Wednesday, October 6, 2021
As we journey more deeply into the pandemic, our virtual sesshin grow ever more deep and illuminating. Thanks to our tanto and registrar Jenny Smith, assistant tanto Rev. Paul Galvin, and the officer team of Rev. Corwyn Miyagishima, Michael Herzog and Pierce Butler, and the team of teachers: Bob Waldinger, Sensei, David Rynick, Roshi and myself, we opened our hearts to the sound of the raindrops. Deep gratitude to everyone who participated!
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Monday, June 14, 2021
Sunday, May 9, 2021
here on Youtube.
Now that he is ordained, Corwyn can perform marriages and lead funerals and memorial services, like any clergy person. As an "unsui" or "clouds and waters" priest, he has taken a vow to devote his life to being of service to the sangha, and to all beings. He is not yet a Zen teacher, but functions in countless ways to support our community. You can read more about what it means to be a Boundless Way priest, and the distinction between teacher and priest here.
Corwyn's ordination name, Ryūdõ, means "dragon hall", and is the family name I give to all those I have the privilege to ordain. Kinzan, his first Zen name, means "joyful mountain."
As we say in our ordination ceremony: "The way is perfect like vast space, where there’s no lack and no excess; the person who does not realize this wanders lost in a world of confusion and hurt, while the person who realizes the way is immediately at home."
Welcome home, Ryūdõ Kinzan!
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Our April Distant Temple Bell online sesshin (Zen retreat) finished up yesterday and here is the screen shot of most of our participants taken by our tanto (head seat) Corwyn Miyagishima. He was joined in running the sesshin by Senior Assistant Teacher Alan Richardson as assistant tanto, along with Jenny Smith and Adam Monty as officers. David Dae An Rynick Roshi and I were the teachers, assisted by Senior Assistant Teacher Rev. Paul Galvin and Senior Assistant Teacher Michael Herzog. Corwyn named the retreat after a story told in one of the talks about a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who, while scattering away a big pile of gold dust, said "All the world is gold to me!" From the evidence of the bright faces in the photo, each shining with their own light, that's easy to see.
Our next sesshin will be held online June 11 -- 13. Stay tuned for information about this and other events by joining our mailing list at Boundless Way Temple. Happy Spring everyone!
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Westron wynde, when wyll thow blow
The smalle rayne downe can rayne?
Cryst yf my love were in my armys,
And I yn my bed agayne!
--Anonymous (16th centruy)
Last night the wind howled everywhere around the Temple, moving trees and downing branches. The wind chill temperature reached down to -20 F (-30 C). When the power went out briefly around midnight and then returned, the energy surge rang the doorbell and made all the appliances that beep make their small insistent sounds.
My thoughts, as I tried to get back to sleep, drifted back to seeing my first Zen teacher, during a similar late winter windstorm at a sesshin, out on the porch that surrounded the zendo. He was standing still, looking out over the forest that surrounded the little temple that we had rented for the retreat. I went out to stand next to him, and we stayed that way for a while. As he left, he whispered the poem that begins this writing, but in modern English: "Oh Western Wind, when will you blow, the small rain down can rain? Christ if my live were in my arms and I in my bed again."
It's a poem of longing, for the western wind to blow winter away, to bring the spring rains, to return to the intimacy of the comfort of a companion and a warm bed. I don't really know what my teacher, now long dead, was thinking, but I remember that moment vividly in my own heart, as an expression of the power of a strong wind to blow away whatever must go -- not just in the natural world, where we can feel the power of a winter wind, but also in our minds and hearts, burdened by distress and sorrow.
Ultimately, everything must go, even this season of uncertainty that envelopes the planet. What will come next? For now, we trust that it will be spring soon, but beyond that, who knows?