August 2019
Weekly Temple Services 
Monday - Friday 6:30 am and 6:30 pm
Meditation Saturday 9am full service + meditation
Dear ones.

We are in midst of choosing political candidates. Let us remember to be kind to each other regardless of our differences.

Providence Hospice of Hood River is holding a New Hospice Volunteer training on October 3rd and 4th from 9-4:30pm. If you feel like you would like to join in any part of the training or come for certain parts you are invited. CONTACT - Carol Blanusa, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator 1630 Woods Court Hood River, OR Cell 503 572-1607. Office 541 387-1152. I highly recommend volunteering for hospice, Thay Kozen
The 9th North America and Canada Vietnamese Conference July 2019
Walking meditation done by monks, nuns, and lay people stretched out for over a block.
Thays Kozen and Minh attended.
Walking Meditation
Walking Meditation
Community Work Days
JOIN US IN KEEPING OUR TEMPLE BEAUTIFUL - The first Saturday of the month from 10am - 3pm. Come for 1 hour or 5. We'll be doing weeding, gardening, watering,etc. August 3, Sept 7, October 5.
A Tibetan Prayer Flag Pavilion has been created at the site of our new temple
Mount Adams will be the focus of the North end of our new temple plan.

Our carved Buddha sits next to our Tibetan Prayer Flag Pavilion. With Mount Adams in the background, many people have stopped by to photograph the Buddha and the pavilion. We erected the flags to bless the area and to remind us to seek peace in all things.
A prayer flag is a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside. Traditional prayer flags include woodblock-printed text and images. U ng Ta (horizontal) prayer flags are of square or rectangular shape, and are connected along their top edges to a long string or thread. They are commonly hung on a diagonal line from high to low between two objects (e.g., a rock and the top of a pole), in high places such as the tops of temples, monasteries, stupas , temples, and mountain passes.
  • Sacred remembrance practices (singing and movement)
  • Guided heart-centered meditations and movements
  • Sacred reading practices, journaling and offerings
  • Introducing selected poems and discourses through exploring the spiritual and cultural context and idioms of Rumi’s work.
Beyond Translations: Embodying Rumi’s Teachings with Pouria Montazeri
Embodiment practices to turn Rumi’s sacred poetry and teaching into portals for spiritual awakening and transformation.

Friday September 6 (7- 8:30pm)
 Free public talk

Saturday September 7 (10 am-5:30) Daylong Workshop

Suggested donation: $50

Pouria Montazeri is a native Persian-speaking teacher and the founder of
The snow is the garden.
I am the snow .
I am the soil. I am the garden.
I am the stars that appear on the dark, winter nights.
I am the moon casting cold shadows.
I am the sunlight. I am the changing seasons, the wind and the rain.
The plants in the garden are the galaxy.
 One step of the journey cannot be forgotten or separate.
Tomatoes will not grow in winter.
Tomatoes will not grow without winter.
Starting the journey may be arrival.
The moments in between are the gift.
Thay Z at the ocean
Thich Minh Thien's Column
  (AKA - Thay Z from Arlington Texas)


Recently, during meditation, I experienced an overwhelming sense or feeling of emptiness. The emotional memory of this had me relating to feelings like loneliness or sadness. I had felt this way before and in the past, I looked outside myself for the reasons contributing to why I was feeling this way. It was easy to blame it all on a possible disruption of a friendship or relationship, some disappointment in an outcome that didn’t meet my expectations or just downright boredom. As the outside situations underwent changes however, I moved on without much further contemplation about what was this empty feeling really all about. Of course some of that emotional, gut feelings may well have been caused by some of these outside influences. However this time, through the power of a meditation practice, I wanted to look deeply into what this feeling of emptiness was about. 

I looked at my emotions and determined that this sense of emptiness I was experiencing and feeling in and out of my meditation practice, wasn’t related to outside influences like what I remembered from before. It certainly wasn’t boredom either. Being retired now, I sometimes wonder how I did all that I am doing and still had time to work. My curiosity was piqued. What was the difference?

So I did my Google, and found a number of articles and teachers speaking to the concept of Emptiness as it relates to the Buddhist philosophy. Many expressed thoughts like…”Emptiness is a central teaching of all Buddhism, but its true meaning is often misunderstood.” One third century Indian Buddhist Master, Nagarjuna taught, “Emptiness wrongly grasped is like picking up a poisonous snake by the wrong end.” In other words, we could be bitten by misinterpreting this feeling. Emptiness is not complete nothingness; it doesn’t mean that nothing exists at all. What it does mean is that things do not exist the way our grasping self supposes they do. The Heart Sutra says, “…all phenomena in their own-being are empty.” It doesn’t say that all phenomena are empty. Thich Nhat Hanh when addressing emptiness, references “interbeing”. His teachings tell us that this term embraces the positive aspect of emptiness as it is lived and acted by a person; with its sense of connection, compassion and love. 

I think my search for meaning in the emptiness I experienced, was best clarified in my Google search in some writings by Ari Goldfield, a Buddhist teacher at Wisdom Sun and translator of Stars of Wisdom. He wrote, “The first meaning of emptiness is called ‘emptiness of essence,’ which means that phenomena (that we experience) have no inherent nature by themselves. The second is called ‘emptiness in the context of Buddha Nature,’ which sees emptiness as endowed with qualities of awakened mind like wisdom, bliss, compassion, clarity and courage. Ultimate reality is the union of both emptinesses.”

It is in teachings like this that I feel such gratitude for my meditation practice and the philosophy of life given to us by the Buddha. It is there that feelings that I probably misinterpreted in the past, are now seen in a new light and given a different meaning and understanding. Using this small awakening through mindful living , I see more clearly the value of experiencing things like emotions and feelings in the broader context of ultimate reality and in the Bodhicitta; which is the mind inclusive of thought, action, feeling and speech, totally dedicated to others and to achieving full enlightenment in order to benefit all sentient beings as fully as possible.

Emptiness is no longer something to avoid, but rather to seek.
namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Drew Polito is going to the City of 10,000 Buddhas to continue his study
Drew, (once known as Sa Di Minh Phap), has disrobed in preparation to become a volunteer at the City of 10,000 Buddhas. After a 6 month volunteer period he hopes to be accepted as a monk trainee.
While here, he passed his GED exam and completed 5 classes at the local community college. In addition, he helped at the temple and the Monday meditation group.
We wish him well on his journey.
Mandala Family Camp
by Emily Martin

A mandala, translated from the Sanskrit, means circle.  When I think of mandala, I invoke the images I’ve seen of dedicated monks working tirelessly to perfect an image in sand, only to sweep it away after it’s complete. The process reminds us of the world’s impermanence; our impermanence. A mandala is the expression of a co-created spiritual ritual, a ritual which focuses the mind and creates exquisite beauty.

With the spirit of mandala at our backs, the Trout Lake Abbey hosted its first 
Mandala Family Camp in July. The camp was an experiment: can one be on spiritual retreat alongside one’s family? We knew for the experiment to work, we would need other families sharing in food preparation and child-care. Thankfully, twelve families agreed to the experiment, each adult offering a piece to the whole--perhaps a meal, a meditation, a kid’s activity. By working together, could we create an experience to support both the individual and the family unit?

I suspect the results of the experiment are different for all those who participated. For my family, I was able to sneak away to part of an adult conversation about mindful parenting, and found myself in downward dog with my three-year old clinging to my back. I had two beautiful nights of camping in the alpine glow of Mt. Adams knowing my kids would sleep well after exhausting themselves playing in the pond and throwing balls for Ven. One morning I was able to offer a guided meditation in the temple which fueled me with enough peace to last through the day. Everytime I turned around my 6-year old was out of sight, and pleasantly, I would find him happily engaged, usually kayaking with an adult or passed out in our tent. 

As my kids get older and more independent, I look forward to more time in spiritual community together, knowing and trusting our individual and family needs will be met. We will find ourselves, held, once more, by the great turning and peace of the world. We will offer and we will receive; co-creating an expression of exquisite beauty.
Upcoming Months Schedule   
Aug 22-25 Beyond the Gates Pagan Festival
Sept 6 & 7 In the Footprints of Rumi (Free public talk on Friday eve!)

Dates subject to change, other retreats may be added
May the Infinite Light of Wisdom and Compassion so shine within us
that the errors and vanities of self may be dispelled; 
so shall we understand the changing nature of existence and awaken into spiritual peace.
Mt Adams Zen Buddhist Temple   46 Stoller Rd., Trout Lake WA 98650 509.395.2030