February 2019
Buddhist Year 2643
Weekly Temple Services 
Monday - Friday 6:30 am and 6:30 pm Meditation , Saturday 9am full service + meditation
Dear Ones,
Happy Lunar New Year! Well, this newsletter is out a few weeks late. My bad - see the "Dying" story below for my excuse.

It is snowing as I write this - perhaps 3 feet of snow on the ground right now. Walking outside is difficult, walking the dogs almost impossible, and it is very cold. The beauty of snow covered trees, hills, Buddha statues, and roof tops looks like Christmas cards - most spectacular. With the hardship of snow comes the thick snow pack on the mountains giving us plenty of water for the year, with lots of moisture for our forests, rivers and lakes.
So again we see that every thing that happens is neither good not bad, rather it just is - with aspects that we may like or dislike, yet the occurrence remains neither good nor bad. The equanimity of the Buddha's teachings encourages us to give up judgements of good and bad and just experience the now.

May we all be well and happy, may we all know love and peace. In metta, Thay Kozen
Thay Kozen spent the last 2 weeks visiting and caring for his dear friend of many years, Daniel. Daniel is a retired military man who was in contact with asbestos and developed mesothelioma. Tumors developed in the lining of Daniel's lungs then spread throughout his body.
Thay Z and Thay Kozen have been visiting Daniel regularly for the last 3 years in Texas. Now located with "family" in Florida, Daniel is approaching death. Daniel's body is wracked with pain, he is unable to walk, and his life quality is very poor.
Yet, there is a wonderful blessing occurring. Daniel moved in with his childhood neighbor "family" who provided food and a place for him to live after his mother abandoned him. The Brown family of Florida, shining examples of kindness and compassion, have taken him in and provide loving care for his last days. After spending 2 weeks with the family, I can see how adversity asks us to look within and find the strength to carry on.
The mother, Julia, a devout Catholic, attends church daily. Her husband suffered a stroke one week into Thay Kozen's visit and while there was chaos in the household there was also great peace. Per Ma Brown, "all that happens is not in our hands - it never was" . Her faith provides a backbone for all family life and suffering. The live-in daughter, Connie, provides supervision of medication and the aides and nurses who come in to provide Daniel's care; she is organized, efficient, a bit demanding for the best care, and the kind of person who gets things done correctly. I can see how having Daniel in their home has been a burden but also a gift. I am humbly grateful to have met this kind family and also shared Daniel's care and support with them.
Family does not mean just blood relatives but also includes family of heart. What a wonderful shining example of family the Brown's role model is for us all. Thay Kozen
Thich Minh Thien's Column
Thay Z at the ocean
by Thich Minh Thien (Thay Z)
When In Doubt, Love More…

What is the month of February most commonly known for? If you have walked into any establishment that sells things, I would bet you have been assailed with pink and red decorations trumpeting Valentines Day. So whether love is in the air or not, it definitely is in the aisles of our stores.

As people who try to practice what our ancestral teacher, the Shakyamuni Buddha and contemporary teachers like Thich Nhat Hanh taught, we are continually reminded that Love is an essential part of this life. It is the prime antidote to the dissatisfactions and suffering identified by the Buddha in the Four Noble Truths.

In an article by Gil Fronsdal entitled, ‘The Buddhist’s Teaching on Love…’, he says: “Just as blood nourishes the heart which keeps it flowing, so love nourishes spiritual freedom and is, in turn, kept flowing by it.”

If you find like I do, so many questions about why injustice, cruelty, greed, selfishness, inhumanity, etc., find such fertile ground to rise and prosper in our world, we only need to look to the lack of love being present. As the Buddha taught, “…Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law…”.

Our contemporary Teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, in his book, ‘How to Love’, tells us that,
“…understanding is love’s other name…” and that to love another means to fully understand the suffering of others. Mother Theresa, the Catholic nun of India, showed the world how this type of loving is put into practice.

As we can clearly see in our own lives and in the chaos of our ever changing world, the need for love is evident. Some may take the stance that living and working towards loving all of mankind is not enough to combat all the suffering. We know that some people are hard to love and some will never love us back. Some cause pain and heartache and make our lives harder. One might ask, why on earth would we ever want to love someone who hurts us in return? I think the answer is clear that only by loving, can we reduce the unhappiness and dissatisfaction in our own lives.

Sometimes I struggle with my inability to fully understand the suffering of others. How does one fully understand being homeless and hungry when you never have been? How does one fully understand the fear and hopelessness of the persecuted? There are so many experiences that I personally have not had that limit my full understanding of the many circumstances where suffering arises. 

But what I do know is that the sufferings we have experienced, will enable us to be loving and compassionate by understanding that my suffering is your suffering and vice versa. When I don’t have the answers or vision, I do believe that Love works in all things and in all ways. So, WHEN IN DOUBT, LOVE MORE. Apply this simple philosophy with others and yourself, so that your spiritual freedom is kept flowing.  

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
SNOWPOCALYPSE - Over 2 feet of snow and another week of more!
A beautiful blanket of snow covers the Abbey and the surrounding area.
We have received over 2 feet of snow and it hasn't stopped snowing.
A wonderful gift to the mountain and forests insuring that there will be abundant water throughout the year and our forests will stay green and healthy.
Thay Vinh Minh's car lies buried in deep snow. Thay is attending The Gorge Community College, taking English and other classes.
Thay depends on our support for school tuition, gas and book money. He pays full price for school as he is not a US citizen. If you can help him financially please donate.
Poems of Venerable Jeff Miles
Though more than half deaf
On this dark winter's morn,
I can still hear the rain
Whispering to the rooftop
In the quiet before dawn.

At the edge of the sea
At the foot of the mountains

There's not a single cloud
In the cold blue sky

Except for the steam
Rising from my kettle.

Resting quietly
In this little hut

With a warm cloak
And a cup of tea

I sit in silence
As the incense burns down

And watch the clouds
Drift slowly by.
Vietnamese Lunar New Year's Traditions By Lien Nguyen
In Vietnam, the Lunar New Year is known as Tết or Tết Nguyên Đán. It is the most important and popular festival for the Vietnamese people during the year. Tết is celebrated according to the lunar calendar . Each year a different sacred animal in the Chinese Zodiac controls the luck and destinies of all people. This year will be the Year of the PIG .
Not only is Tết a celebration of the arrival of spring and an occasion to pay respects to one's ancestors, it is also a great opportunity for family to come together. Family members will return to their homeland for a reunion and to savour the flavours of the holiday.

Mâm Ngũ Quả (The Five-Fruit Tray)
The preparation of the five-fruit tray is an essential Tết tradition in every Vietnamese home. The tray symbolises the family’s respect for their ancestors and their wishes for the New Year. Each fruit represents a different prayer for the future. Due to regional differences in climate and
Normally, in all regions, the tray will be put on the altar in the home, though sometimes people set it up on the table next to a box of candied fruit.

Hoa Đào and Hoa Mai - (The Planting of Peach or Apricot trees)
During Tết people love to look at beautiful flowers because they think certain flowers will bring them happiness and luck in the New Year. People buy peach flowers (in the North) and apricot flowers (in the South) to decorate their homes.
To make these peach and apricot trees even more beautiful, Vietnamese people often hang twinkly LED lights on them, as well as red lucky money envelopes and small plastic figurines representing the gods of wealth. These plants are placed in the living room or in front of the house. Some companies put them in their offices to enjoy their beauty and to bring hope for good fortune.

Bánh Tét – Bánh Chưng - (Cylindrical Cake – Square Cake)
As Tết approaches you’ll notice a fire burning all night long on the stove in most Vietnamese homes. The families are cooking the traditional cakes for Tết. Vietnam is a country where wet rice is farmed, so it makes sense that there are many traditional Vietnamese cakes made from it. Bánh chưng and bánh tét cakes are made from glutinous rice, mung bean and pork and they are essential foods for the Lunar New Year. The colours of the cake symbolise the earth and the sky.

Bánh Mứt - (Candied Fruit)
Like bánh chưng and bánh tét, mứt is a must-have food for every family during Tết, though, it’s really more of a snack than a kind of food. The mứt is traditionally offered to guests when they arrive at a home to give their greetings and hopes for a happy new year. There are many categories of mứt, such as candied fruit, coconut jam, kumquat jam and sugared apples.

Lì Xì - (Lucky Money in Red Envelopes)
On the first day of New Year, the whole family will dress up and get together to offer New Year’s greetings and wishes to one another. This is a custom that has been maintained for generations.
The eldest members of the family will give red envelopes to the children and young adults, while advising them about their life, school and work. These red envelopes symbolize wishes of luck and wealth for the youngest in the family. After receiving the envelopes, the youth are expected to give some wishes to their elders for good luck, success and good health in the New Year.

Xông Nhà - (The Aura of the Earth)
On the first day of the New Year, Vietnamese families will carefully choose the first guest to step into their home. If the guest has a good Aura, meaning they are good fit with the zodiac of the homeowner, has good education, and is kind and healthy, then the family will receive luck and good fortune for the year. This is especially common among families who work in business.

Bữa Cơm Đầu Năm – (First Meal of the Year)
The Vietnamese believe that Tết is meant for getting together with friends and family. Therefore, the first meal of the year plays an important role in Vietnamese culture. Family members will return to their homelands, even if they’ve been living far away from home for a long time. Tết is a time to enjoy delicious food as a family and to talk about the events of the past year. Normally, the family will cook together and make traditional foods like spring rolls, Vietnamese sausages, bánh tét or bánh chưng.

Mt. Adams Zen Temple Sponsored
Every Monday - Trinity Sangha, at Trinity Natural Medicine at 12 noon
New Location - 1412 13th Street, Suite 200 which is located behind Joy's Art Studio
and 10 Speed Coffee Co.
Trinity Sangha Stu dy Group
1st and 3rd Wednesday Evenings - Time 6:30-8:00pm
Where: at Withers residence, 1829 5th St., Hood River (Sieverkropp Development behind Rosauer's)
Next meeting September 5th. For further information, contact Bonnie at (414) 807-4415.
Studying now - Cultivating Joy section of The Path of Emancipation .

Other Meditation Groups

Heart Journey Each week there is a different presenter: Videos, teachers, mindfulness practices. Come join us. NO COST. Meets every Sunday Night October 7, 2018 - June 2019, 6pm to 7:30pm
 Stevenson United Methodist Church 325 NW Jefferson, Stevenson, Washington
Beginner to advanced practitioners welcomed! For information, contact heartjourneycenter@gmail.com or info@heartjourneycenter.org or call 427-5001

11th Step Recovery Meetings (Sundays in White Salmon and Tuesdays in Hood River) are cancelled for a while. Please watch for further notice.
Questions? Contact Dick Withers at (414) 587-4065.

Pacific Hermitage Meditation and Dhamma talk with Thai Forest Monks 6:30-8 pm every Tuesday evening at Yoga Samadhi in White Salmon, WA. http://pacifichermitage.org 

Hood River Zen Sunday afternoon walking and sitting meditation 2nd and 4th" Sundays G ood Medicine lounge  1029 May Street, Hood River, Oregon. http://www.hoodriverzen.org. Contact Kyri Treiman: (kjtreiman@yahoo.com)

White Salmon Dharma Practice Group every other Sunday evenings at Atlan (near Northwestern Park outside of White Salmon). Contact: Scott Cushman: (rscottcush@gmail.com; 925-708-5652)

Meditation Workshop Friday nights , from 7 to 8:30 p.m.The workshop meets at the Rockford Grange and explores meditation methods from the world’s religions. Instruction and practice are mixed with group discussion. Beginners and experienced meditators welcome. This is a drop-in group. Cushions, mats and chairs are provided. The sessions are free and open to public. Rev. Judy (MCUUF) and Kyri Kengan Treiman (Hood River Zen/Dharma Rain Center) are the facilitators. For more information,contactjzimmerman@uuma.orgorkohokengan@gmail.com

Buu Huung Templ e on the 4th Saturday of each month from 10am-12pm.  Includes Meditation, Dharma Talk, by the Venerable nun, Hue Huong. Lunch and Walking Meditation to conclude. 
All are welcome. 17808 NE 18th St.Vancouver WA 98684

Meditation/Buddhism Study Group led by Sharon
When: 3rd Wednesday of each month from 1:30-3:00PM
Where: Cascade Park Community Library, 600 NE 136th Ave. Vancouver, WA
Who: We are small group that is interested in practicing Meditation, discussion and exchange about the individual study of Buddhism. No experience necessary.
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     www.Mtadamszen.org