The threefold world is like a guest house, human life is as morning dew.
A favorable opportunity is easily lost, and the true Dharma difficult to encounter.
You should make efforts with fresh aspiration.
Do not wait until other people remind you again.
Dear sangha friend,
Earlier this fall, Okumura Roshi published Ryokan Interpreted, a book about the life and work of 18th century Japanese poet and Zen monk Ryokan. In the poem above, Ryokan writes beautifully of the offerings provided to the sangha and emphasizes the responsibility of the sangha to make itself worthy of these offerings. In this spirit, we want to express our deepest gratitude to all for enabling our practice.
With your generous support, we have maintained a robust virtual practice community while reopening our temple to local practitioners. Gifts to our sangha have also enabled us to engage in study and practice through in-person and virtual retreats and to spread the dharma by supporting the works of clergy and friends.
In the New Year, we’ll be planning sesshin and retreats and we look forward to welcoming friends in person and virtually. We’ll continue our work to meet core goals in creating a program for residential practice and establishing our Bloomington temple as a regional dharma home.
You can participate today by making a gift of financial support to Sanshin Zen Community. While one-time financial gifts are always welcome, please also consider a monthly contribution. This is the most convenient way to give; your donation is automatically transferred from your credit card or bank account, and you can change or cancel at any time. It makes our revenue more predictable and reduces our costs, and a greater portion of your gift goes directly to Sanshin.
Thanks again for all the ways you provide care for the sangha. More than ever, we need a community of friends with whom we can sit zazen, study the dharma, and share the teachings of wisdom and compassion. Your offering is a kind reminder of the importance of our practice.
Thank you for being part of our dharma community.
As Ryokan points out, the opportunity to come together to sit zazen, study the Buddha’s teachings and work to take care of the temple is rare and precious.
It doesn’t happen by accident, and it doesn’t happen without the participation of all of us. Supporting the sangha is supporting our own practice. It’s the community functioning as a community. Just as there is no sesshin without participants, there’s no sangha without the active involvement of practitioners. Sesshin and sangha don’t exist on their own as something “outside.”
Here-and-now is the only place and time we have. It’s the only space in which we can take action. Today is a good day to rededicate ourselves to practice, to carrying out our bodhisattva vows, to bringing a little extra wisdom and compassion to a confused and suffering world. There are myriad ways to help make the dharma available; one is a gift of financial support to Sanshin so that our home base, if you will, remains vibrant and strong, a place of refuge that allows us to reconnect with the Three Treasures and recharge our practice. If such a gift is possible for you now, it will be gratefully accepted. The greatest gift, however, is the gift of your continued presence in the sangha and your commitment to bodhisattva practice.