Early Fall ’09

We have resumed our full schedule after Labor Day weekend and the Zendo has come back to its full life. With the new site there will be more frequent updates on what’s happening, articles, essays, and other materials that pertain to what we do at Houn-an.

The October 7 Open House was well attended, we had visitors from the Harvard Buddhist Community, as well as individuals who just came to check out the CBA. A quick sit, followed by walking meditation, and an introduction to the practice of chanting made up the formal part of the evening. Refreshments after allowed for a lively discussion, question and answers, in which visitors and sangha members contributed. We always appreciate the visitors, and sometimes we see faces return and join the sangha.  Like a living organism that constantly changes, our group also undergoes changes. We have a core group of practitioners who sustain the practice and serve as officers during the formal sittings. This is a good place to thank them for their support and participation in the activities of the temple.

Today we learned that the Abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery, John Daido Roshi, has succumbed to cancer. He was a successor to Maezumi Taizan, but had also studied with Nakagawa Soen. The Mountain and Rivers Order has lost their founder and the American Zen landscape a fixture and prominent personality.

The loss of a Zen teacher always makes me keenly aware of the unfathomable privilege to have been able to study with Joshu Roshi over the last decades, and to be still able to go and work with him in his 103rd year here on this planet. In fact, next week the vice-abbess and I will be able to participate in a Jidori Sesshin with Roshi and a good number of his European sangha at Rinzai-ji Zen Center in Los Angeles. If all works out I will also have the opportunity to meet again with Seiun Genro Osho, with whom I first started in the early eighties of the last century. Genro is himself geeting up there, 85 years of age, and it will be neat to have him there with Roshi. There will also be a good number of ‘old’ Zen students I know from my early Zen times in Austria.

In our absence the Zendo will be run by our senior sangha members. Please attend frequently and take advantage of the opportunities to sit, chant, walk, and share the spirit of the sangha. Your participation is important and we are truly grateful having you be part of our community.

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