Posted on 11/17/13
On Saturday, November 16, Rev. Master Jisho was celebrant for a Memorial for Diana Hartel’s father, Harold. Diana and her mother attended the ceremony and a tea afterwards where they shared stories of Harold’s life.
We held our last Introductory Retreat of 2013 over the weekend of November 15-17. Twenty-two participants from as
far away as Nebraska and Maryland, and as near as Redding, were introduced to our meditation practice and the Soto Zen Tradition handed down by Rev. Master Jiyu.
Posted on 10/30/13
On Saturday, October 12th, long-time congregation members Dr. Alan Charles and Dr. Darla Totten renewed their wedding vows after 20 years of marriage. Rev. Master Kodo was celebrant at this joyous event. Rev. Master Jiyu performed their wedding at the Abbey in 1993.
On Wednesday, October 15th, Rev. Master Shiko was celebrant for a Memorial for Jonathan Kain-Kasday, David Kain’s 10-year old grandson who died last month.
From October 21st through the 25th, Rev. Master Meian, Rev. Master Kodo, Rev. Master Scholastica and Rev. Enya attended the 2013 Western Buddhist Monastic Conference Gathering at the City of the Dharma Realm in West Sacramento, CA. This is an annual event that includes monastics from the Theravada, Tibetan, Chinese Chan and Soto Zen traditions. It has been held at Shasta Abbey several times in past years, and it is always enjoyable and fruitful for those who attend. During the Gathering the monastics particpated in a “Walk to Feed the Hungry”, sponsored by Buddhist Global Relief, through downtown Sacramento, during which over $3,000 was raised.
Twenty-two retreat guests attended The Feeding of the Hungry Ghosts (Segaki) Retreat held from October 24 through the 27th. We held the Segaki Ceremony on Saturday morning and the Founder’s Day Ceremony on Sunday. Because of the fire danger we did not hold the traditional Segaki Toro Ceremony on Saturday evening, but we will perform it once the rains have come and the fire danger subsides.
Posted on 10/12/13
On Sunday, September 15th, Rev. Master Meian was celebrant for the funeral of
Rev. Alethea Waxman. More than 70 attended this beautiful ceremony, including monks from Europe, Canada, Portland, and Bainbridge Island who had arrived for the OBC Monastic Gathering.
The 2013 OBC Monastic Gathering was held from September 17 through 28th. 45 monks from Europe, Canada, and the United States met to discuss questions of interest to the OBC in large and small groups throughout nine days of meetings, as well as to get together individually. There were several outings during the lovely autumn weather that came and went during our time together. The Gathering ended with a Memorial Ceremony for Rev. Master Jiyu at the Stupa.
Available as a pdf for download/printing
Rev. Master Meian and Rev. Master Serena met with the Chico Serene Reflection Meditation Group on October 4 - 5. Rev. Master Meian gave a public talk Friday evening at the Dharma Center titled “Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There: Finding Stillness in a Frantic World.” She then led a half-day retreat at the Dharma Center on Saturday.
On Saturday, October 5th, Rev. Master Astor Douglas led a half-day retreat for the Bear River Meditation Group on the teachings of Bodhidharma. She spoke on aspects of Bodhidharma's "Discourse on Meditation" found in Buddhist Writings. Following a brown bag lunch, the participants enjoyed an afternoon outing.
We are sorry to say that Rev. Bridin departed from the Abbey on October 9th, to take up to a year’s leave of absence, both for medical reasons and to clarify her spiritual purpose. She left on good terms, and we support her in this decision and hope she will return. We are grateful for her 16 years of training with us, and wish her well.
Posted on 9/10/13
Rev. Alethea Waxman passed away peacefully on September 10, 2013 around 2:00am PDT. She was laid in the Founders Shrine after ceremonial washing of the body. The ceremony of viewing the body
in the Buddha Hall occurred after breakfast, following which Rev. Master Haryo and Rev. Bridin took Rev. Alethea to the crematory in Yreka.
On Sunday, September 15, 2013, at 10:30am, we will have the Funeral Ceremony for Rev. Alethea.
We will not have the Avalokiteshwara Ceremony, nor will we have a Dharma Talk that day. We will have Tea following the Funeral. All are invited. Thank you for your kindness and offerings of merit during this time.
Posted on 9/9/13
During the week of August 18-25, Rev. Master Shiko Rom led an intensive retreat on The Life And Teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. In this seven-day meditation retreat, attended by 21 resident guests and additional participants from our local area, Rev. Master Shiko focused on the Buddha’s fundamental teachings. In previous years we have explored the teachings of many of the great masters in our tradition. In this retreat she also returned to our roots to see how Serene Reflection (Soto Zen) Meditation comes out of the teachings of Shakyamuni and how His teachings and His life of Lovingkindness, Compassion and Wisdom are so important to us today.
Click here to hear the retreat Dharma Talks.
On Saturday, August 31, monks and lay friends participated in the annual Sangha Walk along the shores of Lake Siskiyou. On a beautiful almost-autumn day, most of us hiked along the lake shore, while others enjoyed the breeze and the view from their seats at the edge of the lake. We all had a picnic lunch together, and a good day was had by everyone. This annual event is a welcome opportunity for monks and congregation members to spend some relaxed time together in a beautiful place.
Posted on 8/23/13
On August 10 Rev. Master Meian was celebrant for the Memorial Ceremony for Harry J.H. Fulcher, father of Jay Fulcher, the former Rev. Alden. Jay was here for the ceremony and joined in the Rev. Master Jiyu Stupa Ceremony the next day along with our local congregation. It was good to see our old friend.
We welcomed 10 members of the Chico Meditation Group for retreat August 9-11. The Group met together for Dharma Talks and discussions, as well as participated in the weekend schedule.
On Saturday, August 10, Rev. Master Daishin and Rev. Enya offered a daylong retreat for the Bear River Meditation Group at the Applegate Center. Rev. Master Daishin’s Dharma talk centered on the basic tools available to Buddhist practitioners and how the use of them can aid us in reducing stress/suffering (dukkha). He specifically pointed to meditation practice, the understanding of the teachings of impermanence (aniccca) and the fundamental truth of all compounded things having no separate existence (anatta). Weaving these teachings into his life experiences RM Daishin always helps to make them less academic and more pertinent to ordinary life. Rev. Enya’s talk was based on her current intentional practice of bringing her mind back to the present moment. In teaching her mind to be still and attentive to whatever the present moment is presenting, she likened training the mind to training your puppy. First you always treat it with love and respect. Then practicing the discipline needed in following two very important admonitions: “sit” and “stay”. Sit still within the moment and keep your attention on what is going on (within yourself as well as the conditions that are arising). She found that it is very helpful to relax while practicing “sit” and “stay”. Minds and dogs sense tension in their trainer very quickly.
Rev. Master Scholastica was celebrant for a Memorial for Mary Ann Czermak who had attended Jukai in March. She was a benefactor of the Abbey. Rev. Amanda was chaplain for the ceremony, and Rev. Veronica was precentor.
Posted on 8/7/13
On July 19 at the Kshtigarbha Shrine Rev. Helen was celebrant for the funeral for Sally Burggraaf’s cat, Rosie and on
July 27 Rev. Amanda was celebrant for the funeral for JoAnne Keifer’s dog, SisQ. In performing these ceremonies
we offer merit to our beloved animal friends.
Rev. Vivian was celebrant for the Memorial Ceremony for Phu Dinh and Ha Phung on July 24. Following the ceremony Rev. Master Jisho and Rev. Vivian accompanied the family to a private ceremony on Mount Shasta.
On July 29 the Externs Sacristans poured a new concrete walkway from the new Guesthouse building to the entry to the Guesthouse Common Room. This will make it easier to get to the building and the cloister during rain and snow.
On Wednesday, July 31, 25 Vietnamese monastics and members of the lay sangha from the Dieu Nhan Buddhist Meditation Association in the tradition of Thich Nhat Tu came to the Abbey for a visit. They arrived about 9:30 am,
went to the Buddha Hall to make bows, had tea and a tour of the monastery, and then had lunch outside at the picnic area with the Shasta Abbey community. All of us enjoyed talking together and learning about each other’s traditions.
Rev. Helen performed the Animal Shelter Blessing for the cats, dogs and staff at the Siskiyou Humane Society on July 31, assisted by Rosemary Dyke as chaplain.
Dr. Elizabeth Colleran from Chico Hospital For Cats visited the Abbey on August 1-2 to hold a clinic for the Abbey cats. We are grateful for her and to Jessica MacKenzie who came as her assistant for the generous care and support of our kitties they offer.
We were delighted to welcome 23 new guests as well as several returning visitors to a weekend Introductory Retreat on August 2-4. Ages ranged from 22 to 90! We are grateful for their enthusiasm for training, as well as for their help during the working meditation periods
On August 3 Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee, a well-respected Thai monk, visited the Abbey with two lay supporters. It is always a blessing to meet Buddhists of other traditions as well as our own.
Posted on 7/16/13
On July 2, Rev. Margaret was the celebrant for a memorial for Jordi Cat, who died the previous morning at the age of 18 years, at peace and in the presence of his human family. Jordi was a beloved friend and companion to his people and served as "greeter" to visitors in their home. It is always an honor to be able to offer a ceremony to an animal friend who has died.
The former Rev. Berenice - now Ani Kalden, a disciple of Venerable Tenzin Palmo - visited the Abbey from June 23rd through July 5th. We were delighted to see her and hear of her training in India in the Tibetan Tradition. On her last night with us she was notified of her father’s death in Maine. She was able to get home to be with her family for his funeral. Rev. Master Daishin was celebrant for the Memorial we held here for him.
We had a lovely 4th of July celebration with our 4th of July Ceremony in the morning, and then a festive picnic in the afternoon. The weather was beautiful. We welcomed many friends of the Abbey, and shared tasty offerings of food and festivities.
On Saturday, July 6th, we were delighted to welcome 55 Vietnamese Buddhists from San Jose. They arrived and immediately went to the Buddha Hall to chant scriptures and make bows. They offered a large amount of food donations to us. We are most grateful for their generosity, enthusiasm, and kindness.
At the end of June Rev. Vivian traveled down to Meadow Vista for a full-day retreat with the Bear River Meditation Group. The theme of the day was "Exploring Mindfulness: A Buddhist Perspective." The two-part Dharma talk focused first on a new book by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Right Mindfulness: Memory and Ardency on the Buddhist Path, which makes a fine attempt to study the early Pali texts and tease out what exactly the Buddha meant by Mindfulness, and then moved on to explore the Zen approach to this subject. The day included meditation, poetry and other relevant readings, and a long and lively discussion. The next morning the group met for coffee and donuts and conversation on Rev. Vivian's experience of living at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in England for six months over the past year.
Posted on 6/26/13
The annual OBC Lay Ministers’ Retreat was held here at the Abbey from Wednesday, May 22 to Sunday, May 26. They met with Rev. Master Haryo, head of the Order, each day to discuss aspects of training. Their schedule also included time each day for private practice. We are grateful for all that the Lay Ministers offer to the Abbey and to the local congregations they serve, and we always enjoy having them here at the Abbey.
The Building Inspector approved the work to date on the new Guest House Offices. We hope to move in before September.
Twenty-six lay practitioners attended Rev. Master Meian’s retreat on Great Master Keizan’s Pure Meditation. Using the text translated by RM Hubert ( Click here for a pdf of "Instructions on How to Do Pure Meditation" ), she offered 7 Dharma Talks (Link to List of Talks) on aspects of this foundational text. The weather was beautiful during the week, allowing for wood to be split, Buddha Hall windows washed, and many other tasks completed. We are very grateful
for all who train with us during our weeklong retreats.
Posted on 5/24/13
Rev. Master Daishin Yalon and Rev. Enya Sapp spoke about Buddhism and the practice of Serene Reflection Meditation at Professor Kathy Krauss’s World Religions Class at Rogue Valley Community College on April 16
On April 18, Rev. Veronica Snedaker received Transmission from Rev. Master Jisho Perry, and is now wearing mokuran vestments. We wish her well as she deepens her training.
On April 19, Rev. Enya Sapp received the purple vestments of a Senior Teacher from Rev. Master Daishin Yalon. We look forward to her expression of the Dharma.
We are delighted that Rev. Master Oswin Hollenbeck and Rev. Allard Kieres have permanently joined the Shasta Abbey community. Rev. Master Oswin had been Prior at the Eugene Buddhist Priory for the past 15 years. Rev. Allard, Rev. Master Oswin’s disciple, was ordained in August, 2012.
On May 10, we welcomed Rebecca Giordano as a postulant. We wish her well as she explores this next step in her training.
Happy Buddhist New Year 2557! Over the May 17-19 weekend, we celebrated “...this glorious Wesak Day…” with joyful ceremonies, inspiring music, a delightful picnic and the traditional ringing of the great Temple bell! Rev. Master Haryo, the Head of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, gave the Sunday Dharma Talk on Lessons From the Woodpile.
Posted on 4/21/13
On Tuesda3y, April 9, Rev. Master Jisho was celebrant at the Memorial for James and Mary Kiel, parents of Larry and Hue Kiel. Members of the congregation, as well as the community of monks, attended. Following the ceremony, Rev. Master Jisho and Marie Mitchell accompanied Larry, Hue and members of their family to spend some time on Mount Shasta.
When they returned the family shared a convivial lunch with the monks and our lay residents.
On Wednesday, April 10, Rev. Master Haryo was celebrant for the Memorial for Rev. Master Chushin Passmore who died
in early March in Wales. Rev. Master Chushin was ordained by Rev. Master Jiyu in 1977 and trained at Shasta Abbey until the 1980s, and we welcomed him to the Abbey several times in later years. The Memorial included some of the beautiful ceremonial music written by Rev. Master Chushin, as well as a recording of him singing his invocation, All Is One.
Rev. Master Meiten, Founder and Prior of the Vancouver Island Zen Sangha visited with us during the week from April 4 through April 11. It was a delightful visit that included celebration of her 87th birthday, complete with cake and ice cream!
Posted on 4/4/13
On Wednesday, February 27, Rev. Master Ando gave the Precepts to Daniel William Dirck before he returned to his home in Chicago.
RM Serena visited with the Chico Serene Reflection Meditation Group March 6 - 7. She stayed at the Sky Creek Dharma Center, talked with the Group on Wednesday evening, and had an early brunch with Group members on Thursday morning.
RM Daishin led a retreat with the Bear River Meditation Group on Saturday, March 16, giving a talk on the Four Wisdoms.
Rev. Renee offered the animal shelter blessing for the animals and staff at the Siskiyou Humane Society. We try to do this once a month, and all present, animals, staff and monks, seem to benefit greatly from the blessing and offering of merit.
At Jukai this year, during the week of ceremonies that make up the Keeping of the Ten Precepts Retreat, we welcomed sixteen new lay ordinands into the family of the Buddhas and Ancestors, including Marjorie Lovering Black, Natalie Jo Camino, Laura Masin Clark, MaryAnn Katharine Czermak, Camari Forslind, Jonathan David Geisert, Christopher William Hart, Rebekah Lynn Hedemann, George Herschel McMullen, Judith Anne McMullen, Walter Stanley Powers, Linda Carol Sanchez, Robert Joseph Sanchez, Martin Robert Sochet, Trinity Nicole Treat and Jennifer Leigh VanVolkinburg. All who participated in this year’s Jukai, monks and laity alike, appreciated the opportunity to renew their commitment to the Precepts and re-dedicate themselves to the practice. We congratulate our new lay Buddhists on this taking this serious, yet joyful, step in their training. We will have pictures here soon.
Posted on 2/27/13
On Saturday, February 23 Rev. Master Meian was celebrant at a Memorial for Luke Lambert, 26, who died in January. More than 50 people attended, including his mother, Linda, who lives in Mount Shasta. Luke’s father, Roy Lambert, a former congregation member, died a year ago.
We are sorry to tell you that after much reflection, Rev. Berthold Olson returned to lay life on Sunday, February 24. He was a monk with us for 22 years and had been practicing in this tradition since 1976. We are grateful for his many years of monastic training, his generous teaching and his many offerings to the monastic and lay Sangha, and we wish him well as he takes this next step in his training. He intends to visit the Abbey from time to time, and we will always be glad to see him.
On Tuesday, February 26, Rev. Master Shiko was celebrant at the funeral for Marilyn Sparks. Her husband, Roger, brought her ashes from Vancouver, Canada, where they have been part of the Lions Gate Priory congregation for many years. It was a beautiful ceremony, and as always, we were honored to be asked to do it.
Posted on 2/11/13
Sherry Ackerman and Polly Robinson presented a lovely concert of holiday music and Buddhist poetry for us on Thursday, December 27. The recorder music and the readings were very well received. We are most grateful for this generous offering of time and talent.
Over the Christmas holidays our area received close to 4 feet of snow! Our New Year Celebratory Retreat was certainly snow-covered, but with a significant shoveling effort out by our big bell, all were able to ring in the New Year shortly after midnight.
We are most grateful for the opportunity to spend January in quiet reflection and reduced activity. Thank you for the generosity that allowed us to take this much appreciated renewal time. Now we are happy to begin our spring training term with all that it brings us.
We congratulate Rev. Master Oswin Hollenbeck as he takes on the position of OBC Executive Secretary. And we are delighted that Rev. Master Scholastica is “returning” to the Shasta Abbey community.
Over the weekend of February 8 - 10 twenty-two lay people participated in our first Introductory Retreat of 2013. We appreciated their keenness in keeping to the retreat schedule, as well as the help they gave the Abbey in stacking wood and helping in the kitchen, sacristy and the guesthouse.