July 2022
Morning Meditation 6:30 am - 7:30am, Monday - Friday (Temple + ZOOM)
Noon Meditation 12 noon - 1:00pm, Monday (only on ZOOM)
Morning Service 8:30am - 10AM, Saturday (Temple + ZOOM)
Evening Meditation 5:30PM - 6:30PM Tuesday (Temple + ZOOM)
all of the above via ZOOM - meeting # 5093952030
you can attend some of the above meetings in person

Thich Nhat Hanh Study Group
2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Contact Bonnie at bon2626wit@att.net for information and a Zoom link.

In Person Retreats
August 4-7 Mindfulness Retreat
August 7 Correctional Facilities volunteer meditation facilitator
August 12-14 3 day Meditation Retreat
August 14 Forest Bathing Shinrin-Yoku Retreat
September 30 - October 2 YOGA retreat
October 4-9 Fall Retreat
December 8 and 31 Midnight Meditation
In this newsletter:
Visit to Co Lam Pagoda
The Five Remembrances
3 day Vipassana Retreat - Rev August Jensen
Loving Mother Earth - Rev Joh Boonstra
Thay Z dharma talk
Thien (Ch'an, Zen) and the Art of Teaching
Kiva Micro Loans
Jan Schiering M.Div Spiritual Direction
Coffee and your Liver - health
Stress and your immune system - health
Recovery Dharma - Buddhist approach for addiction

Sometimes your browser will only show part of the newsletter
unless you open the whole thing and also allow photos
Thay Kozen and Sadi Minh Tam gave a Dharma class for Co Lam Pagoda students in Seattle. The most Venerable H.T. Thich Nguyen An (seated next to Thay Kozen) warmly greeted their visit.
Stone lions will guard the entrance to our new temple.
Dear ones,
Well, Spring this year has been exceptionally wet; we've had lots of rain and cool temperatures. Such a change reminds me that every day, every moment is a gift and that everything and everyone is subject to change. Our historical teacher, the Buddha, gave us the 5 Remembrances as part of his teachings.

The Five Remembrances
  1. I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
  2. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.
  3. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
  4. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
  5. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

Each time we drive to the store, plan a dinner, set up a meeting, take a walk, or any other action - it might or might not happen as we think it "should". Everything and everyone are of the nature to change. Let us celebrate the moment now - right now - and live our best life with the brightest of intentions right here and right now. Living in gratitude for the great and small gifts brings our hearts closer to happiness.

A new New Kṣitigarbha Statue has been donated to our temple. It is being carved in Vietnam now and is scheduled to be installed at our temple this year. May all who donated the funds and all who see the statue gain merit for their practice.

We have hired a full time farm manager, CodyONeill.

May we all be well and healthy. May we all know love and peace. in metta, Thay Kozen

A one-day training workshop for volunteers for correctional facility meditation facilitators is planned for Sunday, August 7 at the Trout Lake Abbey. 
Please contact Dick Withers for further details.
 Loving the Mother
by Rev. John Boonstra

It is easy to get overwhelmed when we contemplate how we can take on something as enormous as climate change or global warming. Extreme weather is happening every day and in every place. Our levels of vulnerability grow more and more fragile. And now, summer — with its heat, drought, fire and turbulent winds becomes more real.  How in the world…?  
As spiritually alive creatures, we know we walk on sacred lands, drink of blessed waters and breathe the air of life. We are surrounded by the gifts of Mother Earth that just keep on giving back to us no matter how serious our disregard for her ways and works.
When I get depressed and dispirited by my lack of capacity to address climate catastrophe, I hear the voice of Mother Earth herself.  “Don’t immobilize yourself by trying to save Me” she says, “Just do your best to love me.”
Love can indeed, ‘make the world go round’, and in her longevity, I hope that she will smile and know that in these times, we did our best to stop violating the rules of nature and that we did our best to walk humbly and in loving kindness in or stewardship of the environment.
Hard love can be very demanding.  Loving our Mother means to reassess our insatiable desire for material growth; to reexamine our uncompromising insistence on convenience; to rearrange our relentless addiction to mobility and to refocus our obsessive preoccupation with short term profit and quick fix solutions to systemic climate catastrophe.
Loving the earth means supporting each other as we embrace sustainable growth and alternative energy. It means building and sharing a communal strength that works together to live with more earth friendly daily practices — using less energy; reducing waste; developing more sustainable public policy. Loving the earth means getting off the airplanes and gas powered vehicles for our recreational travel and finding meaning in the places where will live and work. It means humbly understanding that our environmental efforts will be incremental steps that will add to cumulative healing results in years and for generations to come.
“Love” too, is the gift that keeps on giving, Days of summer lie before us. I too long for warmth, peaceful breezes and starry starry nights. But in our times of summertime rejuvenation, I pray that we remember to be active lovers of Mother Earth. Loving is a deeply personal act but it is also profoundly communal. My prayer is that in our circles of friendship, that every day will be earth day, every month will be earth month. And that every season will be a gift from the Mother. Enjoy and love and find something really concrete that you can do to show how much your love means.

Rev. John Boonstra receives a small yearly stipend from our temple to represent us in ecological issues and protecting our water, air, and earth. We are so very grateful to him for his work and advocacy. Since much of his work is done without pay - would you be willing to help his work with a small financial gift? If so you can send donations to the temple in his name and we will forward the funds on to him or contact him directly.........Thay Kozen
Thich Minh Thien, (Thay Z) Abbot of Budding Dharma
Arlington, Texas          thayzzen@gmail.com

The Stories We Tell

I don’t ever think I have met anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good story. That is why as a society, we are so attached to movies, tv, novels and plays. Though these media are primarily ways we choose to entertain ourselves, they are many times also used as ways to educate us or move us in a certain direction of thought. The poet Muriel Ruckheyser writes, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Buddhist practice however emphasizes that we must understand the power of the stories we tell, and differentiate them from the direct experience of life. In this way we can use thoughts without being trapped by them. Even great Teachers have used stories to disseminate their teachings to the masses. Jesus used parables and the Buddha used stories as well.

The mind seems to need stories to garner our attention at any point in time or emphasize a point already made . As we practice meditation and mindfulness we notice the endless stream of thought and commentary that plays along with our experiences. Even though we try to focus our attention on our body, breath and mind during meditation, we are interrupted by a torrent of ideas, memories, plans and yes, fantasy. One of the unique features in Buddhist practice is that it directs us to examine both the content of our thoughts and the process of thinking itself. Sharon Salzberg, a teacher of vipassana meditation wrote, “Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening; stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.”

We have heard that the practice of meditation can dismantle our sense of self as we take a good hard look at the things we identify as me or mine. When we meditate we are encouraged to come into the present moment and drop all those incoming thoughts with reference to the future or the past and to look at the “now’ moment and see things as they arise. But as we all have probably experienced, some future and past thoughts are easier to drop than others. We have after all, been carrying some of these thoughts/stories around for a long time. The teachings of the Buddha have encouraged the dropping of our personal thoughts/stories that cause bad karma for us and others and replace them with actions, thoughts or stories that support good karma for us and the world.

In the Mahayana tradition that I have been following, we are encouraged to move to the Metta practice of loving kindness and compassion to underpin our thoughts/stories. In wishing metta to ourselves and all others, we can begin to tamp down the thoughts/stories that continually arise outside of meditation. And when we discover that the stories are built around thoughts and feelings that are neither good nor bad, then the practice of equanimity keeps our lives in balance. In the stories that arise in my life, when I recognize that I can think differently about them, I am practicing the fifth of the “Five Remembrances” which says, “My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.”
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Thien (Ch'an, Zen) and the Art of Teaching 
by Chris Fischer
The 4 minute passing time between 6th and 7th period is usually the most chaotic part of my day. My students with Autism (who are with me for a period of social skills lessons) are leaving while a group of students who have experienced trauma and have significant behaviors are coming in. The exchange can be jarring. Students with high needs intersect students with high energy. This is the time of the day when I usually need to remind myself to stop, take a breath, and notice my thoughts. As a middle school teacher, this is the time when I’m immensely grateful for my practice. 

Thien (Ch'an, Zen) in the classroom is both a refuge and an aspiration. I often find myself grateful for the practice and the opportunity to take a quiet moment; To pause and breathe. I take refuge in the Dharma. When I sit in the evening, on my soft cushion, in my safe space, in stillness, my thoughts often drift to the day’s events at school. I reflect and recollect. My thoughts often go to the mistakes I made. I think about the times in the day when I made a bad decision or said something off-hand that wasn’t wise speech. These are the times when I aspire to do better, to be better. I take refuge in the Buddha. 

I teach students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade with special needs at a suburban, middle class school in central Washington State. I deal primarily with students who are academically capable, but have social and behavioral difficulties due to diagnosed emotional and behavior disorders and/or autism spectrum disorder. I have been practicing mindfulness and meditation for a decade, but my training in Zen is a recent development. I take refuge in the Sanga. There are three teachings that I consistently return to in my daily practice both as a teacher and as sentient-being on this earth: Mindfulness, Interdependence, and Emptiness. 

Mindfulness is a practice that I try to instill in my students as well as in myself. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment on purpose and without judgment. Staying present is a constant challenge in a middle school. Distractions abound and can make keeping calm, patient and focused a continuous challenge. I am so grateful for my meditation practice. Daily zazen has provided my teaching with more calm and patience then I could possibly imagine having without the practice. Continuously coming back to the breath (despite the storm of thoughts) allows me to recenter and pay attention to the present moment during difficult parts of my day. Each time that I am able to realize a feeling of being disconnected or “off balance”, I am grateful for the ability to feel it happening in the present moment and return to the breath. 

According to Thomas Merton, “Compassion is the keen awareness of interdependence of all things”. Every person is fighting private battles that I know nothing about, especially every student I see on a daily basis. Understanding this teaching is why I chose to take on the challenges of teaching special education. Most of my students do not stand out as “different” or “high needs” when you first meet them. They are typical middle schoolers, though many have atypical thoughts or behaviors. However, in the end, they are all just kids, doing the best they can. Many are doing amazing things under difficult circumstances. Home and family life conditions are awful for some; while others struggle to understand simple social cues that many of us take for granted. Understanding and putting into practice the concept of Interbeing is critical to the work I do everyday. It’s very easy to get caught up in anger and delusion when a student curses in your face. The mindful realization that all beings are connected; that everyone has a reason for why they are acting the way they are acting is true whether it's a desirable behavior or an undesirable behavior. I always aspire to be mindful of my privilege and the causes that allow me to show up happy and healthy to school everyday. These causes in my life are not always in-play for many of my students. The understanding of causes enhances my compassion. When I realize that all beings are interconnected and that the student who is angry and cursing truly does have Buddha Nature, I am able to cultivate greater compassion.  

This week a former student of mine was shot and killed. He was 17 years old. When I sat down at the beginning of last week to write this essay, I was stuck on this paragraph about emptiness. How can I possibly convey in words something so profoundly wordless like the concept of emptiness? Thinking and processing senseless violence and death makes me tempted to write this world off as devoid of meaning. I sat in class this week and wondered: “Is there a person in this room I will outlive?” It’s a terrifying thought: “What if all this hard work is for nothing?” Buddhism has often been attacked as nihilistic, but only by those with a misunderstanding of the concept of emptiness. Everything in existence owes its existence to something; nothing exists independently. We are all involved in the cycle of cause and effect and it is because of these cycles that nothing is permanent. This truth leads to the realization that everything is empty of a truly independent existence. Every action I take in the classroom is determined by the infinite number of causes and effects that lead to that moment. When we are mindfully aware that each moment is precious and can never be recovered, we don’t take them for granted. When we realize that compassion is the skillful way towards right actions, we find it in ourselves to extend compassion to others.  It is in these moments, actions, and non-actions, that we have a chance to realize the Buddha Way.

Death brings into stark relief the impermanence of life. I am still alive, a child I knew and taught no longer enjoys the beauty of life. It seems harsh to talk about emptiness in this context, but dealing closely with death over the past few days has clarified it for me a bit. It’s tempting to give up when confronted with death. It’s tempting to opt out and think that I cannot help my students along their paths but, I recognize that I am making a decision everyday, in every moment, to try and be a positive force. Although my efforts are empty of true meaning, I can do my best with the next student, the next day, the class, and the next moment. All we have is this moment right now. This is what Thien (Ch'an, Zen) has taught me.   

Make a loan, change a life.

Our temple supports Kiva with money for micro loans to individuals. So far we have helped with loans for education, sanitation, farming, small village stores, women's health, and rural communication. Our average loan is $25.00 and recipients pay it back in small increments. Such a wonderful way to practice the Bodhisattva path of compassion.......Thay Kozen
Jan Schiering M.Div, M.A. Spiritual Direction
I spent 18 years of my ministry serving as a hospice chaplain and bereavement coordinator for a hospice and a hospital and what I learned about myself and the divine informs my current practice. In addition, I have served 3 churches in the areas of conducting worship and pastoral care. I am an ordained pastor, with an M.Div. and an M.A., and have been trained in spiritual guidance and direction by Christian Formation and Direction Ministries from 2003-2005. I have an in person office in Hood River, Oregon. I am also available for direction via telephone and video conferencing.
Social stress prematurely ages your immune system
"Social stress such as discrimination and family problems, along with job and money problems, can contribute to premature aging of your immune system, a recent study found. That's a double whammy, as the immune system already deteriorates with age".

This is another reason to practice meditation and peaceful living....Thay Kozen
Columbia Gorge Recovery Dharma announces
a New Tuesday Evening Online Meeting
Recovery Dharma is a program and a sangha (local and worldwide) that employs Buddhist principles and practices to help overcome addictions and craving behaviors. For more than two years, Columbia Gorge Recovery Dharma has been meeting on-line twice weekly and will continue virtual meetings through the summer. 
Beginning in July, our Wednesday evening meeting will be moving
to Tuesday evenings at 6:00 pm.  
For the last three years, Recovery Dharma and the Mt. Adams Buddhist Temple have supported 
volunteers teaching and leading meditation at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR). The program has been especially designed for a population of men and women challenged by addictions and mental illness. We're looking for more volunteers as NORCOR community programing begins to reopen this Fall. During the pandemic, Recovery Dharma has provided many copies of the Recovery Dharma book to adults in custody, and meditation programs have continued by video visit and virtual meetings.
A one-day training workshop for volunteers is planned for Sunday, August 7,
at the Trout Lake Abbey. Please contact Dick Withers for further details (see below).
Columbia Gorge Recovery Dharma continues to be grateful for the encouragement and support
provided by the Mt. Adams Buddhist Temple and the Temple community.
Columbia Gorge Recovery Dharma currently meets online:
Sundays at 6:15 pm and Tuesdays at 6:00 pm: (Pacific Time)
Meeting ID: 658 513 8476    Password: 516313
From the book Recovery Dharma:
"Recovery Dharma is a peer led movement and a community that is unified by the potential in each of us to recover and find freedom from the suffering of addiction. This book uses the Buddhist practices of meditation, self inquiry, wisdom, compassion, and community as tools for recovery and healing. We welcome anyone who is looking to find freedom from suffering, whether it’s caused by substance use or process addictions like codependency, sex, gambling, eating disorders, shopping, work, technology, or any obsessive or habitual pattern. We approach recovery from a place of individual and collective empowerment and we support each other as we walk this path of recovery together. "
"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death".
Leonardo da Vinci
“Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore.” Albert Einstein
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