Silent Thunder Order October Newsletter
heungrunsa templeHeungrunsa Temple, Incheon, South Korea submitted by Mitsugo Liz Lawlor
We are soliciting submissions of your photos for inclusion in this spot each issue - please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

kuya-zenkuUndo Kuya and Zenku

kuya-groupphoto1Mission Mountain Ohigan Sesshin Group Photo

group-photo-2Mission Mountain Ohigan Sesshin Group Photo

Shukke Tokudo (Ordination) Ceremony in Montana

On Sunday, September 25, following a five day Ohigan Sesshin led by Zenku Jerry Smyers at the Mission Mountain Zen affiliate, Kuya Minogue of our Sakuraji affiliate received her new Ordination name "Undo" (Cloud Path), her robe and her bowls from Unsui Zenku in a Shukke Tokudo Ceremony. The ceremony was attended by sixteen people, eight of whom travelled to the Mission Mountain Zen Centre from Creston Canada, one who came from California and one from Illinois. Local students also attended.

Undo Kuya will be doing an ango with Reb Anderson at Green Gulch Farm starting October 11 and ending December 17, 2016.

Congratulations Undo Kuya,

STO Study Opportunities

Nov 30 - Dec 7 2014

Sesshin means to unify or expound the Mind. It offers a unique opportunity to deepen practice and training in an intensive immersion into zazen (shikantaza).
The annual Rohatsu Sesshin is unique in that we sit up all night the last day in observance of Buddha's Enlightenment. We will be practicing at the Zonolite training center.

Elliston Sensei will lead a series of informal discussions on experience during zazen, and will offer daily dokusan, time TBD.

Please attend any or all of the retreat days as you are able. You can select the specific days you would like to attend. Fees are $50 ($45 for supporting members) per full day and $15 for overnight accommodations.

ASZC is on Mixlr! Download the app or connect on your computer to hear live streaming Dharma talks at ASZC. Those connecting on Mixlr can participate in the discussion by messaging. If you aren't able to listen to the live streaming talk, the recordings can be accessed. Click on the link below and search for Atlanta Soto Zen Center.(Mixlr link)

Cloud Dharma Tuesday Skype Discussion Group
Cloud Dharma study group is currently reading and discussing Just This Is It: Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness by Taigen Dan Leighton.
Click here to learn how to participate.

Residency Opportunity
STO offeres residency opportunities at Atlanta Soto Zen Center. Please contact Zammai Lawrell Studstill (cell 404-867-4408; email;This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.

Dharma Byte
by Taiun Michael Elliston Roshi
insomniaInsomnia is widely recognized as a significant medical problem, if only because it helps sell pills and therapies. From an article in the New York Times (NYT) by Austin Frakt, The Evidence Points to a Better Way to Fight Insomnia:

When it comes to insomnia, comparative effectiveness studies reveal that sleep medications aren't the best bet for a cure, despite what the commercials say. Several clinical trials have found that they're outperformed by cognitive behavioral therapy.

Note that fighting insomnia is implied in the title, as the only alternative. The need to fight insomnia, however, may be regarded as a cultural, as opposed to a natural, need. If you were living in the jungle, you would need to stay awake, or to sleep, for quite different reasons, and on an entirely different schedule, than you need to do if you have a job with regular hours. A personal pet peeve is the cavalier use of evidence. While it lends an air of credibility, the resort to claiming evidence conjures up the well-known quagmire of claims and counter-claims to be found in other studies. My personal situation vis-a-vis sleep allows me to follow the old Zen maxim, from The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra:

When Po-chang was asked to define [sic] Zen, he said, "When hungry, eat, when tired, sleep." Although this sounds simple and obvious, like so much in Zen, it is in fact quite a difficult task. To regain the naturalness of our original nature requires long training and constitutes a great spiritual [sic] achievement.

Because I no longer have to show up at a given time every business day, or take care of my personal business in my "off" hours, I now enjoy flex-time in terms of my daily sleep routine. (I am writing this at 3:00 in the morning). One of the great luxuries in life is never having to use an alarm clock. Amongst other influences in my developmental years, the sleep-work patterns of Thomas Edison, who took catnaps around the clock, and R. Buckminster Fuller, who flew around the world so frequently that he was in his own time zone, convinced me of the arbitrariness of our society's agreed-upon norm. Further, research on historical sleep patterns, and those in other cultures, reveals that two periods of sleep per night, with an interim waking and socializing period, as well as siestas during the afternoon when it is hot outdoors, may be more natural than one extended snore. Experiments in underground environments, where people typically revert to a 25-hour circadian rhythm, reinforced my suspicion that the medical establishment's standards for healthy sleep are societally skewed.

Read More.....

Affiliates Listing
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 ZenNess City, Kansas
Iqaluit Soto Zen GroupIqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
Jacksville Soto Zen Meditation Group,Jacksville, Florida
Memphis Zen CommunityMemphis, Tennessee
Mission Mountain Zen GroupDayton, Montana
Nashville Zen Center
Nashville, Tennessee
Ottawa Soto ZenOttawa, Canada
Sakura-jiCreston, British Columbia Phone - 250-428-6500
Savannah Zen Center, Savannah, Georgia
Southwind Sangha Soto Zen Buddhist AssoicationWichita, Kansas
Treehouse SanghaTroy and Cohoes, New York
Wire Grass Soto Zen Group, Headland AL
Zen Group of ChattanoogaChattanooga, Tennesse