Febuary 2015 Newsletter

Words from Ejo

Ninth Precept:  Not Being Angry

it's not as if I didn't know
how the truth pushes up from the belly
gets caught in the chest
white heat at the crown
spitting fire

it's not as if I didn't know
that thunderous drum that knocks over
each stiffened body with watery eyes
to the cloudless sky
energetic and alone

it's not as if I didn't know
when she told me
text books hugged tight to her chest
waiting for the class to go
"Sensei, it isn't fair how you yell at us."

it's not as if I didn't know
that knowing isn't enough


Precepts Class

Series of six Tuesdays 2/15 - 3/31

It is said that meditation and ethics are "One Thusness". While these two aspects of Buddhist practice seem to speak to different issues, they are both simply the brightness of an awakened mind. To study the Buddha way through meditation naturally leads to ethical inquiry and, in our tradition, the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts are the gateway.  In this class, we will encounter the teachings of these precepts and explore how they can enliven each of us and our communities. No registration is necessary and drop-ins are welcome.

March Sesshin
March 11 - 15, 2015

Sesshin means "to gather the mind." In the Zen tradition, extended periods of silent meditation are undertaken to focus and deepen our practice.

As conducted at Butsugenji, sesshin centers around 40 minute periods of zazen, alternating with 10 minute periods of kinhin, walking meditation. Samu, work practice, occurs once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Meals are ceremonial and are served in the zendo. Sanzen, private meetings with the priest, occur at intervals. Dharma talks are given occasionally during zazen.

These activities model daily life and, when conducted in Noble Silence, are an opportunity to practice attention while functioning in the world-off-the-cushion. Extended group practice solidifies the sangha and the energy generated supports the temple.

If you are interested in attending sesshin, please register using the registration forms available at the zendo You may attend all or part of the sesshin. Please arrive and depart during breaks, kinhin, or work periods. It is fine to drop in at any time for zazen or service without registering, but if you will be attending meals or work practice, please pre-register to allow us to make space and food calculations. It is best to register as far in advance as possible and to be clear beforehand about which portions you will attend and which you will not.

Sleeping accommodations are available; please bring your own linens or sleeping bag, and towels. Meals are vegetarian; if you have allergies, please make note of that when registering. Bring work clothes and rain gear if you are able to work outside. Please do not bring clocks, watches, devices, books, or journals.

All the temple activities, including sesshin, are offered at no charge. Your generous donations are appreciated.

If you would like to offer an evening meal of soup and bread, please let Ejo know. Offerings for the snack table are also welcome; cheese, crackers, fruit, and nuts are appreciated as much as sweets.


Fusatsu is the ceremony of Atonement and is done at the Buddha Eye Temple once a month on the evening of the full moon.  This ceremony provides us with an opportunity to experience the deep nurturing of ritual.  The Fusatsu ceremony happens without any underpinning of explanation and provides us with the opportunity experience ritual in a clear and direct way.
We arrive, offer incense, do zazen, Ejo offers incense and we do personal atonement either openly or silently.  Ejo then takes the high seat and we do essentially the Precept Ceremony .

Fusatsu is an opportunity to renew our vows and be reminded of the Precepts and their functioning in our everyday lives.
In doing Fusatsu each month we can review our lives, look deeply in ourselves and ask: What do I want to atone for?, Where has my behavior been incongruent with my intention? Where have I not been aware and behaved from old conditioned responses?
The importance of ritual lies also in the shared experience ....we join with one another and in this way the ceremony expresses our compassion with self and other.

I find Fusatsu the most effecting and beautiful of the ceremonies that we do at the Zendo.  What happens is not just about me or any one individual but is about us being supported by the Dharma in our intention on the Path.
I hope to gather with you for Fusatsu on March 5, the night of the full moon.

- Jun-e

Board Report

The primary work the Zendo board did at our February meeting was to solidify the budget for 2015.  It is similar to our 2014 budget with a modest increase in total expenditures for a total budget of $66,000 for the year, which is up a couple of thousand dollars from last year.

We discussed solidifying the budget for the residency program as Sogaku will be retuning in the fall and two others are likely to join the postulancy program at that time.

 We also discussed the serious need we have for a new computer for the office  as we are working on a 2003 model.  We would like to buy a new Apple desktop sometime this year if funds allow.

Work on the construction project  and budgets was discussed and seems to be in line with funds available as we move into the final stretch.


Embracing Practice Workshops

"Embracing Practice" is a two-hour workshop offered once a month during Practice Term, as a follow-up for those who have already been introduced to the practice of zazen -- either throughSunday morning orientation, or at the Tuesday evening "Intro to Zazen" class. The workshop provides an opportunity for newcomers to investigate their intentions and their inspirations. Through a mix of short readings, shared practice (sitting, walking, chanting), and plenty of time for conversation and sharing, participants will be invited to explore the embodied tradition of Zen: the postures of body, breath and mind with which fellow travelers have embraced the path of awakening. (This workshop may be attended more than once.)Mar 7, Apr 4 and May 16 at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Myobun: myobun@me.com

New Sangha Directory

The first version of the Sangha Directory has been emailed out.  If you did't receive a copy and would like to be in it, please email your contact information to Jikie at jikiepeterson@gmail.com.  If you believe you should have received a copy but didn't, it is probably due to a typo in your email address.  Email your correct information to Jikie and she will fix the error.

Practice Positions Available

We are still looking for two bodhisattvas interested in being trained for two available practice positions. One is a chiden position, which is responsible for altar care, helping to preparing for ceremonies, and cleaning incense ash. We are also looking for someone to take responsibility for the tea & coffee kitchen and setup on Sunday morning. Please contact Kogen at krummholzpine@gmail.com

March Work Party

Sangha work parties are on the fourth Sunday of the month. The next work party is on Sunday, March 22 from 12-3 pm, so mark your calendars. Now that the last steps of our new addition are almost done, there will be lots of landscaping to do, so we need lots of folks to help. It's helpful, but not necessary, that you stay for the whole time; you are welcome to come for only an hour. Lunch will be provided.

The April work party will be April 26.

Construction Update

We are getting very close to completion of the new hall! All the little details that have been discussed over the past several months but have yet to be resolved make a fairly long list, but the main components are all complete. The engawa (deck area at the front of the hall) is simply spectacular.  Kogen's many years as a carpenter really shine through.  

We expect to be getting final inspections within the next couple of weeks. Throughout the spring we will work on the landscaping and should be ready for a big party at our 11th anniversary this June.