November 2011 Update

Since mid-September we have been meeting in the new location at 118 Main Street, in Watertown Square. We have not started to make our presence there known around town and the area, but we are working on it!

In the week of November 7th the Vice Abbess and the Abbot attended a 5-day Dai-sesshin with Sasaki Roshi at Bodhi Manda Zen Center in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. Roshi was in excellent spirits and good health, however, he contracted some kind of infection that completely took his energy away and he is currently resting – it is still amazing to see him during teisho and sanzen but it also lets most people forget that he is almost 105 years old and dealing with the issues coming with that age.

Clear skies at night let the temperatures fall into the low 20s in the morning, accompanied by some bone-chilling wind gusts. Bodhi Manda is a great place to practice and an interesting crowd assembled for the Fall kesseizen students from Austria, Norway, a monk from Germany, and many American students and ordained people.

The schedule followed the traditional Rinzai-ji style Dai-sesshin with a 3 am wakeup, three formal meals, twice a day chanting and closing at 9 pm; personal time was as usual limited to 20 minutes after each of the meals. Shuko served as the densu and took care of the Buddha hall, Dining hall, and the arriving guests and Dokuro served as the jikijitsu in the zendo.

Dharma Cloud Hermitage is about to unveil its newly branded practice offering as “Charles River Zen”. We will use CRZ to make our presence in Watertown and the Boston area better known and to start a campaign to acquire property for a dedicated practice center in the area.

All of this would not be possible without the teaching brought here by Sasaki Roshi, for which we all are deeply grateful. The future of Dharma Cloud Hermitage and Charles River Zen depends also on your interest and dedication, for which we thank you very much.

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