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Showing posts from August, 2011

Bittersweet Neighbors.

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Last Wednesday morning I went to the Lucas County zoning commission meeting where we had a public hearing about the possible issuing of a special use permit to create a public retreat center and temple on the property adjacent to my home in rural Swanton Ohio. After having affirming conversations with a few of my neighbors last week I felt confident that this would be a day to enjoy and savor as a milestone along the way of creating a sacred space that is so desperately needed in the world today.

 After all, my neighborhood hosts the world recognized Bittersweet farm which is a local group farm and home serving many autistic adults and adolescents which I am just so, so proud of:

But this meeting did not go the way I expected.

 Not at all.

In fact, over a dozen neighbors showed up to protest the possible construction of a Zen Buddhist Temple in their area, with a signed petition of some 40 others who agreed (I wonder if they were really door to door signatures, or if thes…

The Last Autumn Leaf?

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A few moments ago, Rev. Do-on and I were walking on what we hope is the site of a new retreat center for our community, and a small miracle happened - I noticed my first falling leaf of the season.
Thus Fall begins. 
Thus I begin.  
And just like that, everything is fresh and new, invoked perfectly by the turning and death of this leaf, this body of the Buddha, this body of life, this body of the universe.  
In a blaze of color, the great returning is right here and the great giving is expressed again with leaf being leaf and ground being ground, and leaf being ground, and ground being leaf, and all of this being nothing other than the great body of awakening.
And still, even with all of that this particular leaf will not be here again.  So lets notice it with kindly eyes, and celebrate it with deep bows while we can. For someday we will see our last Autumn leaf, and this final Bodhi-leaf encounter may come and go without our knowing that this is what it was.
So, for me, the i…

Classes & Business

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One of the many gifts from the maha sangha teachers council meeting that happened earlier this summer was a deeper appreciation for the many ways in which folks reach out and make the Dharma accessible.  We've had the deep retreat focus since our beginning.  And then came the more 'congregational' or church kinda thing with the Sunday Services, Dharma school for youth, social outreach and so on.

And now we come to the classes.

I've lead classes here before, and they are usually quite well received.  In fact, many of our older members came from these 'Intro to Zen Practice' kind of classes.  And there has been the 'Encountering the Ancestors' series when we looked at Zen's Chinese heritage generation by generation from Bodhidharma up to Dogen.

But they have more or less been on hold for the last year while we grew the Sunday Service into something real, but there has been a call for more of these classes to happen so now they will begin anew, in a m…

Toledo Zen Center Fall/Winter Class and Retreat Schedule!

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So here is what I'll be doing with most Sunday afternoons for the rest of the year... Toledo Zen Center Fall/Winter Class and Retreat Schedule! by Jay Rinsen Weik on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 3:18pm The Drinking Gourd/Toledo Zen Center Fall/Winter 2011 Class Schedule

What the Buddha Taught: Foundational Teachings for Difficult Times with Rev. Rinsen and Rev. Do-on
Dates: Three Sunday Afternoons from 2pm to 5pm Sept 4th, 11th and 18th at the Toledo Zen Center 6537 Angola Road, Holland OH, 43558.
This class offers an in-depth exploration of core Buddhist teachings.  If you have been lurking in the Eastern Thought section of the bookstore for years or are newly curious, this class is the perfect opportunity for you to encounter the ancient wisdom of the Buddha freshly unpacked and made both assessable and relevant to life in the 21st Century by the ordained Buddhist priests of the Toledo Zen Center.  NOTE: this class is a 5-part 15-week series which is offered yearly and class se…

The Long Path On A Clear Day

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Over the past two days, I've had the great fortune to marry two wonderful couples, Hyeyoung and Bruce, and Ellie and Olman who are pictured here.  
What an amazing act of divine foolishness this vow to walk the long path together is.  And how utterly grateful I am for this magnificent foolishness to be expressing in these times that are for so many in our world dark and broken.   In each new generations eyes an utterly unique and precious expression of the great dance of Yin and Yang,  and of the dance beyond Yin and Yang.

And for me, what a joy to be able to be a part of the dance in this particular way.   Some in the Buddhist tradition feel that the Dharma has no use for ordained clergy, and I respectfully disagree.  To be sure there have been examples of priestly misconduct, and at times a false sense of entitlement or status, and a corrective is demanded.  But the moments of birth and reaching adulthood and marriage and death are deep and transformative, and need to be well …