August 2022
Please enable photos in your browser and view the whole newsletter - it is quite long.
In this newsletter:
Services and classes
New Temple Building
Vipassana Retreat
NW Earthquake
Thich Minh Thien (Thay Z)
Recovery Dharma
Rumi Class
Nature Based
Thomas Merton
A letter of Buddhist practice
Temple happenings Photos

MONDAY - FRIDAY at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. via ZOOM
MONDAY at 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. via ZOOM
SATURDAY 8:30 a.m. - service + meditation via ZOOM & in person
Special Vajrayana and Theravada education from March - September 2022
1st and 2nd Saturdays - Mahayana teaching
3rd Saturday - Vajrayana teachings Khenpo Karten Rinpoche
4th Saturday - Theravāda teachings Ven. Bhante Patthago
SUNDAY LGBTQ+ Group 7:30 p.m.

THURSDAY at 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. IN PERSON
 1412 13th Street, Suite 200. Hood River, OR 97031

Thich Nhat Hanh study group on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
(for info about the study group , contact Bonnie at

at our temple

Aug 4-7 Vipassana Retreat
Aug 12-14 Metta Retreat (+ Shinrin-Yoku)
Aug 14 Shinrin-Yoku 9:00 am - noon
Aug 19-21 Live as a monk/nun for 24 hours (Vietnamese Retreat)
Aug 25-28 Yoga Retreat with Lori Gholson

Sept 1-5 Druid Retreat (Indo-European Practices)
7 August Training to teach mediation at correctional facilities
with Dick Withers 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sept 16-18 Tibetan Amitābha Retreat with Khenpo Karten Rinpoche
23 & 24 Sept Rumi Class with Pouria
23-25 Autumn Equinox Druid Ritual (Indo-European Practices)
Sept 25 Shinrin-Yoku for Kids with Stephanie & Laurie 9:00 a.m. - noon
Sept. 30 - 2 October Yoga Retreat with Laurie VanCott

Oct 4-9 Fall Meditation Retreat (+ Shinrin-Yoku)
Oct 9 Shinrin-Yoku 9:00 am - noon
Oct 12-19 Chinese Medicine Retreat with Ed Neal
Oct 21-23 NUNM Retreat
Oct 29 Samhain Ritual (Indo-European Practices)

Nov. 5 Shinrin-Yoku Forest Bathing 9am - noon
Nov. 12,19,26 Study for Taking Refuge (+ZOOM) 10:15 AM

Dec 3 Taking Refuge Ceremony (+ZOOM) 9:00 a.m.
Dec 8 Midnight meditation 11:30 p.m.
Dec 17 Winter Solstice Ritual (Indo-European Practices)
Dec 31 Midnight Meditation (ring the great bell 108 times) 11:30 p.m.

Lodging: We encourage but do not require Covid vaccination. Masking is usually optional. If we have known frail or immunocompromised individuals masking may be required. Our B&B is expensive, our meditation huts or camping (your own tent) is a more economical option. We would rather have you than your money so do not let finances be an issue.
We have almost completed the patio entrance (phase 1) and have started the foundation for the new main hall (phase 2).
Thank you for your kind generosity.
The new temple construction has been funded by many donations.
Above is an artist's rendition of the new temple plans
A new statue has been donated to the temple. It is in Vietnam awaiting shipment. We are short of money to pay for shipping.
Stone lions guard the walkway to the new patio entrance to the temple. The Dharma hall will be started this year and will be to the north end of the patio. The south end of the patio will include a dining room and kitchen. The lions will be raised up on pedestals soon.
Handicapped access sidewalk completed. We're bringing in power and putting in a septic system in the next 3 weeks. The temple will have 2 handicapped bathrooms in a building about 20 feet from the temple at the end of a covered walkway.
This is the first phase in a 3 phase building project is near completion. This first building is an enclosed and covered patio space (40 foot by 40 foot) with heated floor for outside meditation and chanting year round use. The second phase will be a new temple, and the third phase will be a dining area and kitchen.

An anonymous donor has started a matching fund drive up to $100,000 for the new building.
you can donate at:
or by mailing a check to Mt Adams Buddhist Temple, PO Box 487, Trout Lake WA 98650.
Thay Kozen is working part time to earn money to pay for our septic system.

Due to rising costs the new statue shipment is far more expensive than was planned. We're seeking donations to help with shipping costs - around $20,000 - can you help?
The Next Cascadia Earthquake: Worst Case Scenario
More than 300 years ago, the Pacific Northwest was rocked by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake.
What would happen if a similar earthquake hit the region today?
Thich Minh Thien, (Thay Z) Abbot of Budding Dharma
Arlington, Texas

A Western Buddhist Path

I have been practicing the tenets of Buddhism for over 25 years, the last 10 or so as an ordained monk. Someone in my prison ministry recently asked what has that meant to me and what would I change if I could. This path or walk with what our traditional teacher, the Shakyamuni Buddha left behind has affected me in ways too numerous to respond to that question in its’ entirety then or now. But here is the drift of what I shared and what continues to arise.

Initially, my path had a strong identity with what I was exposed to; namely an eastern Buddhism and the way it is practiced there. Though my Teacher is a western monk, his time spent in Japan and the way he learned his practice, did have an influence on how my practice was undertaken. There was a mystery in everything I didn’t know which remains plentiful to this day and somehow seeing myself as part of the bigger eastern style Buddhist picture helped camouflage what I saw as my inadequacies.

But that started slipping away. I remember when I first ordained, people would ask what I would now do as a monk. At first I responded sort of cheekily that I would be a monk to the heathens. I began using social media platforms to send out nuggets of the dharma into the internet realms. Then there was the start-up of my own small local temple and sangha group and some of the traditional eastern ways seemed to slip away a bit. Nothing really came to replace it; at least not in the form of identity or association, and certainly not in beliefs. But recently, maybe in the last six months or so, I noticed a change as I tried to figure out how to best serve the sangha I now have and the ministries I was volunteering for. And in doing so, I began to notice a shift in the style of my practice, and that continues.

What changed? Some things that were inherited in the form of the cultural style I had been practicing began to drop away; but not all of it. Poetically, it feels like the floor that one is standing on suddenly begins to vanish. And instead of a feeling of falling, there is the sensation of expanding and a realization that the “floor” wasn’t needed like before.

I am beginning to see that when you remain curious; when you’re willing to examine assumptions and conditioned thinking, there may come this shift. At first it felt like I was betraying the history I was brought into, like a heretic. Now, I suspect I am seeing the possibilities of a western Buddhism that appreciates where it all came from with some adjustments for the western culture and may better serve those who wish to discover the wisdom of the Buddha. And I also see that there is no rush, no finish line. This shift has occurred many times as this path was introduced to different cultures. No one is looking over your shoulder to see if you are a valid Buddhist or not. It is just you and infinite existence; and then, it’s just infinite existence.
namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Recovery Dharma--Transforming Addictions
and Other Harmful Habits by
Richard (Dick) Withers

Recovery Dharma (RD) was founded in 2019 with publication of the book Recovery Dharma. Local RD meetings are now available online and in-person throughout North America and around the globe. RD meetings include meditation, dharma study and sharing. Drawing from successful elements of 12-Step support groups, RD provides a program of powerful tools to support recovery from alcoholism and addictions (substance or otherwise).

Columbia Gorge Recovery Dharma continues to be thankful for the encouragement and support provided by the Mt. Adams Buddhist Temple and the Temple community.
Columbia Gorge Recovery Dharma currently meets online:
Sundays at 6:15 pm and Tuesdays at 6:00 pm: (Pacific Time)
Meeting ID: 658 513 8476    Password: 516313
Feel free to apply to join our Private Facebook Group (Columbia Gorge Recovery Dharma)
(contact Dick for more information)

From the book Recovery Dharma:
Recovery Dharma is a peer led movement and a community that is unified by the potential in each of us to recover and find freedom from the suffering of addiction. This book uses the Buddhist practices of meditation, self inquiry, wisdom, compassion, and community as tools for recovery and healing. We welcome anyone who is looking to find freedom from suffering, whether it’s caused by substance use or process addictions like codependency, sex, gambling, eating disorders, shopping, work, technology, or any obsessive or habitual pattern. We approach recovery from a place of individual and collective empowerment and we support each other as we walk this path of recovery together.

a workshop to explore and experience

Pouria Montazeri

Friday, September 23, 2022
(6:00-8:00 PM)
The Perennial Wisdom of Rumi's Teachings
An evening introductory talk exploring how the 13th-century Persian Sufi poet Rumi's teachings continue to permeate the heart realms over 750 years after his passing. The evening will include questions and responses from the participants and will hint at the next day's workshop. Suggested donation $25.00

Saturday, September 24, 2022 (9:00 AM - 3:00 PM)

Rumi's poetry is an invaluable map of the heart and the spiritual realm. This daylong workshop
will focus on turning such sacred poetry and teachings into portals for spiritual awakening and
transformation. The workshop will revolve around a major theme taught by Rumi. Suggested donations $50.00
What to expect:
Heart-Centered Meditations
Intentional and focused Movements
Body/Mind Relaxation Methods
Group Contemplations
Questions and Responses

We would rather have you than your donations so do not let finances prevent you from attending.

About Rumi

Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Balkhī Rumi is greatly appreciated in the West. Still, few understand
the depth of his spiritual and cultural context and the Persian language or know the many
layers of meaning lost in translations and renditions. It will be difficult to grasp Rumi's poetry
without understanding his mystical language and background.

Rumi was a saint and a mystic. He was not a poet in the traditional sense where one sits and
composes poetry, and he did not utter poetry before meeting Shams of Tabriz - over thirty-
seven years of his life. His poems are considered sacred verses to those on the Path of Love. He
uttered these verses spontaneously in ecstasy beyond mind and reason as his students wrote
them down.
About Pouria

Pouria Montazeri is the founder of In the Footprints of Rumi, through which he uses his
privileges as someone familiar with the language, culture, and religious/spiritual background of

Rumi to support individuals in understanding what Rumi said and taught which has been
ignored, erased, or misinterpreted through translations and renditions in the West.
Pouria supports individuals in embodying and tasting the transformative depth and beauty of
these practices and language inside their hearts through these teachings and providing key
translations and contexts.
Pouria trusts the brilliancy of each individual and their spiritual paths to take Rumi's perennial
teachings and marinate in and implement them in their lives. Learn more about Pouria here.
by Laura Martin
"Perhaps even more beautiful is the lotus. Differing from the water lily, the leaves and flowers of lotus are held above the water surface from 6 inches to 3 feet tall. Worldwide, there are only two species of lotus, the American lotus and the sacred lotus of Asia.
Both species produce seeds that are amazingly long lived. Seeds of American lotus have stayed viable for over 200 years – but seeds of the Asian species have germinated after a thousand years. The “lotus” effect was discovered by scientists who studied the remarkable capacity of the lotus leaf to shed water. When water hits the surface of the leaf, it immediately clumps into droplets, taking with it any available dirt or mud. The droplets roll off, leaving the surface clean and dry.
Scientists in Australia found that the Asian lotus plants maintained an even temperature between 86 and 95 degrees, even when outside temperatures dropped into the low 50s.
Because the beautiful, pristine blossoms of lotus grow out of the mud and muck of a pond, the lotus has come to symbolize purity, transformation and enlightenment."

The journey of growing our own heart lotus is following Buddha's teachings. We can use the "muck" at the bottom of our life to grow our lotus. Laura is a prolific author and I enjoy her plant based blog...Thay Kozen
“Compassion is the keen awareness of interdependence of all things”
Father Thomas Merton
(January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)
Father Thomas Merton was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist and scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was ordained to the Catholic priesthood and given the name "Father Louis"
Merton became a keen proponent of interfaith understanding, exploring Eastern religions through his study of mystic practice. He is particularly known for having pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama; Japanese writer D. T. Suzuki; Thai Buddhist monk Buddhadasa, and Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. He traveled extensively in the course of meeting with them and attending international conferences on religion. In addition, he wrote books on Zen Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, and how Christianity related to them. This was highly unusual at the time in the United States, particularly within the religious orders.
A letter from a temple member and Thay Kozen's response

From a temple member:
Religion is just a messy business regardless the flavor. Still there seems to be kernels of truth (whatever that is) and insight peppered throughout all of the them that I have had exposure to. Whenever I read about the Buddhist texts or some passage from the texts themselves I remember something I heard many years ago in a talk by Alan Watts (I do believe it was him). Anyway what the presenter said was something to the effect that if you’re a Christian, wonderful, stay a Christian or whatever other religion you practice. You don’t need to be a Buddhist. In fact we don’t have time for you to be a Buddhist. That would require years of unlearning before you could even begin to learn Buddhism. The world needs you now so please do your Buddhist meditation and allow it to inform your current religion and be the very best Christian or Jew or whatever you are and get on with making the world a better place.

It was hard for me to imagine why he would say such a thing. I was so accustomed to religious proselytizing it didn’t make rational sense to me. Now I get it, I am nearly 70 years of age and when I read Buddhist texts or commentaries on the texts it is clear to me that I simply do not have time to acquire a whole new philosophy and set of ceremonial practices. I’m not sure I have the energy for it either. So where does that leave me in terms of my budding dharma practice? Please share your thoughts when your time permits.

From Thay Kozen:

There really is no separate thing as "Buddhism". It is simply a way of living and practice to be the best person, free from suffering (or dissatisfaction), you can become. There is no magic, God, or energy outside of you to guide you or your thoughts. Buddha simply means awakened - you and I both Buddha this morning. Our historical teacher, Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha), mentally awakened and then made a decision to teach others how to become free from suffering. He never asked that statues be made in his likeness or that we do elaborate rituals. Instead he likened himself to a physician treating the disease of suffering, monks and nuns act as nurses administering the medication of Dharma.

Studying to become a Buddhist is a misnomer that is based upon mankind's need to put things in boxes. Being the best Christian, Moslem, Jew, Druid, Sufi etc. that you can be already makes you on the journey to practice as a "Buddhist". You already have an awakening heart! I encourage you to let go of putting anything in any mental boxes or formations - being just as you are - without adornment or titles is perfect! Do study the teachings, meditate, and actively practice metta (lovign kindness towards all beings).

Many of us who align with a religious practice seem to want to remake God or a Religion in our own image. If there is only one God, then why do the different denominations within many faiths fight and argue? How can the God of the Russians say their invasive war is OK and the God of the Ukrainians say it is not OK?  Was the God of the early Baptists who confirmed slavery - the same God as the God of the Quakers who said all people are children of God and should be free??? Was the God of the Third Reich who condemned Jews the same God who said that Jews are his Chosen People? Is the God of the Sunni, Shi'a, Ibadi, Ahmadiyya, and Sufism the same God? Is the God of the Jews who are Orthodox (traditional), Reformed (Liberal or Progressive), or Conservative the same God?

Are there many different Christian/Jewish/Moslem/etc. Gods? There are many people who seem to remake God and religion into their own image. So - what are we to do? Let us let go of all the religion stuff, it is all a construct of human thought. Instead - as you have been doing - practice, practice. practice! Meditate and pray, talk to monks/clergy, practice metta (Loving Kindness towards all beings), look into the holy texts to find some kernels of truth and then honestly look into your own heart to see how the great peace is manifested in you. Make it real in your own life and in your actions. Weed out hatred and disdain, weed out anger and desire, cultivate loving thoughts.

There are 3 practices of a spiritually based life:
1. Some form of metta (Loving Kindness towards all beings)
2. Some form of meditation or prayer
3. Some form of devotional practice

His Holiness The Dali Lama tells us the "My religion is kindness",,, in metta, Thay Kozen
Temple Happenings
Our dear friend, Ruben Gloria visited our temple. His vision is getting worse but his hearing and mind are great!
Our new farm manager, Cody. He has a sweet and kind personality and we are happy to welcome him.
Temple visit
We visited Thien Quang Temple 11911 SE 196th St Kent, WA 98031 (206) 557-9798‬
Thich Elmonk Nguyen
Welcome Ven. Bhante Patthago, a Thai forest monk, will spend the rains retreat at our temple. He also does a Dharma talk monthly on our Zoom meetings.
Unfinished but usable new temple patio has it's first gathering.
Dave Martin, Davie, and George canoe around our pond
Memorial Service
A lovely memorial service for Pat Bellacero. Pat would come to our temple and walk the labyrinth. She will be missed.
Thay Kozen, Ven. Bhante, Sadi Minh Tam, Guenevere, and Max visited Thich Hue Nhan and sangha in Olympia

Sean Tran places our newly repainted frog statue in our pond
James, our previous farm manager, and daughters returned to do some boating in our pond. Ven, our temple dog, seems to enjoy swimming alongside.
Guenevere visited our temple.
A lovely new Thangka of Vajara Kilaya, a wrathful deity who is most powerful for removing obstacles and destroying the forces hostile to compassion.
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