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Mt Adams Zen Buddhist Temple


September 2014 Newsletter

Dear Dharma Family,
   Fall harvests are starting, we now gather what we have planted, watered, fertilized, and cared for.  Such is our own life cycle.  Some of our actions are spontaneous and unplanned, some we plant and nurture that which we do.  Each and every action comes to fruition in some manner.  Karma means action.  In the Christian bible we are told "as ye sew, so shall ye reap".  Buddhists have the very same belief.

The Buddha tells us the 5 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 having 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 that 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 on which I stand.        

In October I will be off visiting China for a few weeks.  Thay Kobai will be living at the temple during that time and will be holding regular services.  Please give him your kind support and maybe take him out for a meal or a drive. 

May all of our "harvests" be filled with love and joy.  May they be bring peace to ourselves and to others.                          Kozen  

Prison Wisdom
As many of you know, I visit a prison monthly and work with the offenders there to practice Buddha's Dharma and meditation.  Often there are special exchanges that occur between myself and the prisoners.  In many ways, they become my teacher while I am in there.  One of my favorite exchanges was with a wonderful young man when he was telling me about his understanding of the instructions to "just sit" (meditation).  Per him, "It is sort of like taking a poop.  It is best to do it regularly, once we learn how it is very simple and natural, and most of all it has become so much a part of our lives that we don't notice it unless we, for some reason, miss too many episodes."  Laughing, he's right;  I just never thought of it quite like that before.                         Kozen

We had the privilidge of visiting Buu-Hung Temple in Vancouver, Washington.   Left to Right, Ven Jeff Miles, Thay Kozen, and Ven. Suco Huong pose in front of a statue of Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva of compassion and mercy.
The Human Route
Coming empty-handed, going empty handed - that is human.
When you are born, where do you come from?
When you die, where do you go?
Life is like a floating cloud which appears.
Death is like a floating cloud which disappears.
The floating cloud itself originally does not exist.
Life and death, coming and going, are also like this.
But there is one thing which always remains clear.
It is pure and clear, not depending on life and death.

What then is the one pure and clear thing?

by Zen Master Seung Sahn on Sep 1, 1981

 How a Zen Buddhist Prepares for Death

Recently I had some problematic issues with my leg.  My nurse practitioner sent me to several physicians for consultations and I was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis - a fancy way to say I had blood clots in my leg.  Laughing - the problem arose due to a degenerating knee and excess fluids which blocked a blood vessel.   With my diagnosis came a stern warning from the doc at OHSU - "this is one of the worst I have seen - you may die from this - it is very bad".  Apparently a leg swollen to 3 times its normal size is not a good thing.

So what to do...
My teacher, Matsuoka Roshi,  often said - "just live, do your best, the rest will all fall into place or not."
Laughing - with that I sat meditation more often, contemplated the joy in living and in friends, celebrated the moment, and then sat meditation some more.  I experienced such joy in the moment, such a sense of gratitude, and of connection with all things, and such a lack of fear and a sense of acceptance - it was a wonderful time
for just being.

It is a pleasure to tell you the reports of my death are apparently a bit exaggerated, and I am expected to make a full recovery with no further complications.  Laughing - a wonderful thing.
Each second, minute, hour, day are precious.  Dogen Zenji tells us, "Do not waste your life!"
May we all be well, may we all be happy, may we all know love, may we all know peace.
Kozen - still alive and happily sitting meditation.
Our Latest Mandala
Many people have stopped by to add to our colored rice mandala.  It has been a joy to see so many individuals and groups come to practice the awareness of the Buddha.  This is our most complicated mandala to date - we have over 200 hours in it

Left to right - Debbie, Shimiko, and Emma work on the nearly completed mandala

Sebastian                                       Debbie, Toby, and Rev. David Forbes
We are a small Thien (Zen) Buddhist Temple practicing  "laughing farmer zen" - living our practice, sitting zazen, being here - right now!



13 - 14 Buu Hung Temple Retreat



7-26 Visit China & Zen Temples


8 renewal of our financial pledge to Tibet Aid

Korea's Tragedy 
Our temple wrote a letter of condolences to the Korean people after the tragic boating accident that took so many lives in April.  Here was their lovely response:

Dear Thich Minh Tinh,   
Thank you so much for your message of condolences for the Seoul ferry tragedy in April. We greatly appreciate your sympathy and concern, your prayers and dedications of merit to the victims, their families, and the Korean people. This tragedy came as a big shock to all the nation but has lead to more appreciation and affection between parents and children and an increased concern with what is really important in life in all of society. Hopefully the legacy will be a greater sense of the value and delicate nature of life and a deeper realization of the responsibility we all have for each other. Your prayers have helped us with that.   
May the Buddha's Blessings always be with you, your temple members and all beings.   
Yours in the Dharma, 
Dae Bong Sunim , Abbot & 
Guiding Teacher of Mu Sang Sa temple in Korea
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 sanga you can still donate dana (money).  The are a clearing house for Buddhist Activity in the Northwest and need our support. 
read more about the NWDA at http://www.northwestdharma.org/
We just renewed our temple's membership and gave a "little extra" donation. 
How about you  - have you renewed your membership ? 
"All men know suffering which is as mud in which
the lotus takes its root:
all men know the lotus blossom
which gazes at the heavens.
Few men indeed know
how to nourish the root of True Religion within themselves in
the mud of ignorance that surrounds them and
fewer still know how to make that root
flourish and grow the long stem needed
in the dark water before the flower can bloom
in the clear light of day...
I am attempting to show how to grow the long stem
of lotus, from the root to the blossom, for the stem
of lotus and Zen training are identical."

~ from the book by
Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett
"Zen is Eternal Life"
Miss Chime Dolma is Going to College
   When some of our temple members were in India several years ago, we met the two Tibetan girls whom we sponsor.  They are growing into fine young ladies now, and Kozen will visit them as he returns from China.  These two girls traveled with our temple members as we toured the Buddhist holy sites in India.  They had an attendant with them, Miss Chime Dolma, who traveled with the girls and took care of their needs.  Chime was a high school student at the time and she was happy to join our little group.
   Chime has now graduated from High School and is starting college this month to become a Registered Nurse.  Our temple has chosen to sponsor her and we'll be sending her University the tuition every September.  The cost for tuition at the Indian University is $1,000.00 per year and we have that amount promised from individual donors.  We would like to send her an additional amount for clothing, books, etc.  Her room and board is paid for by the University.
   Would you like to help sponsor Chimi?  We would like to send her an extra $500.00 a year for her personal and educational expenses.  If you would like to help pay for this young girl's college please send your donations to our temple with a note specifying that the money is for Chimi's education. 

Chimi Dolma with the two young girls we sponsor (Sonam and Dechen) at the Taj Mahal during our temple member's trip to India.
from Good Question, Good Answer
by S.Dhammika 
If God were intervening in our lives then individuals who pray to a God could be expected to somehow have a better life than those who do not pray.  According to statistics - there is no difference in the quantity of suffering and negative life occurrences between  prayers and non prayers.  Therefore God does not intervene in everyday life. 
   Per Rev. David Forbes - "I believe that God's intervention is not physically manifested but rather manifested in the peace of the spirit - allowing us to accept and to love".  
Sound Meditation Circle
October 2nd & November 6th, 7pm - 8:30 pm. Thursdays.
At Cascade Acupuncture Center, 104 5th St, Hood River, OR

You are invited to experience the power of sound vibration and clear intention to relax, release and feel renewed. We will tone, meditate, and focus our imagination, increasing the capacity for creativity and wellbeing.

All welcome- No experience required- Pre-register

Facilitated by Beth Welton-Miller, MS, LMT
For over 30 years, Beth has lived her passion for personal and relationship transformation helping people connect with their core essence. Her professional experience includes teaching workshops and working individually with people using body centered and energetic healing practices.
Reserve a space by e-mail to beth@vibrant-living.com or calling 503-680-5810

Contribution: $10 - $20.  Suggested sliding scale.  
Payable at time of event.

For more information:  www.vibrant-living.com

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

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