sudden, the fast wanting to grasp arises, and often, has left me defenseless to causing harm to my self. Then my mind becomes unclear. What about other addictions?  I was taught as a therapist that every one of us suffers from addiction.  What about violent pornography?  what about fundamentalist hate literature?  What about addictive thought patterns?There are many addictive substances that can cloud the mind in many ways.  And also, there are many ways we can cause others to act out their addictions: our actions, our speech, our reactivity, may cause others to reach for substances.  

I resolve not to speak of the faults of others, but to overcome my own shortcomings.

It is so difficult to stay on one's own side of the net.  We find it so much more comforting to tear the other apart, to analyze how they need to be different, and  to blame them, than to look at our own selves.  We want our world to arrange itself in perfect harmony of how we wish it to be, and, let's face it,  the messiness of other people just gets horribly in the way.  I used to have a cat, Kasha, that I blamed for everything.  And it felt great to not have to take responsibility. But by not taking responsibility, the way gets narrower and narrower, until you are isolated with just yourself, in a world that you have designed for your own comfort.  In our society, it is expected that we gossip about others.  I went for a lot of years not doing so, when I was in the orthodox Jewish community, and it was so difficult.  But I loved the feeling of knowing that I was not putting harm on another, and that no one was talking about me either. It was very clean.

 I resolve not to praise myself and disparage others, but to overcome my own shortcomings.

Again, the resolve to stay on my side of the net, taking responsibility for my own work in life.  This is a great precept for me, as I consider myself a recovering narcissist. I have a voice that almost always has seen me as superb and others as less.  I no longer believe it, but it is so seductive to go through the world believing that you can bestow, teach, be above, and not be touched by others.  Luckily, I have also always loved people, and by loving them a bit more each day, I have developed a bit more equanimity.  

 I resolve not to withhold spiritual or material aid, but to give them freely where needed.

I have a friend, who gives to others so freely.  He has taught me the great delight of aiding.  There is a mitzvah to give in the Jewish tradition,  one gives 20% of their earnings to those who have less, and one runs to give.  With joy.  Our culture in the west, tends to encourage us to hold back,  for ourselves, for when we might need it.  And giving from our heart, is also so contagious and uplifting for each other. Generosity begets love and tolerance.

 I resolve not to indulge in anger, but to exercise restraint.

It is so easy to use anger to hold "our self" together, to fortify the ego, and cause us to not feel our fear or hurt.  Anger is always a secondary emotion, and it can cause such harm.  Again, the practice of stepping back two steps, holding the heart, and asking yourself what is really going on, could change the world so completely.  Being willing to be vulnerable, wrong, or humble is such a healing practice. Working on our anger, can bring up feelings of helplessness, and despair, but resting in the softening can again bring us to the practice of doing no harm.

 I resolve not to revile the three treasures, (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha), but to cherish and uphold them.

Since we are all Buddha, this teaching not only asks us to not betray our commitment, but also asks us to honor each being.  Since each moment is the teaching of Dharma, we honor each moment as the most important teaching.  Since we are all Sangha through our vast interconnection, we honor the whole of experience as our friend, and our teacher.   And we cherish and uphold them, at every moment.  Also, we hold great love and respect for the gift of Buddhism as a path, that we have been given, and are being given at each moment.

 I am willing to open to being aware at each moment, and to promise to do the work necessary within my heart mind, to undo the delusion of self so that I may be an empty cup for Buddha Dharma and live by the precepts given to me.  I promise to take responsibility at each moment for my the delusional thoughts and reactivity that arises, and I pledge to clear these with love and caring toward myself and others.  I do this to help end suffering in our world, and to help all beings awaken.

I will need to continue eating some fish in order to support health because of MS.  And I may need to take medications too for MS. I am sure I will break most of the precepts in small ways,  but my promise is the work at hand.

 I am taking nuns vows soon, and this is the platform of support for those vows.  Also, there is a process of putting all the eggs in one basket, of dedicating further to the Boddhisattva vows that I took many years ago.  I wish to shed more of the me, mine, hunger that propels us all, and pause more often to consider the way of the Buddha, a way of peace and love.  These precepts are very helpful in supporting this turning in the deepest seat of being.  

With great appreciation, Abby
Community Resources


Free Trade coffee that goes for a good cause:   

The Presbyterian Coffee Project provides free trade, sustainable, worker friendly coffee.  In the greater Trout Lake area you can purchase it from The Farm Store at Trout Lake Abbey.  Proceeds are shared between the Trout Lake Presbyterian church and the Mt. Adams Zen Buddhist Temple. 

Churches practicing an embracing, kind, and loving faith


Trout Lake Presbyterian - Sunday service in winter at 11:15 am    


Sunday Service at in summer 10AM   


Bethel Congregational Church (United Church of Christ)  

Sunday Service at 10AM in White Salmon  


Mid-Columbia Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.        

Sunday Service at 10AM at the Rockford Grange, Hood River


Northwest Dharma Resources

Cloud Mountain Retreat Center


Co Lam Pagoda (Ethnic Vietnamese) 

3503 S. Graham St.,

Seattle WA 98118 
Some monks speak English

(Ask for Master Kim)  


Minh Quang Temple (Ethnic Vietnamese)

14719 SE Powell Blvd.  

Portland, OR      


Plum Mountain Buddhist Community http://www.plummountain.org 


Portland Buddhist Priory http://www.portlandbuddhistpriory.org/  



Northwest Dharma Association http://www.northwestdharma.org/


Pacific Hermitage  http://hermitage.abhayagiri.org/ 

65 Barnedt Road, White Salmon,  Washington 98672


Dharma Rain  http://www.dharma-rain.org


Hood River Zen www.hoodriverzen.org  

(affiliated with Dharma Rain
1.  We are appearing before the Klickitat county Planning Commission to ask permission for our meditation huts on Monday April 1st - may they grant our request
2.  We have 4 huts built now, 2 awaiting building approval and all of these are funded.
3.  We would like to build 2 more huts for a total of 8 huts.  Can you help by donating funds?  Each hut costs $8,300 to build - could you donate the funds for 1 hut or 1/2 or 1/4th of a hut?

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

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