Sangha News for February 2023
Growth of oneness
New articles by Okumura Roshi: The latest issue of Dharma Eye at includes two articles by Okumura Roshi. One is about the precepts and the other is about the Kannon fascicle of the Shobogenzo. See the issue for free here.
Work days: The sangha held two work days over the last month, mainly devoted to painting in the stairwell and continued finishing work in the zendo as well as general groundskeeping. There's a lot to do to get ready for the ango and for the anniversary and leadership transition activities happening this spring and summer. Everyone is welcome at work days, which generally happen on the second Sunday of the month.
Five-day sesshin in honor of Uchiyama Roshi (March 7 - 12): Sesshin will be held as usual but will end with a memorial service for Uchiyama Roshi, who died on March 13, 1998. Uchiyama Roshi is one of the most important influences on Sanshin's practice today. For links to works by and about him, go to this page.
Ango (April 3 - July 9): Ango, or practice period, is an opportunity to focus a bit more intensively on our practice and perhaps to make a commitment to ourselves to stretch a little -- to sit a little more, attend a little more frequently, learn something new or take on a particular activity. We invite you to consider how you might deepen your practice during this time.
Ango at Sanshin is designed to include the three activities of our practice: zazen, work and study. This three-month period includes sesshin, genzo-e, the precepts retreat and several work days in addition to our regular daily and weekly practice.
During ango we have the additional leadership of a shuso, or head novice, who takes on various responsibilities in the sangha as an opportunity to develop clergy skills. Our shuso for this ango is Shinko Hagn from Vienna, who was ordained by Hoko in 2019. His theme for the ango is Four Embracing Actions. He will be supporting our practice and we will be supporting his growth as a leader. Shinko will be giving a series of nine Sunday talks, serving as doshi for monthly World Peace ceremonies, serving as ino for monthly ryaku fusatsu ceremonies, assisting with sesshin and retreats, and working with the sangha in myriad other ways while he's in residence here. In June, we will recognize the coming completion of his term as shuso with two ceremonies in which he will demonstrate his dharma mastery to the sangha and his readiness to teach and serve independently.
Lay precepts: Three places remain in the runup to this year's jukai-e activities with Hoko, set for July 9. If you're considering sewing a rakusu and taking lay precepts at Sanshin this year, it's time to finish your discernment and make a decision about whether or not to go forward. If the answer is yes, go to this page to learn more about the process, the required retreats and other information, and to submit your request to participate.
Colombia's first official Soto Zen temple: Okumura Roshi and Shoryu Bradley were on hand at Comunidad Soto Zen de Colombia in Bogota for Densho Quintero's shinsanshiki, or mountain seat ceremony. A shinsanshiki marks the official installation of the abbot of a temple, and these events were part of the official establishment and recognition of the temple within Sotoshu. The community includes ten novices ordained by Densho and also has practice centers in Medellín, Armenia and Salento, and in Caracas, Venezuela. See more photos and a press release on the sangha's Facebook page.
Zuise around the network: Onryu Kennedy, who received dharma transmission from Eido Reinhart in Minnesota in 2021, has completed zuise ceremonies at Sotoshu's two head temples, Eiheiji and Sojiji, in Japan. The ceremonies are required for official recognition and authorization by the denomination as a dharma teacher. Kyoku Lutz (Germany), who received transmission from Hoko in 2020, and Mokusho Depreay (Belgium), who received transmission from Okumura Roshi in 2022, are making plans to complete their zuise ceremonies within the next few months. There has been a tremendous waiting list for zuise for some time due to the pandemic, and now that travel to Japan is possible once again our network members can carry out their training and credentialing.
Hoko in Europe: Hoko spent a week each in Vienna and Hannover visiting and working with the leaders and sanghas of Daijihi and Fruhligsmond Zendo. In addition to regular daily practice, several rounds of sightseeing and fellowship activities, she participated in a special ceremony in each place. In Vienna, joined by Doryu and Gyoetsu from Anshin Centro Anshin in Italy, sangha leaders held a little purification and blessing ceremony on the land which will shortly become the site of a campus containing a new temple as well as housing for people making the transition from incarceration or homelessness. In Hannover, joined by Shoju and Shogen from Zendo L'eau Vive in France, sangha members held a brief ceremony at Aegidienkirche, which was bombed during WWII, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Daijihi is led by Shinko Hagn, who was ordained as a novice by Hoko in 2019. Fruligsmond Zendo is led by Kyoku Lutz, who received dharma transmission from Hoko in 2020.
For complete information about Sanshin and our style of practice, visit our homepage.
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