Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Winter Retreat at Open Gate Zendo

OBW Rohatsu/Winter Sesshin

Our 2019 Winter Sesshin will be held at Open Gate Zendo. Practice begins at 7:30 am Saturday January 19th and ends at 5:00 pm Sunday, January 20th.  The two day practice schedule will include the 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Silent Peace Walk (Olympia’s Capitol Lake, Marathon Park starting at noon Sunday). 

Anyone wishing 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 donations and 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; with any questions and/or to confirm your plans to attend, we need an accurate head count for buying food stuffs.

2019 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 (Han roll)
2:45-4:00 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
4:00-4:15 Short Break
4:15-4:45 Tea ceremony, Teisho/Group Discussion
5:00-Closing - Konsho (striking the evening bell) tolled 9 times

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Meet Cindy Baxley-Raves

No matter where you go there you are…I am so grateful to be here.

Hello! My name is Cindy Baxley-Raves. I am a transplant to the beautiful Northwest and I love Olympia. My practice began in 2011 when I took at class at the Evergreen State College, Buddhism in Psychotherapy. I was always interested in Buddhism and was curious how the practice works with the Western idea of Psychotherapy. A bonus was the 4 day meditation retreat where I experience my first silent retreat. It was wonderful to learn that it is possible to be in charge of your thoughts and I have been meditating ever since. I continued to practice and study on my own for a few years and then started looking for a local Sangha. When I discovered Open Gate Zendo and Miles I found the perfect fit. I struggled with an uncomfortable ‘otherness’ at the previous Zendos that I don’t feel here.

I was raised in an Agnostic home and when I would visit church’s I felt like I didn’t belong. The Teachings of the Boundless Mind School closely parallel my own personal philosophy. One of the things that attracted me to Zen was the practicality of it. It is very straightforward and logical. I am 100% responsible for my experience. If I don’t like what is happening I can change my expectation or move on. I also appreciate that Miles isn’t trying to convince people to study or recruit members he is just saying “Here’s this thing that works for me. Try it. If it works for you- good, if not- thanks for stopping by.” This works for me.

Visiting Open Gate Zendo weekly, attending retreats, studying great teachers, and practicing zazen daily have helped bring contentment to my life. I do my best to live the 8-fold path and do no harm. I accepted the precepts in a ceremony at Open Gate Zendo in 2015. I appreciate that public service is an important part of the Order of the Boundless Way because I believe we are all here to take care of each other. I look forward to continuing my Zen education and practice.

Cindy Baxley-Raves

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fall Sesshin September 8th & 9th

This year we will be having our Fall Sesshin at Mount Adams Zen Temple earlier in the season.  Many people have commented that the late October dates put us into chill of winter and make the nights and early mornings a bit challenging.  So we have are experimenting by moving our dates where we can fit into the busy Mount Adams schedule. Therefore, on September 8th and 9th, we will once again join with the Mount Adams Zen community in conducting our Fall Sesshin. The format of the retreat 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: 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:

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 Informal Lunch
1:45 Clean up and Break
2:45 One period seated meditation
3:15 Tea and Group discussion
4:15 Retreat Ends

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Meet Peyton Young

Hello everyone!

My name is Peyton Young and I am from the foot hills of the Blue Ridge mountains in Northern Georgia. I am married to a wonderful women and Daoist Priest Christina J. Barea. We have an almost driving teenaged son by the name of Matteo. Right now, my main job is in I.T. as a Senior Network Engineer.

I was raised Southern Baptist in a family of military veterans from WWII and Vietnam. I played soccer, hunted, fished, and worked on mechanical things as a young man. I loved my time in Boy Scouts and earned the Eagle Scout badge. I have studied martial arts almost my entire adult life in some fashion or another. Bruce Lee and Morihei Ueshiba were big influences in my spiritual development at an early age.

I was an avid reader as well loving JRR Tolkien, David Eddings, and Louis Lamour; these gents developed my creative and imaginative side. Later in life I have had the pleasure of studying with some great teachers, guides and mentors in martial arts and the spiritual sciences. I realized at some point or another, that there was something much deeper to life that could be experienced if the inner and outer were one and the same. This lead me to my wife and over the last 7 years we both have tried to make that merging a reality on so many levels!

My wife and I practice and teach Medical Qigong Therapy, Qigong and Taichi for health, and we started a not for profit in Georgia. We are also in the process of starting a new business selling lovingly brewed Chinese herbal liniments. Somewhere in all this living I was ordained as a novice priest in Tendai and Shingon schools and I took discipleship in Quan Zhen Longmen Pai Sect of Daoism. I currently do practice liturgy, meditation, Suizen, and try to have some fun! My love is playing the Shakuhachi! Suizen Life! Long live the Komuso!

So that is my ongoing hero’s journey. Continually merging inner and outer and experiencing what life has to offer. I am excited to get to meet all you great people in the near future!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Clouds & Water Hermitage Work Parties

Summer is quickly approaching and the thistles are growing rapidly!  In an attempt to avoid the annual Thistle Bloom Apocalypse, we have scheduled two work party dates at Clouds and Water Hermitage. Saturday May 12, will be a one day work party with two meditation practice periods, one first thing after the arrival of the morning ferry, and one just before we depart on the evening ferry.

The morning ferry sets sail at 6:45 am, so it is advised that you be at the ferry dock at 6:00 am to have time to buy your tickets and get in line. For those who cannot make the morning ferry, there is another at 12:00 noon so an arrival at the dock around 11:00 am is advised.  The evening ferry leaves the Island at 7:35, so it’s a full 13 hour day if you arrive with the morning ferry. 

The second work party is both Saturday and Sunday, June 16th and 17th with the same schedule both days. Camping space is available and the Zendo is a good place to sleep, if you have an air mattress and sleeping bag. Remember accommodations are primitive (Except for the New Restroom, which is easily 4 & ½ stars! 😉 ), so come ready to camp.  Meals will be bring your own food on May 12 semi-potluck for the June weekend.

Hope to see you there.