Friday, April 03, 2015


Just back from an excellent retreat at our New York state head temple. This was the Higan event and we joined some 15 others for a 2-day event with the theme of Buddhist Mindfulness. Participants were all ages and levels of experience and, for the first time, Red Maple brought 4 participants. It wasn’t the nicest weather, with lots of unseasonably cold and snowy days, but nobody seemed disappointed (even if a little weary of the cold). Even the Saturday kokordo walk up Barnaget Road, as chilly as it was, had a nobility and restfulness to it.
We did several structured practices:

  • a four viharas reflection
  • a contemplation on the Four Foundations
  • a walking recitation
and we had several lovely services. Monshin designed a lovely Amitabha service on the Saturday night with a number of unfamiliar gathas that made it interesting.

On the Saturday evening we watched a captivating documentary on the kaihogyo practice of an extraordinary Tendai priest who did that legendary walk of 26 miles, daily for nearly 10 years. I have seen it before but found it no less astounding what dedication an ordinary person can cultivate.
Deep bows to

  • Judy B, Jiho and Liz for their companionship and efforts
  • Monshin for his leadership
  • Shumon for taking such good care of us
  • Gyo-sho, the temple assistant for his tireless support. I was especially taken with his drumming during the Heart Sutra.                       
Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu

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