Sangha News for December 2021
Please note that Sanshin will be closed for the following holidays and regular practice will not be held.
Technology and facilities committees seeking members: Sanshin needs your skills to help us spread the dharma. We are in particular need of people with technological understanding to help 1) assess hardware and software needs 2) develop new technological tools and leverage existing ones to enhance our infrastructure and 3) store, archive, and maintain works created by Okumura Roshi. If this meets your skillset, we encourage you to inquire about participating on our technology committee.
We also need people to help the sangha make best possible use of its facilities and assess possibilities for expanding our Bloomington campus. If you have knowledge of architecture, construction, building trades or space planning, we encourage you to enquire about our facilities committee.
All interested parties are encouraged to reach out to board chair Mark Fraley to find out more information.
Gifts of calligraphy: Bloomington resident Woody McGee has given several pieces of calligraphy to Sanshin, items he acquired in Japan many years ago. A large framed copy of the Hannya Shingyo now hangs in the stairway on the way to the zendo. Additional pieces of cursive calligraphy have also been added to Sanshin's collection.
Okumura Roshi podcast available: Sanshin's founder talked informally with David Chadwick on this podcast in late November.
January sesshin (6 - 9): Sesshin at Sanshin is an opportunity to practice without distraction. We set aside the usual activities -- or entertainments -- of temple life, like work periods, meetings with teachers and dharma talks, and focus completely on zazen. We practice in complete silence following a 4 am to 8 pm daily schedule that consists simply of thirteen 50-minute periods of zazen with one-hour periods for meals and a bit of personal time. This sesshin-without-toys style of practice was created by our founder's teacher, Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, and practiced at Antaji in Kyoto, Japan. We carry on and offer this tradition of our lineage here at Sanshin. More information about in-personal participation for local practitioners and virtual participation for others is here.
Austria COVID update: Shinko Hagn from Daijihi sends this report of life and practice in Vienna during a time of repeated lockdowns.
We are in the middle of the 5th full lockdown in Vienna for three weeks now, all shops are closed, with the exception of pharmacies and supermarkets. Hotels and restaurants are closed, too. There is a 24/7 curfew, leaving the apartment is allowed only for working, walking, and taking care of relatives. There are a lot of police patrols and high fines. In addition, compulsory vaccination has been announced for everyone over the age of 14 from February on, the law has already been sent out for assessment. There will be high fines and prison sentences for those who are not willing to vaccinate. This 5th lockdown was decided practically overnight and is a real shock for many. In addition, we have had the 3rd Chancellor (the highest political position) within two months and none of the last two were elected.
This harshness of the measures and the way all of this is communicated is difficult to understand for anybody who does not live in Austria. This enormous pressure that is built up here does something to everyone, people feel more and more paralyzed, it’s a burden many cannot carry much longer. I don't know how people can live their lives under these circumstances without practice. We keep our zendo open, religious practice is allowed and a few courageous people come, too. Our prison chaplaincy currently consists of phone calls and letter writing. In addition, we support a constantly growing group of people with guided meditations, which is very helpful for many in this situation. We try to help wherever we can.
A time of great challenge, a tremendous practice.
For complete information about Sanshin and our style of practice, visit our homepage.
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