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Mt Adams Zen Buddhist Temple


January 2014 Newsletter
May we all have a happy and peaceful New Year - the year of the horse
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Dear Dharma Friends 

   The New Year,  with all its potential is here, and I hope you are celebrating it well.  The Buddha taught us that everything changes - planned or unplanned - wanted or unwanted - everything changes.  Because this is the nature of things, nothing is inherently fixed, not even our own identity. No matter the situation, anything is possible. We can do what we want to do, create whatever world we want to live in, and become whatever we want to be - the Buddha tells us, "What you think you become".
   In our practice of meditation we can realize the oneness of all things; a place of emptiness so full that for one who knows emptiness - all things are possible. 

   May the infinite light of wisdom and compassion so shine within us that the errors and vanities of self will be dispelled; so shall we come to understand the changing nature of existence and awaken into spiritual peace.

May 2014 be filled with health, happiness, love, and prosperity for us all. May all beings find peace,

Ven. Kozen 

Meditation Intensives
Throughout 2014 we will have a full day of meditation or a multi-day retreat every month.  During these times we'll have sitting, walking, and guided meditation along with a vegetarian lunch (or meals for the longer retreats).  These intensives are a good way to focus on our personal meditation practice and to join with others who are also seeking peace. "Meditation is a solitary practice done well with others".  For more information please see our website: www.mtadamszen.org.  We ask for a $30.00 donation for the 1-day meditation intensives, but we'd rather have you than your money, so don't let financial concerns stop you from attending.  The longer retreats are live-in and vary in costs; please see our website.  Our 2014 Fall Retreat will be October 17-19.

Happy Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in Chinese culture.  The Chinese year 4712 begins on Jan. 31, 2014.


Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.


Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality.


Individuals born in horse years are cheerful, skillful with money, perceptive, witty, talented and good with their hands.

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



 Morning Meditation  6:30AM 

Every Morning

Evening Meditation
6:30 PM
Every Evening 


Every Morning




1 New Year's Day  

20 - Kozen to CRCC  

31 Chinese New Year


3-6 Kozen in Arizona
8 Nirvana Day
17 Kozen to CRCC

17 Kozen to CRCC

Special Buddhist dates for 2014

Feb Sat 8 & 15         Parinirvana - Nirvana Day

Mahayana Buddhist festival marking the anniversary of Buddha's death. Pure Land Buddhists call the festival "Nirvana or Parinirvana Day".

Apr Tue 15 Theravada New Year

New Year festival for Theravada Buddhists, celebrated for three days from the first full moon day in April

May Wed 14       Wesak or Buddha day

The most important of the Buddhist festivals. It celebrates the Buddha's birthday, and, for some Buddhists, also marks his enlightenment and death. 

Jul Sat 12             Asala - Dharma Day

The anniversary of the start of Buddha's teaching - his first sermon ,"The Wheel of Truth", after his enlightenment.

Dec Mon 8           Bodhi Day

On Bodhi day some Buddhists celebrate Gautama's attainment of enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, India.



Ajan Chah is one of the most famous and respected Theravada Thai Masters of this last century. 

Per one source "Ajahn Chah's wonderfully simple style of teaching can be deceptive. It is often only after we have heard something many times that suddenly our minds are ripe and somehow the Teaching takes on a much deeper meaning".
Ajahn Chah passed away in January, 1992 leaving many disciples to carry on his Dharma teachings in training centers around the world. 



"Do everything with a mind that lets go. Don't accept praise or gain or anything else. If you let go a little you will have a little peace; if you let go a lot you will have a lot of peace; if you let go completely you will have complete peace. "    

"Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a mustache: You won't be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you."

"But when I know that the glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious."

"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. And when we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy."

"The heart is the only book worth reading."    

"If it isn't good, let it die. If it doesn't die, make it good."   

"If you have time to be mindful, you have time to meditate."    

"You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can't solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important."    

"Mindfulness is life. Whenever we don't have mindfulness, when we are heedless, it's as if we are dead."    

"These days people don't search for the Truth. People study simply in order to find knowledge necessary to make a living, raise families and look after themselves, that's all. To them, being smart is more important than being wise!" 


   Tracking Bodhidharma, A Journey To The Heart Of Chinese Culture by Andy Ferguson is a most interesting book.  Andy take us on his journey of trying to re-trace the steps of Bodhidharma.   He leads us through wrong bus journeys, destroyed temples, and poor weather journeys as he speculates about each location and also gives us an insight into scholarly findings.
   Emperor Wu plays a major part in the early section of Andy's book.  Emperor Wu may have been a major contributor to Early Chinese Buddhism's widespread dissemination and adaption to Chinese society.  Certainly Emperor Wu was a great supporter of Buddhism and founded the basis of Imperial Way Buddhism first in China and then later in Japan.  Perhaps, speculates Andy, Emperor Wu may have set the Japanese war-like Zen and Nicheran concept in place that we later see in world war 2 .
   At any rate, the book has been an eye-opener for me.  I will be making more inquiries into Emperor Wu as well as reviewing the continued biographies of Buddhist monks in China.      

THE FARM STAND in Hood River carries a large supply of Organic and Natural foods and products.  The carry our Organic eggs and we appreciate their commitment to the environment and sustainable living. They are located at 1009 12th St, Hood River, OR 97031  (541) 386-4203

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 sangha you can still offer dana (financial support).  They are a clearing house for Buddhist activity in the Northwest and need our support. Read more about the NWDA at

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

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