Dear sangha friends,
Summer is drawing to a close, Labour Day weekend is past, and the new school year has begun. Judging from the crowd at the zendo Wednesday evening, it's also a time for people to renew their commitment to their practice and come together in community. We want to encourage you to consider how our annual practice period can support your practice. You can customize the components of the practice period in a way that will work for your schedule and work/family/school responsibilities. You can also find ways to extend your practice into those areas beyond the zendo. Please take a look at the Practice Period Guide and registration form. Our theme this year is Zen's Chinese Ancestors. You may wonder why we want to look back so far in time, when the world faces so many social, political and environmental crises. But those old Chinese Zen monks lived in times of turmoil and great suffering, too, and they may have some wisdom, and encouragement to offer us as we walk the bodhisattva path. (Take a look below, for some contemporary encouragement from our Engaged Practice group.)
Deep bows of gratitude to everyone who supported practice at the zendo when we were away hiking in the Rockies last month, and to everyone who helped out at the sangha picnic and work-day at Blue Mountain Zendo: renovating our triple compost bin, hauling and stacking firewood, brush-cutting, weeding, picking and snapping beans, weeding and more!
Myoshin Kate and Shinmon Michael
p.s. And thanks to Nadia and Todd for the photos in the slide-show below from the picnic and work-day.