The spring within a cold flower; a heron in the moonlight
Dōgen’s Chinese Poems (46)
Verse on the Fifteenth Day of the First Month: The Spring within a Cold Flower
How can white reed flowers covered in snow be defiled by dust? Who knows that there are many people on the pure earth? A single plum flower in the cold, with fragrant heart blossoming, Calls for the arising of spring in the emptiness of the pot of ages
The Fifteenth [Full Moon] Day of the First Month is called jōgen (上元). This is one of the three gen: (元, origin, foundation): jōgen (上元, upper gen–the 15th day of first month), chūgen (中元, middle gen–the 15th day of the 7th month), and kagen (下元, lower gen–the 15th day of the 10th month). In Daoism, these days were celebrated as the birthdays of the three deities. The 15th day of the 1st month has also been celebrated because it is the first full moon day of the year. On the same day in 1251, Dōgen Zenji gave a jōdō (dharma hall discourse) and mentioned that the origin of this day’s celebration is in the mundane world. READ MORE
Doryu participates in the seminar from Rome
Okumura Roshi speaks at European seminar: Sotoshu's European office held its annual seminar this month, focusing on bodhisattva vows and precepts. Okumura Roshi was one of the virtual speakers, along with Rev. Kenshu Sugawara, associate profession at Aichigakuin University, and Rev. Konjin Godwin, director of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center in San Francisco. Doju Layton provided technical assistance in Bloomington.
October work day: Following zazen and a brief talk from Hosshin Shoaf, sangha members spent the entire day taking care of the grounds and building exterior. The work was fueled by lunchtime pizzas donated by Avers Pizza.
Virtual dharma talk from Sotoshu: The denomination will host a talk in English by Rev. Kosai Ikeda on October 19 at 9 pm EDT. Q&A will follow. Rev. Ikeda is from Kenryuji in Yamagata and has visited Sanshin in the past to attend genzo-e. Download the event flyer:
Virtual genzo-e: Registration is open for the virtual November 4 - 9 genzo-e, in which Okumura Roshi will take up the "Baika" fascicle of the Shobogenzo. Complete information is here.
Rohatsu sesshin: Sanshin will return to a November 30 - December 8 Rohatsu sesshin this year. Fully vaccinated local practitioners will have the opportunity to practice in the zendo, while out-of-town practitioners who want to follow along from their homes will be able to do so virtually. Complete information is forthcoming. Please note that we are not yet encouraging guests to travel to Sanshin. Public health considerations continue to change, we have no accommodations available, and we have limited human resources to devote to taking care of guests.
Two new publications available: In Ryokan Interpreted, Okumura Roshi newly translates poems by Ryōkan and provides commentary on Ryōkan’s life and works. The book includes introductory material by Tonen O'Connor and David Thompson, photos by Hoko Karnegis and original art by Tomon Marr.
Also now available is the Japanese translation of Okumura Roshi's Realizing Genjokoan. It's a comprehensive introduction to the teachings and approach of Dogen Zenji through his important essay, Shobogenzo Genjokoan.
Video equipment updated: A new camera and microphones have been installed in the zendo, funded by a grant to the Dogen Institute from the Lenz Foundation. While the primary objective is to produce high quality recordings of Okumura Roshi's genzo-e talks, the new gear is also being used to make regular zendo practice such as morning zazen and liturgy and Sunday zazen and dharma talks available virtually. The installation was done by Nate Cushman in consultation with Hosshin Shoaf, who built cabinetry to house the system.
From President Mark Fraley: This month Sanshin Zen Community’s Board of Directors officially adopted a strategic plan that will enable our sangha to adapt and flourish over the long-term. The plan’s central elements include 1) the establishment of a residential practice program and 2) positioning Sanshin as a regional dharma center, serving practitioners from Bloomington and the surrounding area. This plan is the culmination of more than 18 months of collaborative engagement with nonprofit management consultants at TDC in Boston. The project was funded by a grant from the Still Water Foundation.
Now comes the real heavy lifting! We need to raise funds and carry out our work in a skillful, focused way. We are establishing several committees to help care for our sangha over the long-term. If you feel inclined to serve on a team that works on development, facilities, technology, or residential practice, please send me an e-mail. We deeply value your offering and appreciate your support.
This photo of the memorial monument at the Universidad de San Cristobal in Venezuela for Rev. Kaikyo Sara Roby, Dharma successor of Shohaku Okumura-Roshi, reached me recently by mail here in Hanover, Germany, from the hands of her former sangha in Venezuela. The story about that connection, in its short version, is as follows:
Kaikyo, whose mother was from Venezuela, was my beloved teacher before she entered the great transformation in November 2018 after a long illness. At that point in her life, she was living in Florida, USA, under the protection of her family. For about two years she had written texts as a Zen teacher for her German-speaking practitioners, which I published bilingually (German/English) in her memory as a book including an introduction (also available as an e-book): Crack the Wall - Texte der Zen-Meisterin Kaikyo Roby, BoD 2020. The interest in the texts led to their now being translated into Spanish: Texto de la Maestra Zen Kaikyo Roby - QUIEBRA EL MURO (Traducido al castellano por Hannah L. Migliavacca, a partir del texto en inglés, tal como aparece en la edición bilingüe (inglés-alemán) a cargo de Kyoku Barbara Lutz).
This is a great joy, since many people in Venezuela cannot cope adequately with the English language. This Spanish version has not been published yet, but can be requested as a file if you are interested.
In the spirit of Kaikyo, I would like to point out something: Kaikyo wished not to become the cause of any kind of "attachment out of grief" after her entrance into the great transformation. If people remembered her, it would be because she, Kaikyo, had done her best to preserve and pass on the DHARMA with full devotion. It is to this DHARMA that all practitioners should be committed, not to the transient phenomenon of Kaikyo or to any other transient person.
When I look at the wonderful monument, this goes through my mind. What a joy to have experienced Kaikyo and her teachings live! In the SILENCE we can meet her, just as she taught us. I feel deeply connected to the sangha in Venezuela and hope that the contact never breaks off!
Visit to Rome:Kenji Aoki from Chicago, a frequent participant in sesshin at Sanshin before the shutdown, made a visit to Centro Zen Anshin while in Rome. He joined the sangha for zazen and Daruma-Ki, the anniversary of Bodhidharma's death
Densho reports from Colombia: "For the first time in the history of Zen practice in our country, our temple has been listed on the official page of Sotoshu, as a formal practice temple outside Japan. The effort of our Community's sangha to maintain rigorous and traditional practice throughout these years has come to fruition with this recognition. Thank you to everyone who has supported us to make it possible."
More on Spanish language practice: Sanshin's Spanish-speaking sangha now has its own page on our website. The page includes information on our network member temples in Colombia and Venezuela as well as dharma resources available in Spanish.
And on our Francophone page: We've posted a French translation of Menzan's Jijuyu Zanmai from an original version in English by Okumura Roshi. The French translation was done by Pascal Normandin.
Doju to speak in Missouri: Confluence Zen Center in St. Louis has invited Doju to share some teachings on the Shobogenzo Zuimonki. For information on links to virtual practice, email the center.
Shoryu offers guest talks: As part of this weekend's Zoom sesshin from Cedar Rapids (IA) Zen Center, Shoryu will be discussing "The Core Teaching of All Buddhas: Practicing with the Three Pure Precepts." Shoryu is the founder of Gyobutsuji in Kingston, AR. For information on attending, email Gyobutsuji.
For complete information about Sanshin and our style of practice, visit our homepage.
In This Issue:
Okumura Roshi: The spring within a cold flower; a heron in the moonlight
Practice recap: Okumura Roshi speaks at European seminar, October work day
Coming up: Virtual dharma talk from Sotoshu, virtual November genzo-e, Rohatsu sesshin
Other news: Two new publications available, video equipment updated, news from the board president
Sanshin Network: Remembering Kaikyo Roby, visit to Rome, Densho reports from Colombia, more on Spanish lanugage practice, French translation of Jijuyu Zammai, Doju to speak in Missouri, Shoryu offers guest talks
Are we reaching you?
Do we have the best and most current contact information for you? If you've changed your e-mail address or moved to a new place of residence, or if we've never had complete information about how to reach you, it's time to update your record. Please take a moment to go here to send us the contact information you'd like us to use. We'll check it against your current record and update as needed. Don't miss any of the upcoming communications from Sanshin -- update your info today!
Our newsletter is posted once a month. Sign up for our mailing list to get notifications of new issues.