September at-home retreat: A few local sangha members dropped in for parts of the retreat as Hoko and Hosshin carried out the regular activities of Sanshin-style sesshin and virtual practitioners participated from home. It was the first time since the pandemic shutdown that practitioners joined them in the zendo, and everyone was masked and brought and prepared his or her own meals. It's another step toward fully resuming the practice we were holding before the pandemic. The next sesshin will be held in honor of Rohatsu in December; the length and participation opportunities are as yet undecided as public health conditions continue to change.
Getting Started: Our free introductory session, Getting Started in Zen Practice, has resumed. Doju Layton and Mark Myogen Ahlstrom offer it in person on the first Tuesday evening of the month and virtually on the third. The session covers the basics of zazen, some core teachings of Soto Zen, and the elements of Sanshin style.
Work morning: Second Sunday mornings are now devoted to communal work following a few dharma remarks by work leader Hosshin Shoaf. This month the sangha took on overgrown planting beds and walking paths and in just a couple of hours made a lot of progress on cleaning things up under the direction of Doju Layton. More photos are posted on our Facebook page.
Joint practice with Minnesota Zen Center (Sep 19): Zazen (10:10 am) and dharma talk (11 am) by Okumura Roshi on Ryokan and his poems. Note one-time-only change to Sunday schedule and link.
European conference postponed: The weekend conference set for early October in Belgium that would have brought together the European members of the Sanshin Network, the European Sokan and Okumura Roshi and Hoko has been postponed until travel conditions and public health considerations make that a safer and more manageable event. Eighteen people from six countries had been set to attend.
Work day (Oct 10): Following zazen and some brief dharma remarks, we'll spend the entire day working together to take care of our buildings and grounds. Lunch will be provided. Work is one of the key activities of our practice, the other two being zazen and dharma study. Work takes our practice off the cushion and into the world.
Ryaku Fusatsu: (Oct 18, 7 pm): Everyone is welcome to participate in our ceremony of renewing our aspiration to follow the precepts, whether or not you've formally made vows.
From the President: Mark Fraley notes that diversity and inclusion are among the topics receiving the attention of Sanshin's board of directors, as well as the activation of a variety of committees dedicated to carrying out elements of the emerging strategic plan.
At Sanshin Zen Community, we remain committed to nurturing zazen, work, and study as the foundational elements of our practice. Doing so requires careful collaboration on the part of practitioners, clergy, and sangha leadership. Sanshin’s board of directors and practice leaders have initiated a coordinated effort to ensure that we carry out our mission in an inclusive and sustainable manner.
A central aspect of our ongoing partnership is a meaningful reflection on the diversity of our sangha and a renewed commitment to break down any barriers to inclusion that affect our dharma community. We will continue to engage sangha friends on these important matters and welcome your input as we deepen our discernment.
We are also working to sustain our sangha over the long-term. To do this, we are activating several working committees that will carry out different aspects of Sanshin’s strategic aims. These committees include a Development Committee, Facilities Committee, Residential Program Committee, Technology Committee, and an Ethics and Reconciliation Committee. We need as much help as we can get to strengthen our commitment to zazen, work, and study in a rapidly changing environment. If you are interested in serving on any of these committees, please send me an email.
Seeking the next treasurer: Current treasurer Gene Elias has agreed to remain in office until his successor can be found, but that can't go on indefinitely. If you or someone you know has business experience, can read basic financial documents and would be willing to join our board of directors to offer your services, please contact Mark Fraley The treasurer is not responsible for day-to-day bookkeeping but does supervise the administrative assistant who carries out these functions. The board meets virtually on the evening of the fourth Sunday of the month.
For complete information about Sanshin and our style of practice, visit our homepage.