November 2020
Weekly Temple Services 
Mon. NOON Meditation and Metta:
Meditation Saturday 9am full service + meditation
Dear ones,
Well November is here. Multi-color leafs litter our fields, it is freezing at night, the days warm up to the 50s. We're getting ready to make another trip around the sun. Please remember to vote on the 3rd or prior if you can. Thanksgiving (a favorite holiday of mine) is on the 26th. While we all have much to be thankful for, let us remember masks and social distancing with family if they live outside our home.
May we all remain healthy and well. Thay Kozen
We all have beliefs, many of which differ from the beliefs of others. People argue about religion and politics most of all. Let us be reminded of our historical teacher's encouragement for all of us to be at peace and in well-wishing for all beings (Metta Sutra). I am reminded of this wonderful quote:
“Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always
did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible
things before breakfast.” ― Lewis Carroll
Many of the people we know, maybe even ourselves, have impossible beliefs. Having differences and accepting all beings is part of the Buddha's teachings. We can accept that others have beliefs without agreeing or disagreeing with those beliefs. Thay Kozen
Our Temple 2020 Retreats & Practices
Nov 21 and Dec 19 one day retreats
Thich Minh Thien,
Abbot of Budding Dharma. Arlington, Texas


We are in another month of life restrictions as a result of COVID-19. For me, this began March 13, 2020 and that makes 8 months of living very differently. I, like many have gotten acclimated to always wearing a mask when outside, social distancing, avoiding crowds and washing my hands with soap and water. The purpose of doing so is to protect oneself from contracting this virus. For many, an equal motivation is about the protection masks provide each other.

As we have seen in both written and visual news, these reasons are not always connected however, especially when it comes to wearing masks properly, or even wearing masks at all. Somehow, the misguided concept of personal freedoms has crept into the dialogue and people are claiming it is their right to refuse wearing of a mask. That clearly ignores the second motivation for wearing a mask; namely to protect each other. Some even go so far as to deny the very existence of this virulent virus.

I was recently made aware of a letter sent by a hospital nurse. Doctors and nurses commit themselves to provide the best care possible for patients, no matter their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, social status, political affiliation or spiritual practice. This nurse indicated in the letter, that they were suffering conflicting feelings. They wrote; “…while I provide the best care I can to all my patients, I carry this anger and resentment towards some of them who publicly deny that there is a pandemic going on, refuse to wear a mask and sometimes encourage others not to follow guidelines universally subscribed to by epidemiologists. I risk my life and my family’s health to care for patients with infectious diseases. I feel a resentment towards people who end up in intensive care because of crazy unfounded beliefs regarding COVID-19.” Working as a chaplain in a large hospital, I understand this struggle and I get some sense of this frustration from the healthcare professionals I am interacting with as well.

As I reflect on this, I see many instances of this incongruity in my own actions. When we do our Metta practice and send loving kindness to people in our lives who make it difficult to love them, I sometimes do feel conflicted. Outwardly, I would not do things that would cause them harm or cause them personal pain, but inwardly that is not always the sentiment. That is a result of the personal pain I have shared with them. When I have these feelings, I often think of the Mantra of Forgiveness. I think the very first paragraph of this mantra explains the reasons that we may outwardly demonstrate Metta and yet hold very different feelings in our thoughts. The Mantra begins:
“You have caused me pain; I have not forgiven you.
 You have caused me pain; I have not forgiven you.
            You acted out of your own pain; I responded with my pain
Suffering comes from desire and ignorance.
May all beings find peace.”

The entire Mantra gives a clear connection to a path of understanding and loving kindness that can be the salve when our most personal unspoken feelings that lie beneath our outward motivations and actions seem contradictory. Forgiveness and compassion both inwardly and outwardly will reduce our suffering. Or as my Teacher says, Love More.

There is a story, many times attributed to Native American culture that speaks to this. Once a wise grandfather was having dialogue with his young grandson about life. The grandfather explained that each individual is born with two wolves inside them that are in a constant battle. The black wolf represents our darker thoughts and actions while the white wolf reflects the kinder and more loving self. The grandson asked the grandfather which wolf wins the battle? The grandfather responded that "the winner is the one we feed".
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Poetry from Venerable Fa Hsing
(Thich Tâm Minh)
Wandering free
one step at a time
the ground underfoot
becomes the path ahead;

With nowhere to go
and all day to get there
I can't lose my way
no matter how hard I try.


As I emptied my cup
to make room for more tea,
the last candle went out
to make room for the dawn.


Flowing from dawn to dusk,
but in no great hurry to get there,
a slow-moving stream
quietly reflects
on an autumn afternoon.
November Special Days
1 All Saints Day - Christian
2. All Souls Day – Christian
3 Election Day – US
4 Karva Chauth - Hindu
11 Veterans Day – thank you for your service
13 World Kindness Day – World - Let us practice metta towards all of life
14 Diwali – Hindu
19 Mt Adams Temple on line retreat (8:00am - 4:30)
26 Thanksgiving Day - US
29 Advent Begins – Christian
30 Kartik Purnima –observed by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs
The Trinity Sangha has a new name - Thich Nhat Hanh meditation and study group
November Special Days
1 All Saints Day - Christian
2. All Souls Day – Christian
3 Election Day – US
Karva Chauth - Hindu
11 Veterans Day – thank you for your service
13 World Kindness Day – World
14 Diwali – Hindu
19 Mt Adams Temple on line retreat
26 Thanksgiving Day - US
29 Advent Begins – Christian
30 Kartik Purnima –observed by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs
Fall at our Temple
Colorful leaves carpet the road
Even in dying the leaves are beautiful
Wild turkeys walking down our drive
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 Buddhist Temple   46 Stoller Rd., Trout Lake WA 98650 509.395.2030