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Mt Adams Zen Buddhist Temple


December 2014 Newsletter

Happy Buddha Day - November 8
Dear Dharma Family,
   Peace and Joy to each of us.  I recently attended a Mass at a local church.  While I was there I was asked about my religion.  Skip Chasey, old and dear friend, has a wonderful response, so I borrowed it and changed it a bit: " I am a Muslim, Jew, Christian, Druid, Pagan, and Hindu follower who practices my faith in the teachings of the Buddha".  I went on to add that I am "of the black, white, red, yellow and purple race".  While the purple was in fun - it became clear to me that I really am not separate from anyone - a drunk lying on the street or to His Holiness the Dali Lama.  "We are all God's children or none of us are" - each person, each action, all interconnected, all changing, the whole of sentience. 

    Many parts of the world remain in states of conflict. We keep all of mankind in our daily thoughts and meditations. We remain concerned about the rise of radical religious political activists in the Christian and Muslem faiths - it seems that some folks are trying to hijack religion to be instruments of exclusion, hate, and war. We pray for peace and tolerance and a renewed sense of peace in our world.   

     May peace truly live in our hearts and may we all experience peace.  Love, Thay Kozen 

Thich Nhat Hanh's status as of 30 November 2014 
To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide,

To our Dear Beloved Friends,

As the Winter Retreat continues to unfold in all our practice centers in Europe and America, Thay's condition in the hospital remains stable.

Thay continues to rest peacefully with the ticking clock on his pillow, and we sense that he is relying on his deep awareness of breathing, rooted in Store Consciousness, to guide his healing process. Even the doctors have been surprised at the consistent level of oxygen in his blood. Thay is truly the best breather in the world, inspiring us to deepen our full awareness of the breath. Thay continues to remind us that each day we are alive is a miracle, and that simply to breathe is a gift.

The latest scan shows that Thay's hemorrhage has slightly reduced in size. The edema is still present, but has not worsened. The doctors have met to re-evaluate their approach and review how to nourish Thay's body more as we enter medium-term treatment. Thay continues to receive 24-hour care from his monastic attendants as well as hospital nurses. We are very grateful for the commitment of the hospital neurologists who are maintaining Thay's healing process with open hearts and minds.

Earlier this year, Thay accepted an invitation from Pope Francis to go to the Vatican on December 1 & 2 to support a global initiative to end modern slavery. A delegation of 22 monks and nuns, including Sister Chan Khong and Thay Phap An (Director of our European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Germany) are now in Rome to realize Thay's wish.

We continue to be grateful for your messages of support and the energy of mindfulness and compassion being generated for Thay. Wherever we are, we know that our practice of nourishing and healing ourselves is the best way we can all take care of Thay, and take care of the present moment.

Because suffering is impermanent, that is why we can transform it.

Because happiness is impermanent, that is why we have to nourish it.   -TNH, 10th June 2014

May we all offer our meditation and merit from our practice to this gentle, loving teacher.  Thay Kozen 

We are a small Thien (Zen) Buddhist Temple practicing  "laughing farmer zen" - living our practice, sitting zazen, being here - right now!

Services & Meditation   


New Winter Schedule  


Morning Meditation  6:30AM 

Tuesday - Saturday


Evening Meditation
6:30 PM
Thursday - Saturday


Morning Services

Thursday - Saturday


Sunday Evening meditation at 6:30 pm at Trinity Natural Medicine
1808 Belmont Ave, Hood River, OR  



1st Sunday of the month at Buu-hung Buddhist Monastery 17808 NE  18th St, Vancouver, WA  

Tel: (360) 718-6158    3:30pm - 4:30 pm 



6 Retreat Cancelled              7 Midnight Meditation           17 Dec CRCC Prison Visit  31 Midnight Meditation 



Buu Hung Monastery       10 - 11 two day retreat          21 Jan CRCC Prison Visit  




1 Buu Hung Monastery       18 CRCC Prison Visit           18 New Years celebration at Co Lam Pagoda (Chinese New Year) 




1 Buu Hung Monastery 

18 Mar CRCC Prison visit  

To the 2 wonderful people whom I may not name - whose lives were joined in marriage...

May the blessings of the  

Gentle One

be with you both,

and may the peaceful nature of  


permeate your lives.
My love and blessings,
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/ 




Very clear, yet appearing hidden.

How can we see it?  

How can we not?

Ah -  

breath in,  

breath out - Ah!

Thay Kozen 

A Buddhist 8 Fold Laugh
by Bruce Tindall

Right View
In a rear-view mirror,
is at best Myopia.

Right Intention
Shoveling snow to be precise in cleanliness,
does not compare to Skiing.

Right Speech
Is not delivered when you screech,
eyes so big and so aghast.

Right Action
As a fraction, no traction,
with decorum, carpe diem.

Right Livelihood
Some live to work and some to live,
to love one's job: a gift so big.

Right Effort
To toll three times over a pile of wood,
A joke or Buddhist ritual?

Right Mindfulness
The ball team wins,
the coach grins.

Right Concentration
The eightfold path,
is 16 words.
"Dogen Zenji

"If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?"

"Do not be concerned with the faults of other persons. Do not see others' faults with a hateful mind. There is an old saying that if you stop seeing others' faults, then naturally seniors and venerated and juniors are revered. Do not imitate others' faults; just cultivate virtue. Buddha prohibited unwholesome actions, but did not tell us to hate those who practice unwholesome actions."
Please Support
Tibet Aid
GPS - Gentelness, Peacefulness, Stillness
A wonderful Catholic nun visited recently and shared about her belief and practice.  She was quite lovely.  In addition to her practice and teaching of meditation, she left me with a whole new concept about GPS; Gentleness, Peacefulness, Stillness.  What a wonderful re-using of a common term this is.  When we are open, the whole world becomes our teacher.  Those sneaky, awake, lovely catholic nuns who have become Bodhisattvas and teach meditation and support the awakening process in others are most wonderful! 
May we all go everywhere with GPS - Thay Kozen
Come and join us on Sunday 7 December 
for Midnight Meditation
11:30pm - 12:30 am
We will meditate on the last day of
Buddha's pre-enlightenment day
meditate on the start of Buddha's
first day of enlightenment 
Come and join us on    
WEDNESDAY 31 December 
for Midnight Meditation
                             11:30pm - 12:30 am
We will meditate on the last day of the year
meditate on the start of the first day of the New Year 

Words of Wisdom  from many sources - may our Holidays be filled with the ecumenical spirit of brotherhood and tolerance. 

"Who am I to Judge?" Pope Francis 

"Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained."  Lao Tzu

"Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth."   Thich Nhat Hanh

"Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us."   Socrates

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."  Carl Sagan

"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love."  St. Francis of Assisi

"I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit."  Khalil Gibran

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."             Mother Teresa

"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."  Gandhi

"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together."              Desmond Tutu

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."         Martin Luther King Jr.

"I would no more quarrel with a man because of his religion than I would because of his art."   Mary Baker Eddy

Duke and Joann Olmstead took refuge in November
 welcome to the Buddha's family
Duke and Joann
Duke and Joann Olmstead
Our first Gay Wedding
David & Gavin have joined in marriage Nov 2nd at our temple.  Same sex marriage is legal in Washington State and we were happy to join in this loving union.   David has been coming to our temple for about 2 years on an episodic basis. 

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

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


Plum Mountain Buddhist Community - Aberdeen WA 

December 2014 Newsletter

Weekly Schedule: Daily 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Service with short recitation and half hour seated meditation, at 516 W. Cushing in Aberdeen. This is except for Fridays and when Thay Kobai is away from the Harbor. Our regular community (sangha) gathering is Tuesday evenings at Cushing St. 6:30 to 8 p.m. We do some movement and sitting meditation, with plenty of guidance for newcomers. Thay Kobai or a senior student gives a short talk on Buddhist principles followed by Q&A and discussion.


Events in December


2 December, Tuesday: Community Meditation, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We do some simple movement and seated meditation, followed by a short talk by Thay Kobai on "Meditation, the Eighth Element of the Eight-Part Map of the Path" and a Q&A. See details above. Also, we will make sandwiches tonight for the Lunch Under the Bridge program tomorrow. Those who are able, please bring sandwich breads, sliced cheese, mayo, lettuce etc. Also some food prep gloves and sandwich-size zip lock bags.


3 December, Wednesday: Lunch Under the Bridge for Chaplains on the Harbor. We meet at 10:00 a.m. in the kitchen at St. Andrew's Episcopal in Aberdeen. We'll make coffee and do hot water for tea and hot chocolate, then pack the carts and walk (and roll) over to the DOT bridge site to start serving about 11:00 a.m.


5 December, Saturday: Full Moon


9 Deember, Tuesday: Community Meditation, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We do some simple movement and seated meditation, followed by a short talk by Thay Kobai and a discussion. People of any or no faith are welcome.


16 December, Tuesday: Community Meditation, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We do some simple movement and seated meditation, followed by a short talk by Thay Kobai and a Q&A discussion. People of any or no faith are welcome.


21 December, Sunday New Moon

23 December, Tuesday: Community Meditation, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We do some simple movement and seated meditation, followed by a short talk by Thay Kobai and a Q&A discussion. People of any or no faith are welcome. Check with Thay Kobai if you have questions.


30 December, Tuesday: Community Meditation, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We do some simple movement and seated meditation, followed by a talk by Thay Kobai.


Random News

Our leadership circle met last month at Tully's in Hoquiam, followed by a nice lunch at the Korean restaurant in Cosmopolis. Mostly we covered Thay's health and sobriety as well as what he wants done when he dies. Several members of the Circle have copies of the documents needed and other copies will be in my file at Trout Lake Abbey.

Circle member and village acupuncturist, Doris Reed is making a nice recovery and recently graduated to driving herself to work.


Some Dharma:

In the last month of the year, our topic is the last of the eightfold map: Meditation. And I'm puzzling how to explain the difference, or make the transition from mindfulness to meditation. I'd say that mindfulness is necessary for meditation, but not sufficient. So what's that added element that transforms mindfulness into full-on meditation?


I've been reading a bit of Dōgen lately and he's a brilliant poet, philosopher and spiritual teacher. He's also very practical, as in Instructions to the Cook. But in general his stuff makes pretty difficult reading. And I've always found that men and women who approach practice by way of their thinking minds often get completely ga-ga over Dōgen. The fascicle called Uji, or Time/Being is one such masterpiece of elusive prose. It's sort of like Einstein trying to explaining the space/time nexus. My first teacher, Issan Dorsey approached practice almost totally from the heart, but he used to go around saying "I got that Uji thing going." He couldn't explain it to you, he just liked the sound of the word.


Yet it is here in Dōgen, I think, that we find that transforming ingredient. Meditation is mindfulness plus stillness. It's where we experience our being deeply in present time. Elsewhere our poet says "It's like a hammer striking Emptiness." In those words you can hear the Universe ring.


He also wrote a lovely little poem called Zazen, here it is:

Meditation is clear sky, empty throughout,

A bird flies like a bird.

It's clear water all the way to the bottom,

a fish swims like a fish.


Thay Kobai