Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rosslyn Zendo

Anjin Jimon 

The Rosslyn Zendo, in Arlington Virginia, is officially open.  Led by sangha member Anjin Jimon (Alex Yuan), the group meets in the Arlington Methodist Church.  Anjin has been attending the church for two years now, and approached the pastor a year ago about the idea of using the prayer room for meditation.  The pastor, a big supporter of meditation for Christians and Buddhists alike, was very receptive to the idea, so after a year of preparation, making the website, and posting flyers in the neighborhood, the Zendo is officially open.

Situated on top of the Rosslyn Metro Station, which is the main metro connection in Virginia for commuters going to Washington, D.C., Rosslyn Zendo is ideally located for people to stop in for a morning meditation on their way to work.  Anjin says:

“Today we have a solid group of about 2-3 people that show up every morning (including me) for 25 minutes of silent meditation. Although I meditate in the Zen tradition, others use chairs and meditate on bible verses. The impact on my daily routine has been amazing. I wake up much earlier and my mind seems less impulsive. It also helps me to be consistent – I get up early and unlock the church doors every morning, since I never know who might show up!”

Check out their website at

Also, check out the following video to see Alex interviewed at a Buddhist event in Arlington:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

August 23rd – an Auspicious Day of Celebration

Celebrants: Marc Paine,  Gansho Lenny Reed, Kobai Scott Whitney, Hadashi Jeff Miles, 
Chuan Zhi Shakya, and Koro Kaisan Miles at Mountain Way Zendo. Photo by Tina Miles.

August 23rd was an auspicious date for Hadashi Jeff Miles. Jeff is the resident teacher of Mountain Way Zendo, a founding member of the Order of the Boundless Way and Plum Mountain Refuge, and a Zen Priest in the Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun (ZBOHY).  He has been steadily transmitting the dharma through his ever-growing prison work, which now includes regularly scheduled practice sessions in five Western Washington prisons. 

On August 23rd, culminating events and prime conditions gave Jeff and fellow sangha members cause for celebration. Jeff had been working diligently on preparing his newly remodeled Zendo space in anticipation of ZBOHY abbot Chuan Zhi’s visit to Washington State. Since Chuan Zhi was already coming to attend the dedication of Clouds and Water Hermitage, he felt that it was the perfect opportunity to have an official dedication for Mountain Way Zendo as well. With the Zendo complete and the chance to have all three of his ordaining teachers in one place, he just couldn’t pass up the opportunity!

As timing would have it, the best available day was Thursday the 23rd – all other dates had been determined by flight schedules and OBW tenth anniversary events – and by happenstance, it was also Jeff’s birthday!  So partly by plan and partly by coincidence the date was set for Mountain Way Zendo’s dedication and Jeff’s birthday celebration.  However, this was not to be the end of the convergence that would make this such an auspicious day; in addition to coming to Washington for the tenth anniversary celebration, Chuan Zhi was also coming to recognize Jeff as a Senior Dharma Teacher in the Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun.

With a watchful eye on Jeff’s dedication to the nurturing and development of the Order of the Boundless Way and Plum Mountain Refuge, as well as his ever-growing commitment as a prison sangha leader, Chuan Zhi came to recognize Jeff as a genuine Bodhisattva and true transmitter of the Dharma. Like Jeff, he had been waiting for the perfect opportunity and here it was – on August 23rd.  

So, as causes and conditions would have it, recognition would come to Hadashi Jeff Miles and to Mountain Way Zendo as a triple blessing. With all three of his ordaining teachers present, Jeff was awarded the nine panel robe of the ZBOHY Senior Dharma Teacher and Mountain Way Zendo was officially dedicated as a practice center for sangha members in all three traditions.

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Open Gate Ordination Weekend

On Saturday September 29th, we will be welcoming three new members into the Order of the Boundless Way.  Three long standing sangha members; HernĂ¡n Massau, Sean Harrington and Maitri Sojourner will each receive the “Robe and Bowl” along with their official recognition and Dharma names. In addition to the Ordination ceremony, Saturday’s events will include a morning precepts ceremony, potluck lunch and a Zazenkai.

Sunday’s plans include a trip to Clouds and Water Hermitage and some “fun time” on the island. Many of the volunteers who have worked on the island have never had a chance to go hiking or walking on the beach, so this trip is intended to be more casual than our volunteer work days. However, for those who might rather work, there is certainly plenty to do.

Food stuffs will mostly be up to individuals both days, with the potluck lunch on Saturday and “pack your own” lunch for the island trip on Sunday. Remember, the island is primitive so be prepared accordingly. We do have a shiny new “privy” but otherwise there are no services or utilities available. Ferry fees are $21 for each car and driver and $6 for each passenger.

Ordination Zazenkai Schedule

7:15-Arrive for morning practice.
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony
8:05-9:00 Casual Breakfast
9:00-9:30 Samu- Clean Kitchen & Zendo
9:15- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
9:30-10:00 One period of Zazen.
10:00-10:45 Precepts Ceremony.
10:45-11:00 Short Break
11:00-12:00 Ordination Ceremony
12:00- 1:00 Potluck Lunch
1:00-1:15 Kitchen cleanup
1:15- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
1:30-2:45 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
2:45-3:00 Short Break
3:00-3:55 Tea Ceremony, Teisho/Group Discussion
3:55-Closing ceremony
4:00-Konsho (striking the evening bell)

Sunday Trip Schedule

9:00- Leave Open Gate for ferry dock.
10:00- Board Ferry
10:30- Arrive at Clouds and Water Hermitage.
10:30-12:30 Tour of Hermitage and neighboring properties.
12:30- 1:30 Brown Bag Lunch
1:30- 5:00 Free time to explore island.
5:30- Depart Clouds and Water and return to Ferry dock
6:00- Board Ferry
7:00- Return to Open Gate