June 2019
Weekly Temple Services 
Monday - Friday 6:30 am and 6:30 pm
Meditation Saturday 9am full service + meditation
Dear ones,
Well, the warm weather is here, the forests and grasslands are green and bright and wild flowers are everywhere. It is such a joy to be alive. Each day we have a choice on how we view our day. May your day be filled with peace and gratitude for being alive.
Below you can see an architect's vision of our new temple complex. It includes a temple at the far left end, a covered patio in the middle and a community room at the far right end. The very end of the building on the left will be all glass so you can see Mt. Adams in back of the Buddha statue.
Our proposed New Temple Complex
The new temple design allow us to have a handicapped accessible temple with a large covered space protected from snow and rain, as well as a warm enclosed community and dining room. Many people have contributed to our building fund and we remain truly grateful for the support and encouragement from so many individuals. We hope to have plans approved and building started next year, in the Spring of 2020. May your support add to the peace and harmony for all who visit here. Nam Mô Sakya Muni Phật, Hail to Shakyamuni Buddha.

The 17th Annual Mt. Adams Country Bicycle Tour (MACBT) will be another glorious opportunity to ride the beautiful Mt Adams Country with well marked routes, rest stops, safe sag support,
and of course wonderful weather.

You can choose from:
11.5 mile Family Fun Ride (Trout Lake Valley),
51 Mile Loop through Trout Lake, BZ Corner, Glenwood, and back,
54 Mile Forest Loop (up and down the flanks of Mt Adams) and the combined 105 Mile Infinity Ride ( 51 + 57 ** revised mile loops).
Each well-marked ride takes you on quiet country roads through some of the most beautiful countryside around. The money raised from the ride goes to sponsor local charities. Thay Kozen volunteers for the registration booth the day of the ride.
Up coming classes and retreats
15 June - Living with Grief.
A work shop exploring the nature and stages of loss and grief , recovery and acceptance
and the spiritual guidance of Kshitigarbha bodhisattva.

10:30 - 4:30. Bring a sack lunch. Suggested donation $50.00, no one turned away due to finance.
Please register at 509.395.2030

2 2-27 July - Buddhist Family Camp
Family camping, outdoor cooking, hikes, science, dharma, play.
  Please register at 509.395.2030
Thay Z at the ocean
Thich Minh Thien's Column

Cultivating A Loving Heart

I would bet that if I asked the question, “Who believes they have a Loving Heart?”, virtually all would raise their hand. I certainly would. What I am finding however, as I look through a buddhist’s lens and through a mindful practice in my own life experiences, I am seeing my daily actions and thoughts more deeply. What I recently saw, and what I thought was a given; namely my loving heart in action, has room to grow and is not as naturally expansive and automatic as I once believed it was.

This specific observation came into focus recently in a situation where I was taking care of a sick friend; certainly, by anyone’s standards, a loving heart action. But in meditation, I saw that though the exterior action was indeed a loving action, the thoughts that were beneath the action were not that simply explained. I saw some resentment that this care I was giving had impacted my own personal schedule and I had to cancel two retreats that I had been looking forward to. I also saw my own judgements come to the surface in a little resentment that the condition of this individual was in my opinion, self-induced and much worse because of their own life practices. I am not sure if the friend could sense any of this, but I was seeing it clearly and the awareness was that the care wasn’t so much a Loving Heart action as it was an obligatory action. That in turn surfaced my own suffering and removed the joy we can experience when Love is the basis of our actions.

As we all can do through our practice of meditation and mindful living, I began to look deeply at more and more of “my stuff” to see if indeed my judgements, perceptions, prejudices, attachments, delusions, etc. were coloring any or all of my Loving Heart actions. It was if a veil was lifting and I saw that my opportunities for joy and happiness were indeed being impacted and limited at times. Becoming aware of this is always the starting point to do better; hence the title of cultivating a loving heart.

A beautiful garden is never just a beautiful garden all by itself. There are weeds and debris that arise and can block the beauty. It requires work and dedication to pull the weeds and remove the debris to make that happen. So too, in our own lives, we first have to see the weeds and debris before we can do the work to bring forth the pure joy of operating out of unselfish, compassionate loving kindness. Our tools are found in our practice and in learning the lessons that our historical teacher taught. Jack Kornfield says, “From the beginning in Buddhist psychology, compassion and awareness are what went together. In order to be present for experience there has to be some element of kindness, otherwise you are judging it. But if you bring them together as loving awareness, then you are able to be present without manipulating or being in conflict with the experience the way that it is.” Tara Brach says, “Love is an innate capacity, and when we intentionally cultivate it, love shifts from a state to a trait.” 

Now I more clearly see the additional work to be done. As I do it, joy and happiness increase not only for me, but also for all those impacted by my actions. What a joyous path this life is and it is made richer in these practices and concepts taught by the Buddha himself. Cultivate your own Loving Heart and make your own life garden beautiful. May all beings know love and peace and be happy and free. 

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Sa Di Minh Phap's Column
journeys of a novice monk
I can often find myself in very peaceful times, it is so easy in these times to forget that there is true dissatisfaction in life. For me it is during peaceful times that I am most inclined to climb back up onto my own pursuits being mindless of the nature of dissatisfaction. As I sit here now I enjoy the wind meandering along through the trees carrying with it a springtime fragrance, I enjoy a myriad of leaves shimmering in the sunlight, not being caught in me being the center of the world I can see that all the other lives in this valley are just as beautiful and real of a mosaic of life as my own!
   Although it is not useful for me to take the world for what it is in a time of peace, there is suffering in life, this is true! I find great skill in the practice of experiencing the emptiness of views. In my life I begin to see the semblance of the personality itself being dissatisfaction. I can go on a path of climbing up onto the self with all of its likes and dislikes but for me this is not very peaceful, I find peace as I deeply begin to know my own personality and not see it as good or bad but rather just to not follow it.
   It becomes my experience that practicing precepts, mindful manners and filiality are all means of which to see what is going on right now. Being mindful of my actions and being able to see when I am deviating from these practices of selflessness. It is my own personality who wishes to live at its own whims, letting go of that self to me has become letting go of those whims and learning to embrace the current moment. I think that the Sangha is such a precious jewel; for how else can practitioners live sometimes their whole lives in harmony with others than through the practice of not looking at the faults of others. This is too is a practice of mindfulness, judgements and dissatisfactions that arise having not to do with circumstance or other people but just of my own mind.
   Moreover following thoughts of what is ideal can fuel such an ego stint, in ourselves, in circumstances or others not living up to those ideals we can experience true dissatisfaction. What happens as I let go of my views? My mind is no longer caught on making sure I know what is at fault but rather there is an opening into the nature of my personality. Being okay with being dissatisfied there is nothing to do and nowhere to go.

Poetry from Venerable Fa Sing
(Thich Tâm Minh)
Eye to eye
With this busy bee,
My whole world
Is a cherry tree.


Watch your step
On this fine spring day
Lest you stumble and fall
Into deep conversation
With a roadside flower.


This very breath
Is my one true master 

     Where it goes, I follow.
Killing is Killing - Pro-life ("anti abortion") states have the death penalty?
At what age is it OK to take a human life?
One of the first Buddhist Precepts is to refrain from taking life.

Having a " Death Penalty" law seems in violation of this first Cardinal Precept of not killing.

How is it that states with the strongest pro-life rules ("anti abortion") have laws that allow the death penalty. At what age is it OK to kill a human life?
Per an article from CNN. "Is it not deeply ironic that the seven states that have passed tighter abortion laws are also actively open to killing live human beings by lethal injection or electrocution? Among these, in addition to Alabama, are Mississippi, Georgia , Kentucky , Kansas , Arkansas and Ohio . And laws restricting abortions have passed one legislative chamber in Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee -- all death penalty states .

. "Texas is one of the worst offenders when it comes to executions, killing 560 people since 1982. When Rick Perry was governor, 279 people were executed by the state . Only last year, 13 prisoners were put to death in Texas. And yet the Texas Senate earlier this month passed a "pro-life" bill that severely restricts abortions -- even a fetus with "severe and irreversible" abnormalities is not exempted. And doctors who perform abortions would risk criminal prosecution (the proposed law is headed to a House committee now). Even worse, a recently introduced bill in Texas would have opened up the possibility of putting women to death for having an abortion! (It failed in the House.)." https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/16/opinions/alabama-kay-ivey-hypocrisy-parini/index.html

" Please consider the Buddha's first Precept instructing us to avoid killing in any form. Let us all practice loving kindness in all that we do. Let us also remember to refrain from judging another person and to work on our own practice". Thay Kozen

The Five Cardinal Precepts
As Buddhists we take up the way of following these first 5 precepts
and commit our lives to following these guidelines.
I vow to begin the process of:
Not killing, but cherishing all life.
Not taking what is not given, but respecting the things of others.
Not engaging in improper sexuality, but to be caring and responsible.
Not lying, but speaking the truth.
Not causing others to take substances that confuse the mind, nor to do so myself,
but to keeping the mind clear at all times.
The history of Incense in Japan

Ganjin, a Buddhist priest from Tang China, reached Japan in 754 AD. This venerable priest, well known for introducing Buddhist precepts into Japan, should also be remembered for his accomplishment in the history of incense. through medical incense and the skill of nerikoh (blended incense balls), Ganjin introduced a thriving incense culture from Tang dynasty China into Japan.

Takimono, a kind of nerikoh, is made of powdered incense for medical use, together with binding substances such as nectar and treacle. there was no fragrance incense before nerikoh in Japan, and people used to burn medical incense to generate fragrances.
Japanese court nobles in the Heian period (8th to 12th centuries) concocted original incense mixtures in search of graceful and sophisticated fragrances for personal use. Different blends were used for different times, occasions or seasons, according to the mood of the moment. This is how the essential quality of Koh-Do (“the Way of Incense”) was formed. https://www.nipponkodostore.com/The-History-of-Incense-s/439.htm

The Science of Incense

  • A 2008 study Trusted Source of adults in Singapore found that long-term burning of incense was associated with an increased risk for developing squamous cell lung cancer.
  • A 2009 study Trusted Source of children in Oman that found incense burning triggered wheezing in asthmatic children. However, incense burning wasn’t associated with an increased prevalence of asthma. Incense doesn’t cause asthma but can trigger an attack.
  • A 2015 study found that components in incense smoke were toxic to cultured cells at lower concentrations than cigarette smoke. It should be noted that only the smoke of four incense sticks and one cigarette were assessed in this study.
  • A 2017 study Trusted Source in Chinese adults found evidence that incense burning could play a role in an increased risk of high blood pressure.

Although several studies have not shown a link between incense and lung cancer , many other types of cancer have been directly linked to burning incense. [. A study published in 2008 in the medical journal Cancer found that incense use is associated with a statistically significant higher risk of cancers of the upper respiratory tract , with the exception of nasopharyngeal cancer . Those who used incense heavily also were 80% more likely to develop squamous-cell carcinomas . The link between incense use and increased cancer risk held when the researchers weighed other factors, including cigarette smoking, diet and drinking habits. The research team noted that "This association is consistent with a large number of studies identifying carcinogens in incense smoke, and given the widespread and sometimes involuntary exposure to smoke from burning incense, these findings carry significant public health implications."
In 2015, the South China University of Technology found toxicity of incense to Chinese hamsters' ovarian cells to be even higher than cigarettes. Incensole acetate, a component of Frankincense , has been shown to have anxiolytic-like and antidepressive-like effects in mice, mediated by activation of poorly-understood TRPV3 ion channels in the brain.

The Bottom Line Recommendations

  1. Do not burn incense with a wooden stick in them inside the house. Often this type of incense may have toxic ingredients.
  2. Minimize your exposure to incense smoke and fumes.
  3. Use smokeless or low smoke incense inside the house if possible (solid incense stick - not an incense with a wooden stick in the middle).

  1. We recommend VIVA Japanese brand cedar incense for lower toxic factors than other brands. We shop at https://www.nipponkodostore.com/ for our temple incense supplies.
Any burning substance may cause health issues. Please take good care of your lungs.
Summer Tick Warning
According to science news, the rise of tick borne illnesses keep growing. A newly identified disease alpha-gal allergy can cause individuals to become allergic to meat. Add that to Lyme disease, weather changes, and a growing deer population and we have an almost perfect storm. You can read more at
My Thoughts by Emily Martin
Parenting is a tough job. Without deep personal emotional resilience, we quickly fall into the emotions of our kids. Their meltdowns trigger our meltdowns; their tears allow a cascade of anger and frustration to pour forth. No wonder we all have experiences of childhood trauma of one degree or another. For some, dramatic bursts of anger and abuse from a parent have caused a lifetime of suffering. For others, the negative seeds from our parents may more subtle and hidden. Regardless, we all are a continuation of our parents or caregivers and what they passed down to us. What a responsibility we have as we parent our children.

In our Thich Nhat Hanh study group at Dick and Bonnie’s house, we’ve been investigating TNH’s view on this subject. He writes “What did my father transmit to me? The answer is: He transmitted himself to me. The object transmitted is no less than himself, and I really am the continuation of my father. I am my father.” When I reflect on these words, I feel both depressed and empowered. My mother experienced emotional and sexual abuse in her childhood. She vowed to stop the transmission of these negative seeds to me. In some very basic and important ways she succeeded, but in other more subtle ways she fell short. TNH continues, “If we recognize something as negative and destructive, then we will embrace and transform it. When we are able to achieve transformation, we do it not only for ourselves, but for our fathers, our mothers, and our ancestors.” When I practice meditation and find myself deep within the void, I connect to a deep wellspring of peace and self-worth that my mother never passed along to me. I know each time I practice, I heal not only myself, but I trail blaze a path of happiness and joy for my children, their children, and my ancestral lineage.
Special note - The Meditation Workshop with Rev. Judy and Ven Kyri
is on vacation for 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