Saturday, September 9, 2017

Fall Retreat at Mt. Adams Actual Dates October 13th -15th


Please Note: I have Corrected the Dates for the Fall Retreat at Mount Adams. Apparently my time travels have left me calendar challenged.  Miles

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fall Retreat Mt. Adams Zen Temple October 13-15th



It has become our Autumn tradition to have a joint Sangha retreat at the beautiful Mount Adams Zen Temple.  On the weekend of October 13th-15th, we will be combining efforts with the Mount Adams Zen community in conducting blended retreat format that combines the Mount Adams Zen Temple practices with our own traditional Boundless Way style sesshin.

Many members of our extended sangha have had the opportunity to practice at Mount Adams and are aware of the subtle differences in style, while for others this will be a new experience.  Mount Adams Zen Temple is in the Vietnamese Zen tradition and carries many of the nuances of this heritage, just as our practice carries the nuances of the Japanese tradition.

Since both our communities are modern Western descendants of Zen, neither Japanese or Vietnamese, we are not bound to any specific ethnic style of practice.  The combination of old traditions holds many promises in the development of a “Contemporary  Zen” form that is not of any specific tradition, other than the tradition of Zen itself.

Due to the logistics of conducting this sesshin away from home we need to know how many people are planning to attend,  please remember to “register” by sending an e-mail to: opengatezendo@msn.com to confirm your attendance.  Even though overnight accommodations will be indoors, please prepare yourself as if you were going on a camping trip, with sleeping bags and personal items.  For the most part we will be sleeping barracks style and meals will be provided within the retreat schedule.

It is recommended that you arrive Friday night to take full advantage of the full day schedule on Saturday.

If you want to reserve and rent a room at Trout Lake Abbey call: (509) 395-2030

For more information about Mount Adams Zen Center go to:  http://www.mtadamszen.org/

Friday Evening Schedule
5:30-6:30 Gathering and Casual Dinner
6:30 -7:30 Mt Adams Evening Service


Saturday Schedule
5:45  Metta Practice
6:15 One period of seated meditation
6:45 Informal Breakfast
7:30 Clean up break period
8:00 Orientation for Retreat
9:00 Morning Service
10:00  Samu (work period)
11:45  Two periods of meditation divided by walking meditation
1:00 Lunch- Soto style Oryoki
2:00 Clean up and Break
3:45 Two periods of meditation w/walking meditation & private meeting with teacher
5:00 Half hour of walking meditation (outside)
5:30 Dinner-Soto style Oryoki
6:30 Clean up and break
7:00 Metta Practice
7:30 One period of seated meditation
8:00 Tea and Dharma talk
9:00 Time for Bed

Sunday Schedule
5:45  Metta Practice
6:15 Two periods of seated meditation divided by walking meditation
7:30 Informal Breakfast
8:30 Clean up
9:00 Morning Service
10:00 Samu (work period)
11:30 Two periods of meditation w/walking meditation  & private meeting with teacher
12:45 Lunch-Soto style Oryoki
1:45 Clean up and Break
2:45 One period seated meditation
3:15 Tea and Group discussion
4:15 Retreat Ends

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2017 Summer Sesshin Aug 26th-27th



This years Summer Sesshin/Ordination will be divided by two venues. Saturday (Aug. 26th) will be at Open Gate. While Sunday (Aug. 27th) we be held at the Clouds and Water Island Hermitage.

Those who can arrive at Open Gate on Friday are welcome to stay in the Zendo, and can either stay Saturday night at Open Gate or go early to the Island and camp out there. Our Island schedule has to be arranged around the ferry schedule (and fees) so keep this in mind when planning.

See the ferry schedule here: 
(http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/index.aspx?NID=2200&PREVIEW=YES). 

At the ordination we will be welcoming three new members into our greater Sangha from all across the country. Chis Price from Alexandria Virginia, Richard Fagan from Kansas City Missouri, and last but not least, Dharma Brother and long time Desert Zen Center Sangha member, Eric Reed from Big Bear, California.

Saturday's activities at Open Gate will also be modified to accommodate this wonderfully evolving nature of our growing Sangha. It will be a shortened schedule, leaving the afternoon open. (Please note that the entire schedule may be modified according to need.) We will have a number of guests from our greater Sangha who will be traveling from Virginia, Missouri, California and Oregon. Our affiliations with- Mount Adams Zen Center, The Desert Zen Center, Plum Mountain, and Mountain Way, have really expanded our family and we are honored to have people coming here from all directions.

Saturday Schedule

Morning Session
6:30 Wake-up bell
7:00 Non-residents Arrive (Chosho -morning bell tolled 9 times) 
7:15-Call to Zazen (Plank drum (Han) roll)
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen 
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony (Remain standing to exit Zendo)
8:05-9:00 Casual breakfast and social time (in Hojo)
9:00-9:15 Break and kitchen cleanup

Second Morning Session
9:00- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
9:15-9:45 One periods of Zazen 
9:45-10:45 Samu (Arrange Zendo for Ordination Ceremony)
10:45 Han Roll (Call to Ordination ceremony)
11:00-12:00 Ordination Ceremony
12:00-1:30 Potluck Lunch and Social Time (Cards and Gifts)
1:30 Han roll (announcing end of lunch and social time)
1:30 – 2:00 Samu (Clean up and return Zendo to original configuration)
2:00 Guest Teacher Dharma Talk
3:00 Konsho (closing bell)

It is important to note that our our affiliations have not only expanded our Sangha to include Mount Adams Zen Center and the Desert Zen Center, but that these groups are bringing some of the flavor of their practice to our group, in the same way we have introduced the flavor or our practice to theirs. Therefore this years ordination ceremony will reflect these affiliations much like our Order of Hsu Yun services have done in the past.  I think everyone will enjoy the extra festivities.

Sunday on the Island at the Clouds and Water Hermitage will likewise be a shortened schedule with practice in the morning, a casual picnic style lunch and a mostly open afternoon. For a full day you should plan to arrive on the morning ferry and stay until the evening ferry. However, if you only have half a day in mind, you could come in the morning and leave at lunchtime or arrive at lunch time and leave on the evening boat.  Personally, I will be on the island all day.

Remember staying on the Island is camping, so bring clothes for doing grounds work, extra water, and maybe snack food and drinks that you would like to have outside our planned lunch.  Due to our lack of a kitchen facility and limited water, we will be eating picnic style foods with paper plates and leftovers from Saturday (think- summer casual, camping/picnic). 

Sunday Schedule

6:20-6:30 Board Ferry at Steilacoom Dock
6:55-7:00 Ferry Arrives & Departs
7:00-7:30 Arrive for Sesshin
7:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony
8:05-9:00 Informal Breakfast Snack and Tea
9:00-9:30 Break and kitchen cleanup
9:15- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
9:30-10:45 One period of Zazen and a Dharma Talk.
10:45-12:30 Samu (Clean up, grounds work etc.)
12:30- Potluck Lunch 
12:45-12:55 Ferry Arrives & Departs
2:30-6:30 Free time 
6:45-7:15 Prepare to leave on the ferry
7:25-7:35 Ferry Arrives & Departs

If you plan to camp on the Island. There is plenty of room to sleep barracks style in the Zendo. Otherwise, camping spots are available near the road and on Johnnie's property for those who want to pitch a tent.

Remember to bring your robes, practice sessions will still be normal sesshin formal. Don't forget to bring clothes for enjoying a forest hike or beach walk. And..sun screen! It's supposed to stay pretty warm.

See you soon,
Miles

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

OBW Winter Sesshin 2017



OBW Rohatsu/Winter Sesshin

          As a matter of long standing tradition, our Winter Sesshin will be held at Open Gate Zendo. Practice begins at 7:30 am Saturday January 14th and runs through Monday, January 16th.  The three day practice schedule will include the 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Silent Peace Walk (Olympia’s Capitol Lake, Marathon Park starting at noon Sunday). 

Anyone wanting to arrive early is welcome to come Friday evening and spend the night in the Zendo. Attendees arriving in the morning should try to arrive by 7:00.  There will be an informal breakfast with social time Saturday morning, but otherwise we will be following our traditional silent sesshin schedule and etiquette.

There is no fee for attending, but as usual, contributions for food and to help pay for supplies and heating costs would be greatly appreciated. Mattresses will be provided for those who wish to remain in residence for their duration at sesshin and showers will be made available.
    
Please e-mail; opengatezendo@msn.com with any questions and/or to confirm your plans to attend, we need an accurate head count for buying food stuffs.

2017 Winter Sesshin

Saturday Schedule

First Morning Session
6:30 Wake-up bell
7:00 Non-residents Arrive (Chosho -morning bell tolled 9 times)
7:15-Call to Zazen (Plank drum (Han) roll)
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen (Chosan- first morning meditation)
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony
8:05-9:00 Informal Breakfast and kitchen cleanup (in Hojo)
9:00-9:15 Sesshin Introduction and Instructions

Second Morning Session
9:15- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
9:30-10:45 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
9:30-10:45 Dokusan (one on one meeting with the teacher) by rotation.
10:45-12:30 Samu (work and/or exercise/rest period)
12:30- Call to Lunch (Han roll)
12:15- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for lunch- bring out trays
12:45-1:45 Lunch ceremony (Oryoki)
1:45-2:10 Break and kitchen cleanup

Afternoon Session
2:00- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
2:15-3:30 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
3:30-4:30 Angya practice. (monk procession walk)
4:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
4:45-5:15 One period Zazen
5:15- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for Dinner- bring out trays
5:30-6:15 Dinner ceremony (Oryoki)
6:15-6:30 Break and kitchen cleanup

Evening Session
6:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
6:45-8:00 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
8:00-8:10- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for tea, bring out trays
8:10 -8:50 Tea ceremony & Teisho (teaching) and/or Dharma Discussion.
8:55- Closing ceremony
9:00- Daily Closing- Konsho (striking the evening bell) tolled 9 times
9:00- Prepare for bed or non-residents leave for the night.

Sunday Schedule

First Morning Session
6:30 Wake-up bell
7:00 Non-residents Arrive (Chosho -morning bell tolled 9 times)
7:15-Call to Zazen (Plank drum (Han) roll)
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen (Chosan- first morning meditation)
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony
8:05- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for breakfast - bring out trays
8:15-9:00 Breakfast ceremony (Oryoki)
9:00-9:25 Break and kitchen cleanup

Second Morning Session
9:15- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
9:30-10:45 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
9:30-10:45 Dokusan (one on one meeting with the teacher) by rotation.
11:15-1:15 Angya practice. (MLK Silent procession walk Capitol Lake)
1:15-2:30  Hosted Sangha Lunch in Olympia.

Afternoon Session
2:30- Call to Zazen (time adjusted to return time)
2:45-4:00 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
4:00- 4:30 Work and/or exercise/rest period (may be adjusted for schedule)
4:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
4:45-5:15 One period Zazen
5:15- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for Dinner- bring out trays
5:30-6:15 Dinner ceremony (Oryoki)
6:15-6:40 Break and kitchen cleanup

Evening Session
6:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
6:45-8:00 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
8:00-8:10- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for tea, bring out trays
8:10 -8:50 Tea ceremony & Teisho (teaching) and/or Dharma Discussion.
8:55- Closing ceremony
9:00- Daily Closing- Konsho (striking the evening bell) tolled 9 times
9:00- Prepare for bed or non-residents leave for the night.

Monday Schedule

Morning Session
6:30 Wake-up bell
7:00 Non-residents Arrive (Chosho -morning bell tolled 9 times)
7:15-Call to Zazen (Plank drum (Han) roll)
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen (Chosan- first morning meditation)
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony
8:05- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for breakfast - bring out trays
8:15-9:00 Breakfast ceremony (Oryoki)
9:00-9:15 Break and kitchen cleanup

Second Morning Session
9:15- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
9:30-10:45 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
9:30-10:45 Dokusan (one on one meeting with the teacher) by rotation.
10:45-11:45 Samu (work and/or exercise/rest period)
11:45 Han Roll
12:00-12:30 One Period Zazen
12:30- 12:40 Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for lunch- bring out trays
12:40-1:30 Lunch ceremony (Oryoki)

Afternoon Session
1:30-2:00 Break and kitchen cleanup
1:45- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
2:00-3:15 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
3:15-3:30 Short Break
3:30-4:30 Tea ceremony, Teisho/Group Discussion
4:30-Closing - Konsho (striking the evening bell) tolled 9 times

Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 24, 2016

2016 Fall Retreat November 19th-21st


It has become our Autumn tradition to have a joint Sangha retreat at the beautiful Mount Adams Zen Temple.  On the weekend of November 19th-21st, we will be combining efforts with the Mount Adams Zen community in conducting blended retreat format that combines the Mount Adams Zen Temple practices with our own traditional Boundless Way style sesshin. 

Many members of our extended sangha have had the opportunity to practice at Mount Adams and are aware of the subtle differences in style, while for others this will be a new experience.  Mount Adams Zen Temple is in the Vietnamese Zen tradition and carries many of the nuances of this heritage, just as our practice carries the nuances of the Japanese tradition. 

Since both our communities are modern Western descendants of Zen, neither Japanese or Vietnamese, we are not bound to any specific ethnic style of practice.  The combination of old traditions holds many promises in the development of a “Contemporary  Zen” form that is not of any specific tradition, other than the tradition of Zen itself. 

Due to the logistics of conducting this sesshin away from home, we are limiting attendance to twenty, so please remember to “register” by sending an e-mail to: opengatezendo@msn.com to confirm your attendance.  Even though overnight accommodations will be indoors, please prepare yourself as if you were going on a camping trip, with sleeping bags and personal items.  For the most part we will be sleeping barracks style and meals will be provided within the retreat schedule.

It is recommended that you arrive Friday night to take full advantage of the full day schedule on Saturday.  
For more information about Mount Adams Zen Center go to:  http://www.mtadamszen.org/

Friday Evening Schedule 

5:30-6:30 Gathering and Casual Dinner
6:30 -7:30 Mt Adams Evening Service


Saturday Schedule
5:45  Metta Practice
6:15 One period of seated meditation 
6:45 Informal Breakfast
7:30 Clean up break period
8:00 Orientation for Retreat
9:00 Morning Service
10:00  Samu (work period)
11:45  Two periods of meditation divided by walking meditation  
1:00 Lunch- Soto style Oryoki
2:00 Clean up and Break
3:45 Two periods of meditation w/walking meditation & private meeting with teacher
5:00 Half hour of walking meditation (outside)
5:30 Dinner-Soto style Oryoki
6:30 Clean up and break
7:00 Metta Practice
7:30 One period of seated meditation 
8:00 Tea and Dharma talk
9:00 Time for Bed

Sunday Schedule 
5:45  Metta Practice
6:15 Two periods of seated meditation divided by walking meditation
7:30 Informal Breakfast
8:30 Clean up
9:00 Morning Service
10:00 Samu (work period)
11:30 Two periods of meditation w/walking meditation  & private meeting with teacher
12:45 Lunch-Soto style Oryoki
1:45 Clean up and Break
2:45 One period seated meditation
3:15 Tea and Group discussion
4:15 Retreat Ends

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2016 Summer Sesshin Schedule

Setting sun brightens the Zendo at Clouds and Water Hermitage


Our Summer Sesshin will be held at the Clouds and Water Island Hermitage this weekend (Aug. 27/28). Those who can arrive on Friday will have time to set up camp and help prepare for the weekend events. Jean-Luc (Tenso) and I will be arriving on the first Friday morning ferry and spending the day preparing. Please pay close attention to the ferry schedule: 

(http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/index.aspx?NID=2200&PREVIEW=YES)

Our Sesshin schedule has been arranged around the ferry's and people who might not be able to attend the full sesshin and have to come and go according to the ferries. 

Remember this is a Work Sesshin, so bring clothes for doing grounds work, extra water, and maybe snack food and drinks that you would like to have outside our normal meal schedule.  Due to our lack of a kitchen facility and limited water, we will be eating picnic style foods with paper plates (think- summer camping/picnic). We do plan to have a kitchen by next summer, but that will take more time and finances (somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000).

Keep in mind that you will be camping. There is plenty of room to sleep barracks style in the Zendo, and I will bring 6 camp mattresses and 12-  3 by 3 foot sitting zabutons. Otherwise, camping spots are available near the road and on Johnnie's property for those who want to pitch a tent.

Remember to bring your robes practice sessions will be normal sesshin formal. Don't forget to bring clothes for enjoying a forest hike or beach walk. And..sun screen! It's supposed to be pretty warm on Saturday.

Hope to see you there!
Miles

2016 Summer Sesshin

Saturday Schedule

6:20-6:30 Bord Ferry at Steilacoom Dock
6:50-7:00 Ferry Arrives & Departs
7:00-7:30 Arrive for Sesshin
7:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony
8:05-9:00 Informal Breakfast in the Zendo
9:00-12:00 Samu (work period- clean up, grounds work etc.)
12:00-12:30 Clean-up for lunch.
12:45-12:55 Ferry Arrives & Departs
12:30- Call to Lunch (Han roll)
12:30-1:30 Informal Lunch.
1:30-2:30 Dharma Talk & Discussion
2:30-5:00 Free time (Rest, work, beach walk, hiking)
4:45- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
5:00-6:15 Two periods Zazen, divided by Kinhin
5:00-6:15 Dokusan (one on one meeting with the teacher)
6:15-7:00 Informal Dinner in the Zendo
7:00-7:30 Break and kitchen cleanup
7:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
7:25-7:35 Ferry Arrives & Departs
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen
8:00-9:00 Tea ceremony & Teisho (teaching)
9:00- Prepare for bed, or to leave on the ferry.
9:00 Konsho (striking the evening bell)
10:40-10:50 Ferry Arrives & Departs
      
2016 Summer Sesshin

Sunday Schedule

6:20-6:30 Bord Ferry at Steilacoom Dock
6:55-7:00 Ferry Arrives & Departs
7:00-7:30 Arrive for Sesshin
7:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony
8:05-9:00 Informal Breakfast in the Zendo
9:00-9:30 Break and kitchen cleanup
9:15- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
9:30-10:45 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
9:30-10:45 Dokusan (one on one meeting with the teacher)
10:45-12:30 Samu (Clean up, grounds work etc.)
12:30- Call to Lunch (Han roll)
12:45-12:55 Ferry Arrives & Departs
1:30- Call to Lunch (Han roll)
1:45-2:30 Informal Lunch.
2:30-4:00 Free time (Rest, work, beach walk, hiking)
4:00- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
4:00-4:30 One period Zazen
4:30-5:30 Informal Dinner in the Zendo
5:30-5:45 Break and kitchen cleanup
5:45- 6:45 Precepts Ceremony & Discussion
6:45- Konsho (striking the closing bell)
6:45-7:15 Prepare to leave on the ferry
7:25-7:35 Ferry Arrives & Departs



Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Sesshin 2016


Looking out the Clouds and Water Zendo altar window (ocean to the left).
The Sesshin sign was made by Sangha member Preston "Shuji" Stanke.


It has been a busy summer preparing the Clouds and Water Hermitage for our Summer Sesshin.  Many Sangha members have contributed both time and money to close in the Zendo and make site improvements which include such unthinkable luxuries as a genuine restroom, complete with composting toilet and sink for hand washing.

This was a busy weekend on the Island as Sangha members worked diligently clearing brush, installing flooring and erecting the newly constructed restroom building. On the short list of further improvements are installing the Zendo doors and shoji screen windows, followed by permanent stairs and metal roofing.  The longer list includes the construction of three small meditation huts and a galley trailer for preparing meals.  

Our Summer Sesshin will be held at Clouds and Water Hermitage on the weekend of August 26th & 28th .  This will be a "working" retreat with a longer samu (work) periods in the mornings and more free time in the afternoons. So be sure to bring your gardening/work clothes as well as your robes and Bermuda shorts for the beach. 

The daily schedule will be developed and posted as the date nears. Meanwhile there are lots of things to be done beforehand for those of you who would be interested in volunteering time and/or contributing money.


Sangha member Alex "Anjin" Yuan puts the final coat of paint on the new restroom building.


If you want more information e-mail opengatezendo@msn.com. More posts regarding summer activities to follow soon.
Deep gratitude and gassho to all those who have contributed funds, time and energy to this project over the last three years. Without you none of this would be happening

Miles

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Clouds & Water Hermitage Update


Current Clouds & Water Hermitage Zendo

An Invitation to Visit & Support our Island Retreat

by Neaka Kaizen (Valerie Grigg Devis)

For the first time ever, our 2016 Summer Sesshen will take place at the “Clouds & Water” Island Hermitage: The dates are August 25, 26 and 27th.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the tranquility the Island provides, and make use of the Zendo & Hut masterfully built by Miles and transported to the site by ferry during the past several years.  Each structure is placed to enjoy a waterfront view on the property donated by Jonnie Paradiso.  There are woodland trails and access to a secluded beach within easy walking distance.
Zendo Interior showing empty windows & plywood floor
Miles went out to the Island last month and assessed what projects are most needed to complete the site.  There are two work parties scheduled in June and July (see details below) and we would like to have the following items (with approximate costs) in place by this August, if possible: 
·         Restroom Building with Compost Toilet (Top Priority!) $1800
·         Roofing for the Zendo (currently tarped, needs weather protection)$2200
·         Zendo Doors (now an empty opening) $600            
·         Zendo Flooring (now bare plywood) $600
·         Paint, Stain, Sealers & other supplies $300
·         Push Mower – A donation of a good push lawn mower would be appreciated! 

Jean-Luc and Preston at the Ferry Dock

These projects are very important, because they will keep the Retreat in sound condition for years to come.  The costs are very modest, considering the value of the property & improvements already in place.  And, to support your contributions, Jean-Luc & Valerie have a $4,000 “Match Fund” for Island Hermitage Improvements. For every dollar YOU GIVE, another dollar is added to it.  This doubles your contribution-!!  We want to recognize and thank our first two donors, who are helping get these projects underway:
 

·         Funds for Restroom Outbuilding - Alex Yuan
·         Labor and Materials for Zendo Shoji Windows   - David (Dusty) Knobel

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the season for outdoor projects is relatively short – and newly retired Miles has other projects he would like to complete, after he finished this one.  So let’s support his efforts to create a very special place for all of us to meet together.  You can send your contribution to:
Open Gate Zendo
c/o Koro Kaisan Miles
4123 Biscay St NW
98502-3513

To get the Site ready, there will be several work parties going out to the Island soon: 

JUNE WORK PARTY: June 17 & 18th
JULY WORK PARTY: July 22 to 24th

I strongly encourage you to escape your routine and join others for one or more of these work parties.   You will find that doing so has its own special rewards!   If you are willing to take part or help organize Work Parties, let Miles know.

 
Valerie and Maitri  await the Ferry


 
 
Bowing Fondly to you All~!
Neika Kaizen

 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Summer Plans for Clouds and Water Hermitage


The future "finished look" for Zendo at Clouds and Water Hermitage
 
Clouds and Water Hermitage
An Invitation to visit and support our special Retreat
By  Neaka Kaizen / Valerie Grigg Devis

In the Summer of 2012, our Order held a Dedication Ceremony for a new Island Retreat.  The “Clouds and Water Hermitage” is located less than 30 minutes from Olympia and is available for use by all Boundless Way sangha members & our invited guests.  Few people live on the island, so it’s a quiet place we share with wildlife, marine habitat, quiet forest paths, thistles & wildflowers.  For those of us who have stayed there, the Hermitage has become a place of solitude, healing, celebration and rededication to our practice. 

The First Hut with the unfinished Zendo in the background

A Definition of “Hermitage” (borrowed from Wikipedia): A hermitage is a type of monastery. Typically it has a room or dedicated space for religious devotion, very basic sleeping quarters and other provisions suitable for the ascetic way of living. Traditionally, hermitages have been located in caves and huts, in the desert or woods... 

Current Zendo Status


The Hermitage property was gifted to our Order by island resident Johnnie Paradiso with the hope that our community would become a regular presence among the island community.  To fully benefit from the tranquility it provides, our members are welcome to visit throughout the season.  Eventually, we would like to share this wonderful retreat with other like-minded practitioners as well. 


Valerie and Maitri at the first Hermitage Women's Retreat


During the last several years, a Zendo & Hut have been masterfully built by Miles and transported to the site by ferry.  Each structure is carefully placed to enjoy a waterfront view of Puget Sound.  The zendo can sit up to 12 in zazen and the Hut sleeps 2 comfortably.  There is no water or electricity on site, so conditions require basic camping skills.  There are woodland trails to walk and access to a secluded beach nearby. 

This year, Miles is planning our Summer Sesshen at the Island Hermitage.  In preparation, we would like to encourage everyone to take part.   As the season begins, we can start by arranging informal Work Parties – which will include weeding and tending to the structures.  This is a wonderful time to share smiles, sweat and samu (work practice) with our dharma brothers & sisters.  I encourage you to consider volunteering to organize a work party or to participate. 

In addition, we would like to complete the following projects to improve the site for use by all:

·       Installation of a “dry” toilet (currently, we use a bucket!)

·       Roofing for the Zendo (currently, there is a tarp on it)

·       Doors and windows for the Zendo (currently, there are empty openings)

·       Flooring for the Zendo (currently, there is bare plywood)

·       Build a Galley House (kitchen for preparing retreat meals)

The cost to complete these projects is $8,000 to $12,000.  This is a very modest amount compared to the value of the property & improvements which are already in place.  When these projects are done, the Retreat will be in sound condition for years to come & can benefit many visitors and guests.  We would like to begin working on this in May and hopefully complete these improvements before Summer ends.  It would be great to have a most of it done by Summer Sesshin so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labors during our retreat.  Therefore, Jean-Luc and Valerie are offering a “Match Fund” for each dollar contributed towards the Island Hermitage up to $4,000.  Please join us in contributing to this special place if you are able to do so.  You can make your checks to:

Open Gate Zendo
c/o Koro Kaisan Miles
4123 Biscay St NW
98502-3513

 

Bowing Fondly to you All~!

Neika Kaizen
(Valerie Grigg Devis)