February 2021
Happy Lunar New Year, Losar Bey Tashi Delek,
Xin Nian Kuai Le,  新年快樂, Chúc mừng năm mới
Happy Tết nguyên Đán
("Feast of the First Morning of the First Day")
Year of the OX
Lunar New Year is the beginning of a calendar year whose months are cycles of the moon. The date of the New Year will change every Solar calendar year. This year it falls on February 12th.

The New year ,Solar or Lunar, is a time when we can change our current thoughts or behaviors for a new beginning. May your New Year be one of peace, harmony, and health.... Thay Kozen
Temple Services 
see the up coming classes at the end of the newsletter.

Monday Noon via ZOOM Meditation and Metta: https://zoom.us/j/366450747
Difficulty connecting? Please text Dick at (414) 587-4065.

Meditation Saturday 9am full service + meditation + Buddhist basics class to follow
via ZOOM 891 8528 5652

Thich Nhat Hanh Study Group Meetings are 2nd and 4th Wednesday, 6:30-8:00 pm. Contact Bonnie for group ZOOM number email, bon2626wit@att.net

ZOOM Retreats via ZOOM 891 8528 5652 (all retreats at this zoom number)

3-Day Buddhist Mahayana Retreat on Metta and Practice, Feb 26-28 w/ Featured Teacher: Khenpo Karten Rinpoche

Dharma talks are available on our website.
Dear ones,
In the photo, I am standing outside in the snow wishing all beings a healthy & happy Lunar New Year. Our winter here has been mild for us with lovely episodes of snow, sun, cold, and mild temperatures. Our mountain is covered in a thick layer of snow.

We have sent the first of 3 boxes off to our Tibetan refugee girls in India. As you know, we have sponsored them for several years and we are so hopeful that they will have a bright and prosperous future.

Covid infections walk the land. Anger, denial, fear, frustration, and exhaustion come in waves across us, our families, friends, and our communities. Some distrust the vaccine, some do not believe Covid infections are real, some are home bound in fear, and some others are so fatigued of keeping up handwashing & masks that they have quit precautions.

Politics and belief in good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, separation, anger, frustration, and fear walk the land and come in waves across us, our families, friends, and our communities.

One of the great gifts of our historical teacher's practice is equanimity. Almost 2,700 years ago the Buddha taught us the way of freedom from suffering and fear. In each moment we can find peace - breath in, breath out.

From the most beloved sutras in the Mahayana, The Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra, "With nothing to attain, a bodhisattva relies on prajnaparamita, and thus the mind is without hindrance. Without hindrance, there is no fear". May we be emissaries of loving kindness to all.

Let us stop our reading right now and take in 3 deep breaths with a shot pause in between each breath. As we focus on breath in - just observe the breath, as we focus on breath out - just observe the breath.
Peace is only one breath away.
May you stay well and healthy, in metta, Thay Kozen
Master Kim 1
A gentle memory of our dear Master Nguyen Kim, who passed away a while ago, arises with the winter snow. "Wear a hat, wear a coat, stay warm and live in peace" was Master Kim's advice in the coldest of winters. He was a Pure Land monk who spoke easy words of simple Thien (zen) and praise of the Pure Land. The photo was taken during Thay Z and Thay Kozen's last visit to Master Kim.
I miss my old friend...Thay Kozen
Thich Minh Thien, (Thay Z) Abbot of Budding Dharma
Arlington, Texas          thayzzen@gmail.com
Letting Go

The Buddha taught that the ultimate cause of our unhappiness, of our dissatisfaction with life, is that we don't know who we are. We think "I" am something inside our skin, and what's out there is "everything else." But this, the Buddha said, is the terrible illusion that keeps us trapped in samsara.

Therefore, accepting this teaching from the Buddha and practicing the ability to let go becomes hand in glove with our practice. You might be asking yourself, what does letting go entail? Letting go doesn't mean you don't care about anyone and anything. It actually means you can experience life and love fully and openly without clinging to it for your survival.

Each of us have particular feelings, emotions, beliefs, understandings and actions that we cling too because for so long, we have viewed ourselves; actually have defined ourselves as this individual self we present to others. It becomes our internal understanding of who we think we are and colors how we look at all things outside of ourselves. When we continue holding on to grief, anxiety, pain, and resentment from the past without fully working through each situation, all of these experiences, patterns, and narratives accumulate inside the heart, making it even more difficult to let things go. Accepting situations as they are and letting go of how we wish them to be or not be, is the stepping stone from which freedom comes. Once we learn to let go, we will find peace. When we are able to let go, we are prepared for the next thing that will come into our life.

Pema Chödrön writes, “It is only when we begin to relax with ourselves that meditation becomes a transformative process. Only when we relate with ourselves without moralizing, without harshness, without deception, can we let go of harmful patterns. Without maitri (metta), renunciation of old habits becomes abusive. This is an important point.”

Alan W. Watts is quoted as saying, “Whether we like it or not, change comes, and the greater the resistance, the greater the pain. Buddhism perceives the beauty of change, for life is like music in this: if any note or phrase is held for longer than its appointed time, the melody is lost. Thus Buddhism may be summed up in two phrases: “Let go!” and “Walk on!” Drop the craving for self, for permanence, for particular circumstances, and go straight ahead with the movement of life.”

I have found that trying to let go without meditation is like trying to run a race with my eyes closed. We are going somewhere but can’t recognize where we actually are or recognize when we might actually arrive. This makes it clearer why our practice depends so much on a meditative element.

So put letting go into your life and practice. Thich Nhat Hanh has said, “Letting go takes a lot of courage sometimes. But once you let go, happiness comes very quickly. You won’t have to go around searching for it.”
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Poetry from Venerable Fa Hsing
(Thich Tâm Minh) mountainwayzen@yahoo.com

the swift-moving river
of Cause-and-Effect
knows no beginning
and flows without end — 

it does not start
when one sun rises,
nor does it stop
when another one sets.


If we settle into Darkness,
we no longer see ourselves as separate;
If we settle into Silence,
we no longer hear ourselves as separate;
If we settle into Stillness,
we no longer feel ourselves as separate;
If we settle into Awareness,
we no longer imagine ourselves as separate.
Kalpana from Nepal
$1.74 repaid this month Paying back
69% repaid ($17.37 of $25.00)

Make a loan, change a life & the world

With Kiva you can lend as little as $25 and make a big change in someone's life; MIcro-loans to help people improve their lives. The temple loaned this woman (and many others) $25.00. As they pay back the loans, the money is re-loaned to others. What an easy way to help decrease suffering.

Currently we have micro loans to people in Vietnam, India, Nepal, Pakistan, 3 countries in Africa, USA, Palestine, Israel, Kenya, and Albania.
Our temple loans to women 75% and for agriculture 90%.

Micro loans often empower women and they also change the world.
"The Capitol Insurrection Was as Christian Nationalist as It Gets."
It’s impossible to understand the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol without addressing the movement that has come to be known as Christian nationalism.
Andrew L. Whitehead and Samuel L. Perry, professors of sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the University of Oklahoma, describe Christian Nationalism in their book “Taking America Back for God”:
It includes assumptions of nativism, white supremacy, patriarchy and heteronormativity, along with divine sanction for authoritarian control and militarism. It is as ethnic and political as it is religious. Understood in this light, Christian nationalism contends that America has been and should always be distinctively ‘Christian’ from top to bottom — in its self-identity, interpretations of its own history, sacred symbols, cherished values and public policies — and it aims to keep it this way. read the whole article at
I am not certain of the validity of this article and it is worth reading....let us all find peace.....Thay Kozen
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 OX.
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.

1. The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.
2. Whatever a monk keeps pursuing his thinking and pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.
3. Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.
4. Looking deeply at life as it is in this very moment, the meditator dwells in stability and freedom.
5. Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
6. “Meditate… do not delay, lest you later regret it.”
7. “To insist on a spiritual practice that served you in the past is to carry the raft on your back after you have crossed the river.”
8. “If you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone.”
9. “Stop, stop. Do not speak. The ultimate truth is not even to think.”
10. “The one in whom no longer exist the craving and thirst that perpetuate becoming; how could you track that Awakened one, trackless, and of limitless range.”
11. “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
12. “A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise.”
13. “Purity or impurity depends on oneself, no one can purify another.”
14. “Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”
15. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
16. “There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind.”
17. “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
18. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, suffering follows him as the wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the wagon…. If a man speaks or acts with a good thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.”
19. “Whatever a monk keeps pursuing his thinking and pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.”
20. “Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
21. “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”
22. “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it.”
23. “Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.”
24. “The fool who knows he is a fool is that much wiser.”
25. “Whatever has the nature of arising has the nature of ceasing.”
26. “Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two.”
27. “What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?”
28. “Let none find fault with others; let none see the omissions and commissions of others. But let one see one’s own acts, done and undone.”
29. “The true master lives in truth, in goodness and restraint, non-violence, moderation, and purity.”
30. “Offend in neither word nor deed. Eat with moderation. Live in your heart. Seek the highest consciousness. Master yourself according to the law. This is the simple teaching of the awakened.”
31. “Life is like the harp string, if it is strung too tight it won’t play, if it is too lose it hangs, the tension that produces the beautiful sound lies in the middle.”
32. “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
33. “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.”
34. “The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve.”
35. “The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups. A good principle was never found solitary in any breast.”
36. “Someone who has set out in the vehicle of a Bodhisattva should decide that ‘I must lead all the beings to nirvana, into that realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind’. What is this realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind?”
37. “Some do not understand that we must die, but those who do realize this settle their quarrels.’
38. “Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.”
39. “Better it is to live one day seeing the rise and fall of things than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.”
40. “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

Some of these may not actually be quotes from The Buddha,
and they are all wise and good Dharma...Thay Kozen
2021 Temple Event Calendar

Basic Buddhism - class schedule Feb - April

February - 4 one hour classes
4 Noble Truths - Minh Bao 2/6
8 Fold Path - Rev. Scott See 2/13
10 Cardinal Precepts - Rev. Jean Luc 2/20
Taking Refuge - Rev. Valerie/Rev Emily (co-teachers) 2/27 (during our retreat)

March – 4 one hour classes 
4 Noble Truths - Rev. Valerie - 3/6
8 Fold Path - Minh Bao - 3/13
10 Cardinal Precepts - Rev. Emily (alt: Rev. Scott) 3/20
Taking Refuge - Rev. Jean Luc - 3/27

Approximately 40 minutes each for the following topics: 
4 Noble Truths – Rev. Emily
8 Fold Path - Rev. Valerie
10 Cardinal Precepts - Minh Bao
Taking Refuge - Rev. Scott See

classes start at 10:15 am on Saturday after morning service on ZOOM
Meditation Saturday 9am full service + meditation
via ZOOM 891 8528 5652

March 20th - Retreat
April 10th - Taking Refuge Ceremony
April 17th - Retreat
May 15th - Retreat
May 29th - Vesak Ceremony
Winter wonderland - snow covers everything - it is very very quiet

The road, in back of the temple in both photos, changes with the seasons. Much like our bodies, minds, and lives. We too change as the seasons pass.
Fall leaves - full of color near the end of the summer.
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