February 2020
Weekly Temple Services 
Monday - Friday 6:30 am and 6:30 pm Meditation , Saturday 9am full service + meditation
Master Kim 1
Dear Ones,

A gentle memory of our dear Master Kim, who passed away a while ago, arises with the winter snow. "Wear a hat, wear a coat, and stay warm" was Master Kim's advice in the coldest of winters. He was a Pure Land monk who spoke easy words of simple zen. The photo was taken during Thay Z and Thay Kozen's last visit to Master Kim.

February is here and there is so much going on in the world. A terrible virus in China, political unrest in in the USA's president's impeachment hearing, the UK has left the EU, so much change and uncertainty. One of the gifts of our historical teacher's practice is equanimity. Almost 2,700 years the Buddha taught us the way of freedom from suffering and fear. In each moment we can find peace - breath in, breath out.
A wonderful recovery program for people with alcohol and chemical abuse can be found in Recovery Dharma. You can find meetings and information at https://recoverydharma.org/ . Their book, Recovery Dharma, is available on line. You can attend a meeting the second Saturday of the month at our temple at 11am.

The Kim family has sponsored publishing the book in Vietnamese.

May we all be well and happy, may we all know love and peace. In metta, Thay Kozen
Thich Minh Thien's Column
by Thich Minh Thien (Thay Z) Abbott, Budding Dharma, Arlington Texas


Recently, in a meditation, my mind wandered to thoughts of my past … of the activities, relationships, choices, and directions that a younger me experienced. The frosting on this “memory cake” was all sweet and gooey with warm recollections of how things used to be. The focus of these memories took on the aura of how good things were back then and how different things are now. There was a discernible avoidance of the suffering that some of my choices had actually produced. Instead, it was full of nostalgic memories. It was kind of like the lyrics of the song, “Those Were The Days My Friends”, in which the lyrics continued, “…we thought they’d never end, we’d sing and dance forever and a day. We’d live the life we choose, we’d fight and never lose, for we were young and sure to have our way.” Of course with age, and the reality of Impermanence, it is clear that those lyrics were for celebration in the moment and not a long term anthem.

It may be, that when we reach a certain age or point in life, we look back longingly at what was and try to compare our life to what is right now. For some, what is right now may appear much better than the memories of the past. Whatever our individual recollection, those memories of the past bring some suffering either in missing what was and wishing for it to return, or a remembrance of times of suffering and reliving those painful memories. What is real for all of us however, is that life occurs only in the present moment… right here, right now. It is not in the memories of the past that we are able to ground in the present, but rather in seeing life for what it is now and being with it, without judgement.

I imagine that this may have been the same for our traditional teacher, the Buddha. Born a prince, Shakyamuni enjoyed every physical comfort and pleasure. However, dissatisfied with the pursuit of fleeting pleasures, he set out in search of a deeper, more enduring truth. He entered a period of extreme ascetic practice, depriving himself of food and sleep, bringing himself to the verge of physical collapse. Sensing the futility of this path, however, he began meditating with the profound determination to realize the truth of human existence, which had eluded him as much in a life of asceticism as it had in a life of luxury. It was then, in his rejection of both self-mortification and self-indulgence, that Shakyamuni awakened to the true nature of life—and from this awakening, the path of the Middle Way was offered to the world in the formation of the Noble Eightfold Path, supported by a practice based in meditation.

Jack Kornfield, in his book, “The Wise Heart”, puts it this way: “When we discover the middle path, we neither remove ourselves from the world nor get lost in it. We can be with all our experience in its complexity, with our own exact thoughts and feelings and drama as it is. We learn to embrace tension, paradox, change. Instead of seeking resolution, waiting for the chord at the end of a song, we let ourselves open and relax in the middle. In the middle we discover that the world is workable.”

So those memories of what I remember of my past, are just that…memories. Choosing the Middle Way in this life that I have now, moment by moment, breath by breath is all that is needed to reduce unhappiness and increase joy and continue the journey of Awakening available to us all.

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Happy Lunar New Year from your sister temple in Arlington, Texas, Budding Dharma Zen Buddhist Temple. We are happy to share a quarterly update with our Dharma brothers and sisters from Mount Adams Zen Buddhist Temple.

2019 was a wonderful year for this small, simple temple and the Sangha continues to grow. We added a meditation session called “Zen-to-Go” at 1pm on Wednesdays.  There is now a regular group of people who join us every Wednesday at Zen-to-Go and the 7pm full-service Sangha is growing as well. I am grateful for those who come to practice at Budding Dharma.

I am also invited to teach regularly at the Dallas Meditation Center which describes itself as the largest nonprofit Interfaith meditation center in North Texas, home to Meditation and Mindfulness (modeled in the style of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh), Chanting, Yoga, Taichi, Qigong, and other genuine traditions of meditation and mindful living.

2019 saw the establishment of a prison ministry and Sangha by Budding Dharma at the Sanders-Estes Correctionl Center in Venus Texas. Each Thursday, a group of between 15 and 20 men engage in meditation and mindfulness practices that include a check-in, the 14 point Moving Buddha, sitting meditation, walking meditation and some basic Shibashi movements. Recently we have added some chanting and singing of songs from the Thich Nhat Hahn tradition practiced at Plum Village.

We celebrated Tet, Lunar New Year last Thursday with a feast, (that’s what they call it) where the Budding Dharma Temple catered vegetarian food. We did some sharing of what Tet, Lunar New Year actually means and we celebrated a Dharma brother who took Refuge in the Three Jewels with the entire Sangha participating. This was the second man to take Refuge and another has now requested to do this.

Budding Dharma is also in the beginning stages of offering Recovery Dharma meetings at the temple. 

Budding Dharma has used some of the offerings (dana) to continue to help support the Tibetan girls Mt. Adams Zen Buddhist Temple also sponsors. We were also a bit self-indulgent in purchasing a large crystal bowl for the temple. It isn’t like the beautiful bells at MAZBT, but the rich tones it offers in our practice is so beautiful. At each service it invites each person to a place of peace and contentment.

In the practice of Generosity as a Sangha, we increase our understanding of Compassion for all sentient beings.

May All Beings Be Happy and Free.

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Poems of Venerable Jeff Miles

May I not look for the faults in myself and others;

May I not listen to the voices of judgment and condemnation;

And may I not speak that which is unkind and unnecessary.


May I look for the goodness and virtue in all;

May I listen without prejudice and preconception;

And may I speak that which is kind, loving, and helpful.

For whatsoever I look and listen for, I will find,and whatsoever I speak, I will become.
Breath and Spirit
by Richard Withers
Teaching and facilitating meditation at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional facility has been both challenging and also immensely rewarding. We just expanded the program from classes for individuals dealing with problems of substance abuse and addiction to the whole population in 2020. 

“NORCOR” is a four-county jail, that houses approximately 170 men and women from across Oregon and parts of Washington. We find that the large majority of our ‘residents’ have experienced difficulties related to alcohol and other substance use, anger management issues, or a combination of these three.
Thay Kozen and I often team up to introduce ‘mindfulness-of-the-breath’ meditation and Metta ‘loving-kindness’ practices. Mindfulness-of-the-breath practice involves paying attention to three elements: body, breath and mind. Many of our ‘students’ are intrigued to learn that the words ‘spirit’ and ‘spirituality’ come from the Latin word ‘spiritus’ meaning ‘breath.’ And so do words including ‘aspire’, ‘inspire’, and ‘expire.’ 
Many individuals who come from a variety of spiritual and religious traditions can readily identify with a practice that brings body, mind and 'spirit' into wholeness. And many who do not have a spiritual tradition are often comfortable with the concept that ‘spirit’ is what enlivens us. Spirituality can simply mean that which makes us feel alive.

The Judeo-Christian tradition certainly provides support for this in Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” The New King James Bible.*

“Spirituality’ need not be a complicated concept, and it need not be cloaked and clouded in mystery. “Spirituality” can be as simple as learning to come back to our breath, back to that which enlivens us.

* For those, like me, who are uncomfortable with the many masculine references to God in the Bible, it is useful to note that the original word for “Holy Spirit” in Hebrew and rabbinic literature (“Shekhinah”) is feminine; in the Greek, the reference to “Holy Spirit” became gender neutral, and it was with translation into Latin that we find the masculine usage, “spiritus”.
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 Rat.
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.

Joan Benson
October 9, 1925 – January 1, 2020
Educated at the University of Illinois ( B.Mus. , M.Mus. 1951) and Indiana University (1953), she received instruction in Europe from Edwin Fischer , Guido Agosti , Olivier Messiaen , Viola Thern, Fritz Neumeyer, Ruggero Gerlin , and Macario Santiago Kastner before returning to the United States in 1960 to pursue dual careers as a concert keyboardist and university professor. [1] [2] She debuted on the clavichord at the Carmel Bach Festival in 1963 [1] and went on to perform at many concerts in the United States, Europe, and the Far East. [2] From 1968 through 1976, she taught at Stanford University until joining the faculty at the University of Oregon in Eugene , where she taught through 1987. [2] In 1980, she also joined the faculty of the Aston Magna Music Festival in Massachusetts . [1] Among her varied interests was Buddhist meditation . [1] She has been credited with helping to revive interest in the fortepiano and the work of C. P. E. Bach . [1]
Joan retreated at our temple, we will miss her.
2020 Temple Event Calendar

*Please click on links to register or find more information, links will be added as event registrations open

25  TET - Lunar new year  9 am service


14 - Quan Yin's Birth &  Metta Day of Practice daylong
9am holiday service, 10am-3pm retreat

 18 -  Tea is Zen, Zen is Tea  class with Ven. Fa Hsing
26-   Woman* & Dharma  daylong retreat w/ Kaye Jones
*all self identifying women welcome

2 - Buddha's Birthday/Vesak  9 am holiday service
Vipassana + Metta Retreat
otions for 5- or 10-day intensive

6-7 -  In the Footprints of Rumi   w/ Pouria Montezeri
13 - I mpermanence & Death Awareness   daylong workshop w/ Tamara Thiel 
25-28 -  Mindfulness in Daily Life   w/ Rev. August Jensen

3-7 - Zikr Retreat with Bodhi & Leilah
11-12 - Buu Hung Monastery Precepts Retrea t
17-19 - Mandala Family Camp

8 - Quan Yin Enlightenment Day &  Walking/Moving Mediation Daylong
9am holiday service, 10am-3pm retreat 

2 - Parent's Day (Ullambana)  9am holiday service
27- OctSOBERfest


1 - Women & Dharma  daylong retreat w/ Kaye Jones
14 - Quan Yin Renunciation Day &  Living with Grief daylong
9am holiday service, 10am-3pm retreat

5 -  Buddha's Birth/Death & Enlightenment Day  -  midnight meditation
31 - Midnight Meditation  and ringing the great bell 108 times at midnight
to welcome in the new year

Many other groups and activities will attend meetings at The Abbey. Look at the calendar on  www.TLAbbey.com/events

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