Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Island Gate Sangha

Shodo (Lee) Jishin, reports from Hawaii that he and Hana are intending to make their sitting group official in April. Lee has been very busy with his Clouds & Water practice, acting as an engaged Bodhisattva and itinerant Zen teacher.  Currently, Lee practices regularly with two loosely organized but separate sitting groups that he plans to consolidate into one.  If things go as planned, this will mark the beginnings of a new Boundless Way practice center to be named Island Gate Zendo.

In February Lee gave a Dharma talk at Daifukuji, Soto Zen temple (on the Big Island) during their Buddha's Parinirvana celebration. He spoke about the importance of practice, how he came to Buddhism and described his evolving practice as an engaged Bodhisattva; moving away from self-centered interests toward doing more to help people, animals and the environment.  Since moving to Hawaii, Lee has been working with Hospice of Kona, the Humane Society and Community Emergency Response Team, as well as, acting as an advocate for promoting a whole foods plant based diet and eliminating tobacco use.  

Currently, Lee is considering teaming up with a fellow hospice volunteer and Daifukuji Temple dharma brother named Shinkaku, who has offered a building that seems very suitable for their future Zendo. Shinkaku lives on five acres and he says that the building in back of the main house could accommodate about thirty people.  Meanwhile, Lee and Hana are renting a house in Kona that has a lot of room that will serve as temporary practice space.  Having, founded the Fukuyama Buddhist Fellowship (Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan in 2007), Lee and Hana already have some experience in founding and maintaining a successful practice group and are looking forward to building their Island Gate sangha.