Dear Member of STO,

Warm New Year’s Greetings! Your ongoing support and participation in STO is deeply appreciated. The mutual support and relationships cultivated through this association is very important to our efforts to share the Buddha’s wisdom and understanding.

2012 was a very significant year for STO, as we honored our lineage founder by celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Zengaku Soyu Matsuoka Roshi’s birth. A great deal has been done to deepen our understanding of Matsuoka Roshi’s Zen teachings, from the collection and publishing of his lectures, ongoing work on his archive, monthly study via Skype led by Taiun Roshi, memorial celebrations of Founder's Month during November, and most importantly, efforts to make zen instruction and practice available throughout North America.

STO continues to be focused on Zen practice, establishing best practices which echo the efforts of our founder and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association. We are making strides in our fundraising efforts to establish monetary stability within the Silent Thunder Order, and establishing functional relationships between practice leaders of all affiliates including the Training Center in Atlanta.

This year a Fundraising Committee has been formed to mature our annual fundraising process. This includes organizing the annual Membership Drive (inviting disciples to opt into full active membership and pay dues for the year as well as lend their talents and effort on the STO Board of Directors and its committees), planning the Annual Pledge Drive, and special Founders Month activities.

For 2013, STO full member dues are $100. We encourage your full active participation by becoming full voting members. Please click on the STO Annual Member Dues Donate button below:


OR, send a check made out to "STO Dues" to the following address:

(STO Treasurer / Jerry Smyers / 25364 Old US Highway 93 / Dayton MT 59914)

Please make your payment by March 21st, 2013. Your full member dues contributions will provide vital support to continue the efforts of STO and fund ongoing operating expenses. The STO is officially a non-profit charitable organization (501c3). Please let us know if the dues amount creates a hardship. 

In addition, we welcome your active efforts in support of STO initiatives. Please feel free to contact us at any time. The STO Board is interested in hearing your concerns, comments, and suggestions. Areas of focus have already arisen and wewill be establishing joint chair positions to share workload, (Are you willing to help?) improve efficiency, and make best use of the talents within our Order. Your assistance and suggestions toward this and other ways of developing improved communications between affiliate groups are appreciated. Please keep them coming and let's all keep in touch.

Updates on further Board and committee work will be forthcoming throughout the year.

With deep gratitude for your continued support of STO


STO Board of Directors and Abbot