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!

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