Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Crest of the Wave March 2023 Sesshin
Friday, March 3, 2023
Falling Here Sesshin
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Leaving the SZBA
https://worcesterzen.org/authorization-transmission-ordination/#ordination. And here is the first paragraph of that section:
"Priests vow to manifest the life of the sangha. Ordination is a commitment not only to Zen and Buddhism, but also to our particular manifestation of the Path within the Boundless Way Zen sangha. This means taking on tasks of support and leadership that can range from shoveling snow at the Temple to being a member of the Leadership Council, from leading a sitting group to being a chaplain in the larger community. An unsui (clouds-and-water) priest may perform all the rites of the Boundless Way, including performing marriages and conducting funerals. An unsui priest may also serve in the larger community in a variety of ministerial capacities."
I end this post with the letter that I sent explaining my resignation, written and submitted together with my teacher James Ford and one of my students, David Caruso:
All of us who have signed below have had misgivings about our place within the Soto Zen Buddhist Association for a number of years. Beyond a nostalgic sense of identity with the historic Soto transmission and fondness for many individuals involved, we do not see an alignment with either the larger vision of the organization, nor its expectations for membership.
Triggered by the recent suspension of a member, we began discussing our relationship with the SZBA, and why we remain members. Each of us have different feelings about it, but we come to the same basic conclusion.
Our lack of alignment stems from our perception of an expanding list of expectations starting with formation requirements which we do not expect from our students, and extending to what are considered ethical violations that seem at once both overly broad and randomly specific. After consulting with our formal and informal dharma family, we have come to the conclusion that it is time to leave.
Please accept this as our formal resignation from membership within the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.
Rev. James Myōun Ford, Empty Moon Zen
Rev. Melissa Myōzen Blacker, Boundless Way Zen Temple
Rev. David Shunyo Caruso, Boundless Way Zen Temple
Friday, January 27, 2023
Sweeping the Path Sesshin
|Some of the attendees at the January Sesshin|
Monday, January 9, 2023
Healing and Receiving
And then, the Friday before Christmas, my husband David Dae An Rynick, Roshi, was in a car accident in New Jersey during a powerful storm, as he was traveling from Pennsylvania where he had been visiting his mother. He has a fractured sternum and some bruises, and our car was totaled. We managed to get him home that night and I'm glad he’s alive!
Following that, on Christmas day, my brother Stephen died unexpectedly. David and I are both grieving and healing, emotionally and physically. I have slowly returned to teaching, supported by the Dharma Holders and Senior Assistant Teachers of Boundless Way Zen who have stepped in to offer talks and dokusan. We are so grateful to everyone in the sangha who has reached out to us by phone, email, and text. A number of people have offered the use of their car, offered to shop, sent flowers, bought groceries, and made and delivered meals. We truly feel that we are surrounded by love and compassion.
And this weekend I taught a sesshin on Zoom with David going in and out as he was able, partnered with Dharma Holder Alan Richardson and assisted by Dharma Holder Michael Herzog.
I am truly grateful for my good fortune that has given us the opportunity to heal and receive from friends, family and our amazing Zen community.