Interfaith Support for the Kinder Morgan Protest

kinder morgan protest.jpg

Several sangha members joined others from various faith groups at a rally to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline on April 28. 

Report from Burnaby Mountain by Jizan Sara Ross.

If you have been attempting the daunting task of following the news about Kinder Morgan, you may have celebrated to learn that the company had stopped non-essential spending on their Trans Mountain pipeline until May 31st. The day after this announcement went public, I saw a video of the company hard at work at their Burnaby Mountain site. Curious, I went to see for myself. I learned that Kinder Morgan has not stopped working at all, and in fact, in big development project language, stopping “non-essential spending” actually means they are ONLY working at building the pipeline, putting on hold the non-essentials around the side. Later in the week I supported a dear friend and fellow Buddhist practitioner as she “took bold action” to stop the project. Along with a group of artists and supporters, and under the direction of Coast Salish leaders and protocols, we raised our voices together in song and love for the land, water, and future generations. Three were peacefully arrested, including Violet Williams an 18 year old aboriginal woman, and my friend Pia Masse, who is an Instructor and Artist in Residence at Emily Carr University, bringing the arrest total to almost 200. The ceremony, love and interdependence that I was a part of at this action has been truly healing and uplifting for me personally. I recently completed the volunteer orientation and training so that I may support the Watch House (Kwekwecnewtxw), which is the spiritual and practical foundation of this movement. I would like to offer any sangha member or affiliate, if you would like to learn more about what is happening on the mountain, please be in touch with me. It feels like indeed, now is the time for us to act in alignment with our aspirations to save all beings, particularly in light of the political crises that are unfolding. redsara@gmail.com

Invitation for Samu (Work Practice), and Witness

The Mountain Rain Sangha is invited to come together to support Kwekwecnewtxw (the Watch House) with our Samu (Work Practice). Please email Sara redsara@gmail.com if you would like to meet up to go to the site and have an orientation. The Watch House is located on the south side of Burnaby Mountain, approx. 8505 Forest Grove Drive in Burnaby. The Watch House does not need food donations, but they do have a wish list for other items. Ongoing volunteer opportunities include: Kitchen help General Camp Maintenance Fire-keeping Dinner Drop-off Staying Overnight and Fire-keeping at Night (sacred fire) Marshalls at Events Laundry and Recycling support.

Kinder Morgan Rally Support from Faith Groups

Save the Date: Saturday April 28, Big Rally at Burnaby Mountain calling Spiritual Leaders and People of Faith and Spirit

Mountain Rain has been invited to have a presence at this Rally.  We have several banners to unfurl, and Burnaby Mountain is a gorgeous place for zazen.  The details and time are forthcoming.  Sangha members who would like to express their support through work practice and/or peaceful witness please email Jizan Sara Ross at redsara@gmail.com to be added to a temporary list for details and updates.

To read Sara's Report from Burnaby Mountain with details of how to help, please Click here

To read the call-out to faith communities from Will George, Project Leader for Protect the Inlet and the Watch House: Click here

Visioning Meeting Notes

On Sunday, January 14, sangha members met to take our long-term planning process one step forward. This meeting was a follow-up to our Annual General Meeting discussion in which possibilities for residential practice, a larger urban centre, and a semi-rural practice centre were raised. Our January meeting was not for planning or decision-making, but rather for brain-storming and imagining. A diverse array of ideas were shared, which will guide us as we move toward the changes we will inevitably face in the life of our practice community. 

If you'd like to see the notes from the meeting please click below. Also, if you weren't able attend we'd like to hear your ideas, too, so please send them to info@mountainrainzen.org and we'll add them to the list. 

Visioning Meeting Notes PDF

MRZC 2017 Annual General Meeting Sangha Discussion

 Mountain Rain Zen Community had its Annual General Meeting on Sunday, June 11, after the usual potluck lunch of simple, tasty food. Following reports from the Treasurer, Council and Practice Committee we had a discussion session in small groups addressing these questions:

What have you appreciated about Mountain Rain in the past year?

What would you like to see in the coming year?

What would you like to see in the next 3-5 years?

For a PDF summary of the discussion, please click:  AGM Discussion Notes

Words of gratitude from the teachers-- May Newsletter

Myoshin, Zoketsu and Shinmon   May 7, 2017

Dear sangha friends,
 We are feeling such gratitude for the weekend retreat with our dear teacher Norman, the sad, simple, funny Stepping Down Ceremony, which made clear that there's no-coming, no-going, and the beautiful Guiding Teacher Ceremony, which affirmed for us how much our practice and the Mountain Rain sangha mean to so many. Your heartfelt expressions of love and confidence will give us the courage to go forward together with all of you, as we continue to co-create a vibrant practice community in these troubled times. 

So much goes into putting on a retreat for eighty people at UBC, so we'd like to take this opportunity to thank:
Megan for taking on the complexities of the registrar's job
Kaye and the zendo schlepping crew--in her wisdom she rented a van!
Leah, Ben and Kevin for being a great house band
Claire, Reamick and Brian for shepherding everyone to dokusan
Marlee for the the gorgeous flowers
Flo for being doshi for services and Nadia for being her incense attendant. 
Ursula for altar cleaning and Evan for taking care of tea. 

A special thank you to Kaye for taking on the prodigious task of organizing the sewing of our beautiful new ceremonial okesa (robes) and teaching something like 17 people how to use her sashiko sewing machine!! Thank you to Susan, Flo, Kwee and all the others who sewed. And to the Calgary sangha for sewing our okesa envelopes. 

And thank you to all those who offered such heart-warming words of appreciation to Norman, and congratulations to us during the ceremonies, and for all the beautiful cards and gifts, but most of all for willing to practice this radical non-action of sitting in silence paying attention to each moment of your human experience on this earth, and then to get up and actualize your practice in daily life. May our Everyday Zen practice flourish in community for many years to come.

Warm, deep bows to all,
Myoshin Kate and Shinmon Michael