Thich Minh Thien's Column
Tests of Kindness
Someone gave me a book as a gift entitled, "The Book of Joy" co-authored by his Holiness, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  One statement in the book attributed to the Archbishop has stayed with me.  That statement was, "We grow in kindness when our kindness is tested".  Kindness has been defined and described in different ways over time.  The Webster definition states, "the quality or state of being kind".  In our Buddhist practices, the term "Metta" or "Loving Kindness" underpins how we relate to each other and the world.  It is key in Christian practice as we are admonished to "love thy neighbor as you love yourself".  In the Jewish community, acts of charity and loving kindness are central to the Torah way of life.  The Quran has over 200 verses about compassionate living and stresses that righteousness is not in precise observance of rituals but in acts of compassion and kindness.  So, no spiritual practice or religion can claim a monopoly on the teachings that embrace kindness.  Even in a non-denominational environment like our great Republic, Abraham Lincoln's vision of working for the healing of the nation, with "malice toward none, with charity for all" led our country out of a war that pitted brother against brother.
Amid a vitriolic environment or situation, or when we are besieged by fear, anger or a sense of self-righteousness, is it possible to become more gracious, kind and gentle as the words of Archbishop Tutu suggests?  Can we let our engagement with our neighbors, family, friends and acquaintances with whom we disagree, shape us into kinder people?  When we are angry or feeling self-righteous or when uncharitable and dehumanizing speech is where we initially go, relying on our mindful practices and Metta can let us look at what is our part in this situation.  Simply being reactionary or responding in snarky rhetorical punches might feel good in the moment, but does nothing to bring us closer to a kinder, gentler place.  Choosing kindness may open possibilities that insults will surely close.  Even if we are met with resistance to our kindness, we can choose to respond with loving kindness and compassion, recognizing that we all are suffering.  Being kind, gracious and gentle does not mean we avoid rocking the boat about issues we feel strongly about.  We are all connected and called to stand against cruelty and stand up for the oppressed.  That is how we rock the boat.  Kindness, graciousness and gentleness are a means with which we should struggle for justice.  In an address to university graduates, Paul Saunders said, "...what I regret most in life are failures of kindness; those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded ... sensibly.  Reservedly.  Mildly." 

That represents moments where we are not mindful of our interconnectedness; where we view a situation from a selfish and/or short-sighted position.  We realize that suffering exists and that we individually cannot end the pain, fear, loneliness, anger, etc. that affects so many.  But we can respond with kind words, a smile, a recognition of the suffering we see before us, especially when it brings to a mindful place, our own feelings of being uncomfortable.  In each situation, we get the opportunity to test our kindness and as Archbishop Tutu suggests, we grow.  
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Spring Retreat at Chua Thien An

Thay An Giao hosted students from Thich Thien An's lineage for our annual Spring retreat.  Chua Thien An, Located in Lucerne Valley California is undergoing some construction as it makes space for more overnight guests.
An Giao 2017
One monk became fully ordained, several new monks were initiated and several lay people took precepts

angiao 2017
We made a visit to Chua Vien Quang as part of the retreat.
Spiritually based healings starting on Tuesdays in April
A dear friend, Sylver, will be starting a new program at the Abbey. He will be here once a week to help with Spiritually Based Healing.
He is a retired Chiropractor who has been on a journey of spirit and awareness for some time and is willing to share his healing energy with others.
He is doing this by donation (suggested minimum is $20.00) and will be at the Abbey on Tuesdays from 10am - 2 pm. You can set up an appointment with him at 352.284.9588.
He has been helping Kozen recover from his knee surgery.
"Sylver's work is kind and loving, he has helped me a lot". Kozen
If you have chronic or acute physical problems, give Sylver a call and see if there are perhaps some psychological or spiritual components that he can help with.

Silas (Ben) Wright, NCC, LPC at Rhizome Counseling LLC
Location: 1029 May St #C in Hood River on the 2nd Floor above the Good Medicine Lounge
Phone: 971-266-1558
My belief is our work together may help you navigate the process of change, gain new perspectives, experience emotional opening, and overall personal growth. I look forward to working with you and would be honored to hear your story.
I work with adults and adolescents on concerns of PTSD, anxiety/depression, relational intimacy, men's issues, gender/sexual identity, and chronic illness/pain. Much of my experience has been dedicated to working with Native Americans as well as Pacific Rim and Latin American immigrants.
Above and beyond, our therapeutic relationship and personality fit are extremely important parts of your counseling experience. I am guided by the methods you find meaningful and helpful, believing you possess strengths, coping skills, and potential to be fulfilled in moving beyond your current concerns. I bring a flexible, strengths-based approach that honors the context of your life (Relational, Ecotherapy, and Multicultural approaches) as well as the richness of how you experience your world (Mindfulness-based, DBT, and Gestalt approaches). I also believe an integrative approach to mental health is essential in that my clients' struggles often relate to underlying nutritional imbalances, untreated illness, or are expressed as body experiences. I have trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level I, a body-based approach to treating trauma and PTSD that often can help when talking is not quite enough. 
I hold a Master's Degree in Community Counseling from Portland State University, maintain a National Certified Counselor credential (NCC), and am an Oregon Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
I am originally from Austin, Texas and have lived in New York, San Francisco, and Kathmandu, Nepal. I have worked in wilderness education and believe strongly in the healing power of Nature. Lastly, having worked at Sesame Street in the 90's, I had the privilege of once being on a first name basis with Elmo and Big Bird.

I know Silas and he is a good man...Kozen

Thy Nguyên Kim 
Our dear friend Thay Kim moved south for the winter.  He has been ill and it was just too cold here.  You can send him get well cards to : 
Thầy Nguyên Kim
3371 Tournament Dr.
Oceanside, CA  92056. 

Master Kim 1
 Thay Kozen, Thay Kim, and Thay Z had a lovely visit prior to going on to retreat at Chua Thien An

Nam Mô A Di Đà Phật

2017 Calendar 
This is not 100% complete. An undated
schedule will appear each month

2-11 Spring retreat, Desert Zen Center CA, (temple closed)

22 Earth Day - 9 am service
29 Beltane (Druid Event)19-20

6 Buddha's Birthday Celebration 9am
5-7 Laurie VanCott Yoga retreat (541.490.7420)
19-21 NUNM Pik Shan Ko Taiji Retreat - Private

27-29 Buddhist retreat, Venerable Thich Hang Toan, from the city of 10,000 Buddhas, will be the Guest Master
3-4 Master Thích Minh Hải will be Guest Master for an open retreat here
7 Buddhist Festival - Portland
15-22 Yoga / Astrology Retreat - Private
24-30 Kozen on Retreat - (temple closed)

1-5 Ziikr Retreat - Private
7-8 Thich Nhat Hanh group retreat
13-16 Eight Winds Festival (Druid Event)

12-18 Vedanta Retreat housing only
19-20 Precepts Retreat by Buu Hung Monastery - here
23-28 Beyond The Gates (Druid Event)
27 - Ullambana - Buu Hung Monastery - Vancouver
31 - 3 Sept  Xinglin Institute Private

31 August - 3 September Xinglin Institute (private)
23 Autum Equinox (Druid Event)
29- 1 October  NUNM Private

Sept 29-Aug 1 NUNM (Private)
13-15 Fall Retreat Zen - here

No scheduled group retreats
Private retreats welcome

9 Bodhi Day - meditation 11:30 pm - 12:30 am
meditation 11:30 pm - 12:30 am

Weekly Temple Services 
Monday -Friday 6:30 am Meditation

Saturday  9am full service + meditation 

Our Regular Groups outside of our temple
1st Sunday of the month, Buu Hung Monastery at 3pm
17808 NE 18th St.  Vancouver WA 98684 
contact Venerable Su Co Hue Huong,

Every Monday - Trinity Sangha, at Trinity Natural Medicine at 12 noon
1808 Belmont Ave, Hood River, OR 97031
1st and 3rd WednesdayEvenings - Trinity Sangha Study Group 
Time 6:30-8:00pm
Where: first meeting at Withers residence, 1829 5th St., Hood River (Sieverkropp Development behind Rosauer's) Book to be studied: Peace in Every Breath by Thich Nhat Hanh
11th Step Recovery Meeting - place, dates, and time to be arranged contact Dick at 414.587.4065  
 "All conditioned things are impermanent. Work out your own salvation with diligence"  
The Buddha's last words.

Ongoing Local Sitting Meditation Groups:
Mt. Adams Zen Buddhist Temple morning meditation Monday-Friday at 6:30 am and Saturday at 9 am with Ven. Kozen Sampson at the Trout Lake Abbey located at 46 Stoller Road, Trout Lake, WA.  Contact: Kozen Sampson (; 509-395-2030)
Trinity Sangha with Ven. Kozen Sampson, Mt. Adams Zen Center, Noon to 1 pm every Monday at Trinity Natural Medicine located at 1808 Belmont Road in Hood River. Sitting meditation and loving kindness meditation. Contact: Emily Martin (; 503-358-1949)
Pacific Hermitage Meditation and Dhamma talk with Thai Forest Monks 6:30-8 pm every Tuesday evening at Yoga Samadhi in White Salmon, WA. 
Hood River Zen Sunday afternoon walking and sitting meditation every other Sunday 3 - 5 pm in the Bamboo Room of Cascade Acupuncture, located at 104 5th St. Hood River, Oregon. Contact Kyri Treiman: (
White Salmon Dharma Practice Group every other Sunday evenings at Atlan (near Northwestern Park outside of White Salmon).  Contact: Scott Cushman: (; 925-708-5652)
11th Step Meditation: A Fresh Step Forward in Recovery First and Third Sunday evenings 6:30 pm at Bethel UCC Church in White Salmon, WA. Contact Dick Withers: (; 414-587-4065)

Trinity Sangha Study Group
When: 1st and 3rd Wednesday evenings  Time 6:30-8:00pm
Where: first meeting at Withers residence, 1829 5th St., Hood River (Sieverkropp Development behind Rosauer's)
First Meeting: Wednesday, April 19.
Book to be studied: Peace in Every Breath by Thich Nhat Hanh

Buu Hung Monastery - Vancouver WA
The Activities Plan of Yearly Buddhist Ceremonies (2017)
Friday,         1/27/17,      New Year Eve's Celebration
Saturday,       1/28/17,    New Year's Celebration
Saturday,       2/18/17,      Visiting Temples in Portland
Sunday,         3/19/17,    Quan Yin Celebration
Sat +Sun,      3/25,26/17, Eight Precept Spring Retreat
Sunday,         5/7/17,       Buddha 's Birthday Celebration
Saturday       June    ,       Buddhist Festival in Portland
Sunday,         8/6/17,        Quan Yin Celebration
Sat+ Sun       8/19,20/17   Eight Precept Summer Retreat
Sun               8/27/17       Parents ' Celebration (Ullambana)
Sun               11/5/17       Quan Yin Celebration  

These services are in Vietnamese at our sister temple in Vancouver WA
Mt Adams Zen Buddhist Temple    46 Stoller Rd., Trout Lake WA 98650  509.395.2030