December 2021
Weekly ZOOM Services 
Monday - Friday at 6:30 am and 5:30pm ZOOM 5093952030
Saturday 9:00 am - service + meditation ZOOM 5093952030
Thich Nhat Hanh study group on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays at 6:30 pm
(for info about the study group , contact Bonnie at

December - Day Long Retreats via ZOOM

Sunday December 5 - Zazenkai - Open Gate Zendo December Retreat 8:00am-4:30pm
Sunday December 12 - METTA RETREAT, Mt Adams Buddhist Temple
10 people in person + ZOOM at 5093952030
9AM- 3PM
Dear ones,

PHISHING SCAM - There is an email scam going on using my name asking people to buy Amazon gift cards. DO NOT RESPOND to these emails.

To all of our brothers and sisters of all faiths, we wish you the best of the Holidays; Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Zarathosht Diso, Ashura, Bodhi Day, and Dhanu Sankranti.

The placebo effect is more than positive thinking. Well wishing for ourselves and others can actually change our comfort and pain levels. Please read the article at the end of the newsletter. Buddha tells us
"What we think we become" science is proving that that may be more valid than we imagined.

On all the holidays of every faith, let us practice metta (loving kindness)
and well wishing for all sentient beings.
in Metta, Thay Kozen
Our New Temple Is On The Way
Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed by the end of December 2021. We have an anonymous $100,000 matching grant offered so the donor will match any donations up to $100,000. As of now, phase 2 will be the main hall, and phase 3 will be the community room/kitchen.
The first phase is due to be completed in December 2021
Beautiful carved statues are ready to be placed in our new temple
Phase 1 will be an open air patio with sliding clear barn doors to allow for ventilation and fresh air. The floor will be heated so that we can be in the patio even in the coldest of days. Our hope is to create a safe space in the middle of the pandemic so that we can gather and practice as safe as possible.
A finger pointing at the moon is not the moon.
“Bhikkhus, the teaching is merely a vehicle to describe the truth. Don’t mistake it for the truth itself. A finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. The finger is needed to know where to look for the moon, but if you mistake the finger for the moon itself, you will never know the real moon.
The teaching is like a raft that carries you to the other shore. The raft is needed, but the raft is not the other shore. An intelligent person would not carry the raft around on his head after making it across to the other shore. Bhikkhus, my teaching is the raft which can help you cross to the other shore beyond birth and death. Use the raft to cross to the other shore, but don’t hang onto it as your property. Do not
become caught in the teaching. You must be able to let it go,” Buddha.
Thich Minh Thien, (Thay Z) Abbot of Budding Dharma
Arlington, Texas

Thoughts On Gratitude

We are in yearly cycle of what we commonly call the Holiday Season. It starts in November and continues on through the whole month of December and into early January. There are many seasonal holidays during this time period recognized by many spiritual practices. Some of them you may be familiar with and others you may not be. Just a smattering are: Thanksgiving (non-denominational), Christmas (Christian), Hanukkah (Jewish), Diwali (Hindu/Sikh), Kwanzaa (African American),Yule (Druid and Wiccan), Eid al-Adha (Islam) and Bodhi Day (Buddhist).

By definition, holiday means a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done. And many times it brings a deeper recognition of our spiritual practices and a reflection on the many wonderful things in our lives like family and friends. Thanksgiving, in and of itself, is the recognition of the bounty we have in our lives. As we move through December we continue with these thankful thoughts, shop for presents and plan special gatherings and remembrances. We also may have a heightened awareness for those who may be less fortunate than ourselves. Then the time comes when all the celebrations are over and we go back to living life the way we do the other ten months of the year. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could carry those holiday feelings of gratitude and compassion with us into each day, be it a holiday or not.

I saw on-line that the following is attributed to the Buddha. “A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” I don’t know if this is an actual quote from the Buddha but certainly, the overall message is reflected in his teachings. And doesn’t it indeed feel like humanity could use a bit of renewal?  According to the Anguttara Nikaya, the Buddha did say, “These two people are hard to find in the world. Which two? The one who is first to do a kindness, and the one who is grateful and thankful for a kindness done.” 

In saying kind and grateful people are rare, the Buddha wasn’t simply stating a harsh truth about the human race. Rather, he is advising us to treasure these people when we find them — and more importantly — show us how we can become this rare person ourselves. It is the Buddhist values of gratitude and giving (dana) which are fundamental to the Buddhism that we practice. Not only does it help us progress towards realizing dependent origination (we are all connected), but also helps free us from attachment and builds a compassionate mind.

In researching gratitude, I came across the following from Ven Master Hsing Yun. “The Sutra on the Compassionate Upaya of the Buddha provides guidance on how to be grateful as it helps us to manifest the Four Immeasurable States of Mind of the Tathagata (Buddha) which are boundless kindness, boundless compassionate, boundless joy, and boundless equanimity.” In other words, these qualities helps us “awaken” to our natural gratitude and compassionate mind.

So as we embark on this season of holidays, let us remember the following. For all living beings, no matter who or what they are, whether seen or unseen, whether living near or far, whether they are born or unborn, let none deceive or despise anyone. Let none wish harm to another through anger or hatred. May all beings be safe, peaceful and happy.

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
The Trout Lake Abbey is spiritual 'home' to the monthly Recovery Dharma Inquiry meeting while we are meeting in cyberspace. These monthly meetings (on the second Saturday of each month at 11:00 a.m.) are in addition to the weekly meetings (Sunday and Wednesday Evenings) of the Gorge Recovery Dharma program. We are grateful for the support of the Mt. Adams Buddhist Temple and look forward to a time when we can once again meet in person on the Abbey grounds.

Recovery Dharma (RD) is a worldwide program of peer support for persons recovering from substance use disorders and also 'process addictions' such as gambling, overeating, tech addiction, and other harmful or dysfunctional behaviors. RD uses Buddhist principles and practices and draws lessons from other peer support recovery programs including 12-Step fellowships such as AA and Al-Anon.

The next Trout Lake Abbey Recovery Dharma Inquiry meeting and can be accessed on Zoom at Participants will be admitted from the waiting room, The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. PST. Meetings last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The 12 months of the year are used to explore how the Four Noble Truths and each element of the Wise Eightfold Path may help to transform the suffering of addiction and contribute to a path of awakening and service to one another.

The book Recovery Dharma can be accessed and downloaded for free at

For more information, contact Richard Withers at Meetings are also listed at the Facebook group "Gorge Recovery Dharma" and at the web site for Columbia Gorge Mindfulness Meetup.
Dog River Pet Supplies
1118 12h St, Hood River OR 97031
Ven. Jeff Miles Fa Hsing 法 行 , Thich Tâm Minh 心 明

Waking before dawn
to the din of a storm,
I drift off to the sound
of the falling rain.

May I exist like a mushroom 
at home in quiet stillness;
underfoot and overlooked.

There's a quiet peace
in the roar of a storm;
a sound that stops thoughts
before they can form.
I am born again each day

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." John 3:3

I open my eyes from another meditation session and the world is a little more fresh and peaceful, if not for just a moment. I breathe in and I feel somewhat renewed, I breathe out and my world slowly re-reveals itself. This clarity is often interrupted by the remembrance of who I perceive I am and where I am sitting, all things are impermanent. Being a novice monk oddly enough feels like being constantly born again. I look into the mirror in the morning and barely recognize this bald, cleanly shaven person staring back at me. I put on my long (still a bit too short) robes and contemplate the garb with the traditional gatha. "How great the robes of liberation", " formless field of merit" " Wrapping ourselves in Buddha’s teaching, we free all living beings" and I ponder what is to dress not for myself or my own fashion gratification but to subdue the outer trappings of ego. This often still leaves me feeling like a stranger standing in brown, grey, or yellow robes. Each day I feel less and less like myself and more like no one at all.

I sit for my morning meal and recite “the contemplations before eating.” The meal takes on a new character. A newborn infant has eyes but knows not what it sees, ears but cannot discern sound, even feeding can be tenuous at times, it has hunger but no apprehension of what it is to feed. Even eating has become a novel and new experience; to attempt to do so mindfully and with remembrance. This sentiment carries over to many aspects of my life now; I often chant and recite passages that I do not fully comprehend, I wrestle with koans and sutras like a small mouse in the grip of a large python, my mental muscles which were once strong and rigid are now soft and pliable, unsteady footsteps taken by uncertain infant legs. Day by day I learn to move and have my being as a newborn baby monk, learning step by step to have faith in cultivation and practice.   Some say being born again is like waking and knowing all things, I am born new each day and only know I truly know nothing. And that's ok.
by Sa di Phap Thanh (
Our temple sponsors 2 young Tibetan girls in Northern India, and 2 monks. Please consider sponsoring a monk, nun, Tibetan child or a Tibetan school in India.
"Hundreds of thousands of Tibetan people live in exile around the world, providing models of courageous work for freedom and peace. Let us stand with them proudly!
We are looking for sponsors for two older Tibetan students in Dharamsala, one pursuing a Masters degree, in addition to our regular sponsorships for Tibetan monks, nuns, children and elders.
Please call us (+1 845-679-6973) or send us a message by email (, if you have questions or would like to sponsor a Tibetan monk, nun, elder, or child.). or email or mail a check to PO Box 1081, Woodstock, New York 12498"

Our Temple Yearly Donation

480.00                  Monk HN-303 Lobsang Nyima at Sera Jhe Monastery
480.00                  Monk #723 Lobsang Legden (Tashi Lhunpo Monastery)
100.00                   TCV Gopalpur School
480.00                   Student (08-10875-10) Sonam Choetso at Gopalpur
480.00                   Student (08-10876-10) Dechen Youdon at Gopalpur
120.00                   Pocket money for Sonam Choetso
120.00                   Pocket money for Dechen Youdon
150.00                   General support for Tibet Aid
total $2410
The Power of the Placebo Effect
by Professor Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The placebo effect is more than positive thinking — believing a treatment or procedure will work. It's about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together," says Professor Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose research focuses on the placebo effect.

A 2014 study led by Kaptchuk and published in Science Translational Medicine explored this by testing how people reacted to migraine pain medication. One group took a migraine drug labeled with the drug's name, another took a placebo labeled "placebo," and a third group took nothing. The researchers discovered that the placebo was 50% as effective as the real drug to reduce pain after a migraine attack.
The researchers speculated that a driving force beyond this reaction was the simple act of taking a pill. "People associate the ritual of taking medicine as a positive healing effect," says Kaptchuk. "Even if they know it's not medicine, the action itself can stimulate the brain into thinking the body is being healed."
How can you give yourself a placebo besides taking a fake pill? Practicing self-help methods is one way. "Engaging in the ritual of healthy living — eating right, exercising, yoga, quality social time, meditating — probably provides some of the key ingredients of a placebo effect," says Kaptchuk.

The Buddha tells us "What we think we become". Well wishing for ourselves and for others may engage this placebo effect and help us to feel better about our lives and our sufferings. Thay Kozen
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