May 2019
Weekly Temple Services 
Monday - Friday 6:30 am and 6:30 pm
Meditation Saturday 9am full service + meditation
Dear Ones,
I will be away the first week of May. I have another friend who has a medical illness and will be having surgery. He’s asked me to come and stay with him for a while. It is a joy to have friends, To share the good times and the hard times. Temple Services and visits will continue while I’m gone. May we all know the peace and the great freedom of the Buddha’s teachings.
May we all know love and peace. in metta,......Thay Kozen
Preparing for change
Our "hope board" with the many Buddha plaques with hopes and wishes written on back of various Buddhas is starting afresh. We've gathered all the plaques from the last year and burned them while chanting the Heart Sutra. May all who made requests and offerings on the back of these plaques find peace and resolution.
Each year with the onset of Spring we are born anew to grow and blossom as our nature and karma leads us. May we all live in peace and harmony this year.
Special Days this month
May 2 - National Day of Prayer
May 5 - Cinco de Mayo
27 May - Memorial Day
Spring
Sa Di Minh Phap sits amongst the tulips. These cheerful flowers are our first blossoms of the year. Sometimes arising out of snow.
Up coming classes and retreats - Join us!
MAY
18       Trinity Sanga One day retreat - A one day practicum of sitting and walking meditation and metta (loving kindness) practices. Weather permitting we’ll be walking the labyrinth

18       Work That Reconnects, We gather again as a community of women to do the Work That Reconnects. As we keep coming back together we deepen in the work and the way it moves in our lives. 
We journey into the spiral to explore the many layers of our belonging as we train together for these times of uncertainty~ to be present, wholehearted, and to radically open to our own lives and our changing world. 
The foundation of our day is the Work That Reconnects, a set of practices and interactive work developed by our teacher Dr. Joanna Macy. This work reveals that our grief, anger, and fear are all healthy responses to our fierce love for the world. Welcoming the full range of experiences we will move around the spiral of the WTR~ gratitude, honoring our pain, seeing with new eyes, and going forth. This will be a nourishing and open hearted day in the company of other women.
No previous experience necessary. All women are welcome, across the vast gender spectrum. Come as you are. Please contact kaye@broadforkfarmtl.com  to register or be added to the mailing list . facilitators Kaye Jones and Erika Rench

25      VESAK the most important Buddhist festival, commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha, and celebrated at the full moon in the Indian month of Vaishaka (April–May) Join us for morning Temple at 9:00am and a potluck lunch to follow

Thay Z at the ocean
Thich Minh Thien's Column

LOVE LETTER TO THE EARTH

May is here and spring is in full bloom. We have celebrated the Christian holiday of Easter which for many throughout the world, represents a resurrection - an arising from the despair and hopelessness we all can feel from time to time. This month, in recognition of spring and how the earth continually resurrects from the abuses and mindless use of its’ resources and gifts, I offer for your consideration, a book by our contemporary teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. 

The title of the book is, “Love Letter to the Earth”. I recently was asked to give a dharma talk on this book at the Dallas Meditation Center, in Richardson, Texas. I purchased it as an e-book and found it to be a quick and easy read. The message of the book however is deep and crucial to our understanding of the connection of all things - especially our connection with this planet that we live and depend on.

Let me share with you a review of this book.
“Love Letter to the Earth is Thich Nhat Hanh’s passionate appeal for ecological mindfulness and the strengthening of our relationship to the Earth. While many experts point to the enormous complexity in addressing issues ranging from the destruction of ecosystems to the loss of millions of species, Thich Nhat Hanh identifies one key issue as having the potential to create a tipping point. He believes that we need to move beyond the concept of the ‘environment’, as it leads people to experience themselves and Earth as two separate entities and to see the planet only in terms of what it can do for them. Thich Nhat Hanh points to the lack of meaning and connection in peoples’ lives as being the cause of our addiction to consumerism. He deems it vital that we recognize and respond to the stress we are putting on the Earth if civilization is to survive. Rejecting the conventional economic approach, Nhat Hanh shows that mindfulness and a spiritual revolution are needed to protect nature and limit climate change.”

In reading this book I found that at some point, everyone must start examining their most basic assumptions, raising the questions beyond the introspection of - What am I doing here, and, - What is the actual purpose of our human life. It seems that in all the discoveries we find in our practices of meditation and mindfulness, this issue has to be more than just an intellectual viewpoint or subscribing to the latest common cause that many times is primarily actualized by bumper stickers and yard signs. Opinions and intellectual awareness must be coupled with action and commitment to treat the earth, which we commonly refer to as “Mother Earth”, like we would treat our own loving mothers.

If there is ultimately no self and we are one with everything, it only follows that we are one with the Earth. In this book, Thay offers us the idea of seeing the Earth as a great Bodhisattva, continually being supportive and life sustaining in spite of the difficulties humanity as placed upon her. One of the Buddha’s first insights was that of interdependent co-arising. Everything arises in dependence on everything else. This book asks the reader to look at interdependent co-arising in our relationship with Mother Earth. I think you will find this book is a short and simple read, yet lucid and critically important to understand that our individual and collective survival is interconnected with everything else. I highly encourage all to add this to your reading lists.

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
What’s Happening at Budding Dharma?
On May 17, 2019, Budding Dharma Zen Buddhist Temple will celebrate its’ two year anniversary. It is hard to believe that this time has passed so quickly and yet, as the Sangha solidifies and more individuals find a place of peace and respite in our practices, it is clearly evident that there is value in what we are doing. 

Our new chant books arrived and they look wonderful and will add to our practice. They will also be used in the new prison ministry being undertaken by this temple at the Sanders-Estes Unit located in Venus, Texas.

Attached is a new picture of our outdoor Buddha, with its’ new pedestal. This pedestal was repurposed from a dumpster and with a little more work, it will make our Buddha more noticeable to passersby.

Budding Dharma Zen Buddhist Temple is so grateful to be associated with Mount Adams Zen Buddhist Temple. As we grow and mature, we hope to emulate the spirit and many of the good works already well established at MAZBT.
May All Beings Be Happy and Free. BD is located at 2220 Park Hill Dr. Arlington TX 76012
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Poetry from Venerable Fa Sing
(Thich Tâm Minh)
Leaving the city far behind,
I ventured to the land
Of the wild desert sage,
Where I found a small cave
With just enough room
For me and my delusions.

***********************************
A cherry blossom falls,
And we smile at the reminder
Of life's ephemeral nature.

An old cathedral falls,
And we weep at the reminder
Of life's ephemeral nature.

Smile often, weep as needed,
But remember and appreciate
Life's ephemeral nature.

***********************************
Snow still lingers
On the upper slopes
But here in the valley
Spring is waking.
Sa Di Minh Phap's Column
journeys of a novice monk

It is very easy to reason with myself about the causes of things. And yet it has not been my experience that this life is objectively taking place. What i’m saying is that whether I do or do not know the status of some phenomena, neither will decrease dissatisfaction. I’ve spent nineteen years rationalizing about why there is dissatisfaction. Constantly attributing my dis-ease to causes and conditions.
   Just to be alive is to be enduring pain physically and spiritually; trying to grasp understanding is, well, grasping. Grasping itself dissatisfaction. I often see myself coming to the point which says, ‘dissatisfaction just is,’ there is nothing to understand about the causes and solutions.
   In seeing that dissatisfaction just is, one is immediately freed from the three times. There is no longer anything to understand nor any criteria to fulfill. In this state life is effortless. All things come about by their own accord, such is as this moment embracing the whole of life.
   It wouldn’t be true to say this is how I experience life moment to moment! The biggest thing which causes dissatisfaction for me is being caught in ideals. Grasping onto my beliefs about what is right or interesting or ‘the way it ought to be’ are are super convenient ways to reason with my dissatisfaction. What I mean by reasoning with dissatisfaction is how I go about attributing a cause to dissatisfaction, which really just allows that judgement to stick around.
   The two main aspects I see in my training are insight and conduct; insight being the process which I just hinted to above, and conduct being able to let go of my own likes and dislikes through the practice of becoming a very kind and upright person. I see that both of these are a single expression of selflessness, learning to let go of me.

This poem comes to mind;

If you put clouds in a clear sky,
Don’t get mad at me if you can’t see
The blue above it.
Groups in the Extended Gorge

Washougal Mindfulness + Meditation Group - on hold now
Last Sunday of each month from 4:00-5:15pm
Washougal Acupuncture & Massage: 1436 A Street Washougal, WA 98671

Buu Huung Templ e on the 4th Saturday of each month from 10am-12pm.  Includes Meditation, Dharma Talk, by the Venerable nun, Hue Huong. Lunch and Walking Meditation to conclude. 
All are welcome. 17808 NE 18th St.Vancouver WA 98684

Meditation/Buddhism Study Group led by Sharon Lee & Emmett Grote
When: 3rd Wednesday of each month from 1:30-3:00PM
Where: Cascade Park Community Library, 600 NE 136th Ave. Vancouver, WA
Who: We are small group that is interested in practicing Meditation, discussion and exchange about the individual study of Buddhism. No experience necessary.
Welcome to the Naga Buddha, Mucilanda
A small group joined to celebrate our new Naga Buddha. The statue was carved in Vietnam and the Buddha is protected from the weather by a giant cobra (a naga). The base holding the statue is a 100 year old cedar tree. Welcome Buddha!
Our new Naga Buddha is housed in a cedar wood gazebo. This combinations combines the eastern concept of the Buddha with a modern American garden ornament, making it a shrine from both worlds.
The Buddhist naga has the form of a great cobra, usually depicted with a single head but sometimes with many heads. The naga which is seen sheltering the Buddha while meditating is known as Mucilanda . Mucilanda is believed to have protected the Buddha from the elements like rain and storm after he attained enlightenment. It is said that the four weeks after the Buddha began meditating under the Bodhi tree, the heavens darkened for seven days, a heavy rainfall started. The mighty king of the serpents, Mucilanda then is believed to have emerged from beneath the earth and protected the Buddha with his hood as the Buddha is considered the source of all protection. When the storm stopped, the serpent king Mucilanda assumed his human form, bowed before the Buddha and returned to his palace in joy.
Zen is Tea, Tea is Zen
a class by Ven. Thich Tâm Minh

Each month the Temple offers 1-2 educational or retreat classes. April's education class was the story and use of tea in China. We sampled many types of tea and learned how tea was used by Buddhist monks throughout the ages.

We will repeat this course yearly so if you missed it, watch for it next April.
Sharing Self-Care & Meditation by Emily Martin

Over the past few months, I’ve had the beautiful opportunity to work with a family to teach them mindfulness meditation and personal energetic tools. I came into the agreement through an extended family member who requested my services to provide the couple and their two daughters, ages 8 and 12, meditation and other tools. I, was of course, intrigued and ready for the challenge. I wish I had learned these tools in grade school, so I was happy to share. Before me lay a beautiful opportunity to pass these tools along to a willing audience at a perfect stage in their lives!

Each Saturday I go to the family’s home, reflect with them on the prior week, and sit in guided meditation. We’re working through a curriculum, loosely based on the book, Body of Health: the New Science of Intuition Medicine, that covers meditation, grounding, earth and sky energy, and chakra health. Among other things, we use body scans, mindfulness, and color imagery to bring peace and happiness into our bodies.

I’ve been impressed with each family’s commitment to using and trying the tools during the week, whether at school or at home, when they feel they need an energetic boost or want to slough off negativity. What’s been most powerful is watching the young girls go from scepticism and barely able to sit still during the meditations to deeply diving into their inner world. After we meditate together, we typically use colored markers to draw out our experience and what we learned about our energetic body. It is so much fun--both for the girls and myself. The parents are deeply appreciative and let me know that they feel more grounded and calm as a family than they have in years. I feel honored to play a role in this family's work.
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