Save the Date! STO Precepts Retreat and Annual Conference will be held on July 13th through the 17th! Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!
Reminder: Friday May 6th is First Friday Festival at Zonolite. It is also ASZC's Annual Homecoming and Open House! Plan to attend and bring your family and friends. Music, great food and even a circus! Watch for more details to follow.
CloudDharma Study Group Discussions of Soto Zen: An Introduction to Zazen continue in April with Shobogenzo Zuimonki on page 81 and ending with the Robe Verse on page 101. Click here for more information.
DharmaByte - Primary Anger
by Taiun Michael Elliston-roshi
When I received a note suggesting the issue indicated by the title as a subject for this essay, at first I did not know which primary entity was the target of the anger the person confessed. Primary what? A Significant Other? A First Cause? It slowly dawned on me that the Presidential Primaries must be the culprit. This should not be taken to imply that I am so out of it — blissed out, or losing gray matter — that I am not keenly aware of the elephant in the room, trumpeting on to 1600 Pennsylvania, and trampling everything in its way in the process. It is just that the English Language (see Anguish Languish; Howard L. Chase) is such, that a word like primary can mean a lot of things, functioning as a noun, an adjective, or a title. Anyway, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.
We in Zen (isn't that a chummy expression) are not supposed to "indulge in anger," as the Precept would have it. So when we feel anger building, with only the vaguest notion of the real reasons why, and with everyone around us being infected with the same virus, we are conflicted, to say the least. Especially when the debate, excuse the expression, has sunk to such a new level. At least we have not been treated to sextings of nude body parts — not yet.
STO Featured Affiliate
Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha (FSZS)
Falmouth, Cape Cod Massachusetts
Our Sangha began in 2010. Tuesday night is our weekly service. We usually have 6-8 people. Tuesday mornings we sit on the beach in Falmouth at 6:30 AM beginning April 5. I also teach meditation at 10AM to members of the Senior Center in Falmouth with 8-10 people attending so Tuesdays are a full day. In addition I teach meditation for men and then women in separate addictions centers,10-20 on Wednesday and Friday and visit one member of our Sangha who is house bound for Dokusan. Twice a month I do Dokusan with a member who lives in Wisconsin. In addition to quarterly sesshin we have a monthly Buddhism Book Bunch that meet eight months a year usually 5-6 of us. In a given month we share the Dharma with 135-145 people.
In April we celebrate Hanamatsuri with "Buddha's Birthday Bash" with flowers, bathing the Buddha, and the Practice Leader ( a Cambodian tradition) along with cake and ice cream. One of our quarterly zazenkai will also take place this month-Spring on the Cape.
This is a photo of the Han created by members of the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha. Jikai-san Ivan Lima built the block using three layers of laminated wood. He also attached the roles allowing the Han to hang from a support,
or to be placed flat and struck. The Layout design was created by Karen Zimmerman. The Han was blessed with water and incense with each member reading the message and striking it three times...
FSZS Blessing of the Han by Unshin Sangaku Dan Joslyn
"May this Sangha's merit exist beyond the breaking of the Han"
Please visit us when you can!
Atlanta Soto Zen Center, Atlanta, Georgia (founded 1977)
Atlantic Soto Zen Center, Dalhousie Multifaith Centre, Halifax NS Canada
Buddhist Philosophies NCSU Campus Group, Raleigh North Carolina
Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha, Falmouth, Massachusetts
High Plains Zen Ness City, Kansas
Iqaluit Soto Zen Group Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
Jacksville Soto Zen Meditation Group, Jacksville, Florida
Memphis Zen Community Memphis, Tennessee
Mission Mountain Zen Group Dayton, Montana
Nashville Zen Center Nashville, Tennessee
Ottawa Soto Zen Ottawa, Canada
Sakura-ji Creston, British Columbia Phone - 250-428-6500
Savannah Zen Center, Savannah, Georgia
Southwind Sangha Soto Zen Buddhist Assoication Wichita, Kansas
Treehouse Sangha Troy and Cohoes, New York
Wire Grass Soto Zen Group, Headland AL
Zen Group of Chattanooga Chattanooga, Tennessee