Zen 101

Monday, February 25, 2013

Zendo Closing

With Palms together,

Good Morning Everyone,

It is with regret and deep sorrow that I announce the closing of the Clear Mind Zen Temple effective the third week of April after Hannamatsuri Sesshin. I will ask our landlord to release us from the lease (it ends anyway in August). In accordance with our by-laws, I will retain all ceremonial objects and altars. I will also retain one tan. The rest of the tans will be discarded unless anyone locally would like to have a tan. In addition, I have a number of altars and other objects made by my teacher, Rev. Hogaku McGuire. These are available to any who wish to come and retrieve them. None of his Dharma heirs have chosen to do so, so I am making them available to the public. Whatever is left after 30 days will be discarded. Please let me know if any of you want a tan or to look at what may be available to you to support your practice.

I will be in Personal Retreat at the Zendo from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon. Remember, Zazenkai is this coming Saturday. I will post the schedule shortly.

The Order itself will continue, but not as a non-profit corporation. We will simply be a religious Order of priests and priests-in-training practicing Engaged Zen. Both Rev. Shukke Shin and I will continue to teach the students we have and will continue to accept students. Dana to teachers will be expected. Rev. Shukke Shin and I will practice out of our residence. We welcome any who wish to practice with us.

Personal note: This decision has many roots and we have been considering it for months. Over the years I have had to make up the rent and other expenses myself most months. I felt good doing that for the most part, because I had faith that eventually the Sangha would be self-supporting. This has simply not been the case. Attendance is down and remains low. In the end, however, I will say that the primary cause of my decision is the evident lack of Sangha cohesion and mutual support of each other as Sangha. We have talked about Sangha often. We take refuge in Sangha. Yet this vow must be more than words, it is action and as a Sangha, we do not act like a Sangha. This was made painfully clear to me when yesterday only Rev. Dai Shugyo, Rev. Shukke Shin and one friend were able to make themselves available to support me as we went through a memorial service for my deceased brother. Many emailed me their reasons for not attending and I understand them. Still, I am deeply hurt. I do not ask for much from members and offer myself to all those in need. It has been rare that I have not been willing and able to set aside my own needs to meet the needs of others at a moment’s notice. This is what Sangha is all about. So, quite frankly, illnesses aside, it was hurtful that Sangha members could not for one morning set their own needs aside to be in support of me during this very emotionally painful period in my life. This is all I will say on the subject.

Be well.

Post a Comment