The Zazenkai is delighted to announce that our second one-day
sitting, “A Day of Zazen”, will be held on Sunday, June 6th, from
7:10am to 5:00 pm. It will include 8 periods of zazen, a Dharma talk
by Daigaku Sokan, breakfast, lunch, and so on. Please see the flyer
for a more detailed schedule. From now on, we are planning to have
“A Day of Zazen” every month. We look forward to seeing you all there.
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
The 'MEMBERSHIP DUE' letters have been mailed and we are asking you to return
it as soon as possible. Your dues are important for the operation of the temple.
Just like your income is important for the function of your household, your membership
is important to help provide supplies for the various services, postage for mailings,
repairs as needed, ministers’ wages, office and kitchen supplies as needed, and many
other expenses. If you don’t have the form, please download it here.
As a member, you are first to access all the information of events and activities
happening at the temple. If you are planning an activity for yourself or family,
you may rent one of our rooms or social hall. You are eligible to be nominated or
self nominate to run for the Board of Directors, be chairman of a committee, or initiate
a fund raiser or activity for the temple.
I would encourage all of you to really help by becoming a member of the temple.
You can pay in one installment ($200.00) or 2 installments ($100.00 X 2 times). For
those of you who are students, we do have the $100.00 Friends of Zenshuji Fund. Please
participate in this membership drive and let's see if we can top last year's membership
Carolyn Abe Hashiba, President
SPECIAL FUNDS AND ACTIVITY FUNDS
Reminder: There are several funds that depend on your generous donation to continue
their purpose in the temple organization. Here is the list:
1. TOKUSHI: Special Donation other then the items listed
2. KIHONKIN: For repairs, replacement and renovation of the buildings and facilities.
3. BUSSHIN: For publication of Busshin News Letter.
4. CAR FUND: For maintenance and purchase of vehicles.
5. PARKING STRUCTURE FUND: For parking structure project.
6. GARDEN FUND: For maintenance of temple garden.
1. SBA FUND: To support the Senior Buddhist Association Organization. They purchase
the monthly birthday cake for the monthly/memorial luncheon.
2. TERAKOYA: To support the young children (infant to 3 (Tues) and 3 to 5 years old
(Sat.)) and adult support activity.
3. YBA/JR. YBA: To support the Young Buddhist Association; Youth activities.
4. ZENDEKO: To support the Taiko Group activities.
5. BUDDHIST LECTURE: To support the continuing of Buddhist Lecture Classes.
6. ZAZEN: To support Zazen and Zen Practice.
Every little bit helps. Your kind donation throughout the year is important to the
various funds/organizations! Please use the same donation form as the membership
due; download the form here.
A GREETING FROM NEW BISHOP, DAIGAKU RUMMÉ
“Those who think that mundane affairs hinder the practice of the Buddhadharma
know only that there is no Buddhadharma in their daily life; they do not yet know
that there is nothing ‘mundane’ in the Buddhadharma.” Dogen Zenji
One of my responsibilities as the new Sokan is to write articles for Busshin.
Now and then, I have translated articles that Akiba Roshi wrote for Busshin, so I
know how much time and effort he put into writing them, often staying up late at
night the day before the deadline. To tell the truth, it seems like a formidable
task for me to write an article once a month. Nevertheless, I also see this as an
excellent opportunity for me to communicate with you. I look forward to your questions
and comments. I hope you don’t mind that I will be writing in English.
The topic for this article arose from a question that I was asked after
the last Zenshuji board meeting. The question was: what is it from your long monastic
experience in Japan that you hope to use in your new role at Zenshuji? This is a
question that could be answered in different ways, but the person asking the question
spoke of her memories of visiting the monastery where I lived when she was young.
She was deeply impressed by the size of the temple, the grandeur and strangeness
of it, as well as meeting the abbot.
This immediately reminded me of my time at the monastery, particularly the
experience I often had of serving guests such as she and her family members when
they visited the temple at New Year’s, Obon, O-higan, and for their memorial services
and so on. I thought of my master who was responsible for meeting with guests as
they drank tea and the way in which he was able to respond to all of them in a kind
and affable manner. At the same time, he was abbot of the monastery and responsible
for guiding the monks who were training there. These were two different roles, but
I think he demonstrated to me a way to handle the job I have accepted at Zenshuji,
a job which certainly has more than one aspect to it. I would also like to say, however,
that it is definitely not an easy thing to balance these two roles, much less to
do even one of them well.
My first interest in going to live in a Japanese Zen monastery was in Zen
practice and enlightenment, but during the time I was there, I came to realize the
significance of the lay people and the importance they held for the temple. In the
quotation from Dogen Zenji at the beginning of this article, I think we can see a
way to discover the truth of the Buddha’s teaching in lay life. For many people,
however, this is not apparent. For me as well, it was difficult for many years to
understand that the Buddhadharma is fully present in lay life. Now I know that they
are the same – it is simply a difference of emphasis and function.
It is my conviction that the role of monks (or priests, if you wish) is
to practice and verify the Zen teaching and then be able to function as teachers
and guides for lay people. The lay people, on the other hand, have traditionally
supported the temples and priests through the financial contributions made possible
through their work and endeavor. In a perfect world, these two groups mutually support
and encourage each other. This is not necessarily an obvious thing, however, and
requires that the temple priests fulfill their role.
Here at Zenshuji, it is my hope that we can provide a place of refuge for
many different people. We live in chaotic, uncertain times. It is precisely in such
times that the temple serves as a beacon, showing people that there is an island
of peace within the difficulties of everyday life. Let’s work together to put the
Buddhist teaching into practice, verifying for ourselves that “all sentient beings
are buddhas” and “that this very place is the land of lotuses”, creating a harmonious
environment where all people feel welcome.