October 9

Special Events

Even though you will need peace and quiet in order to meditate, after you’re done, you can enjoy some of your favorite slot machines.

Introducing new chants (again)

Four years ago the San Francisco Zen Center adopted a new liturgy after years of translation work and discussion. At the time some Mountain Rain members expressed interest in changing our liturgy to the new version. Some of the chants have only minor changes from the versions we use, and others have more substantial changes. We used the new versions during our fall 2004 practice period, with generally positive response, but also some reluctance to change expressed. At that time our guiding teacher Zoketsu Norman Fischer advised waiting to see if SFZC would really stick with the new version and not make further changes, and to give the Bellingham and other Everyday Zen sanghas a chance to consider the possible change.

So now, four years later, at a gathering of Everyday Zen ordained people in May, Norman asked us to consider adopting the SFZC liturgy in our sanghas. So let’s take this opportunity to become better acquainted with of two of the chants we do most often. Kate and Michael will each offer a 3-week class during the month of September (see below). We will draw on several versions of each chant. We can try out the new liturgy during our upcoming practice period (again), and everyone is invited to participate in sangha discussions.

Wednesdays September 10, 17, 24, 2009 class and discussion on Merging of Difference and Unity led by Kakushi Kate McCandless during the second sitting period. Everyone welcome. By donation.

Sundays September 14, 21, 28, 2009 class and discussion on the Great Wisdom Beyond Wisdom Heart Sutra led by Onshin Michael Newton during the second sitting period. Everyone welcome. By donation.


MRZC 9th Annual Fall Practice Period

In the rainy season the Buddha and his disciples gathered in one place to practice and study together. In Zen monasteries intensive practice periods traditionally lasted for three months. Our six-week non-residential practice period is designed to support participants to intensify and strengthen their practice while living in the midst of family and work responsibilities.

Each person chooses his or her own level of involvement, which may include home sitting, zendo sitting, retreats, study, taking up a particular practice theme, or some appropriate personal restrictions in lifestyle. Some may also choose to include an element of community service or action for peace and justice in the world. Please make use of the enclosed schedule to put together your practice period plan. Take into consideration your family and work commitments and decide what will best nourish your practice.

Our shuso or “head monk” this year will be Dai-i Flo Rublee, under the guidance of Zoketsu Norman Fischer. Flo is a long-time practitioner and physiotherapist, who has lived on the Sunshine Coast for the last ten years, continuing to attend Mountain Rain retreats and maintain her connection with the sangha. We’re happy to welcome Flo as this shuso this year.

The relationship between the shuso and the sangha is one of mutual support, and each shuso brings particular gifts to a practice period. The shuso supports the sangha through giving talks and a class, and meeting each participant for tea and informal practice discussion. The sangha supports the shuso by their commitment to the practice period, and by their participation in the shuso entering ceremony and the dharma inquiry ceremony at the closing sesshin.


2008 Practice Period Activities and Events

Regular Zendo sittings Wednesday evenings 7:00-9:00
Sunday mornings 10:00-12:00
Dharma talks by Michael and Kate TBA

Early Morning Sittings TBA 6:30-8:30 AM
These are informal sitting. You are welcome to enter and leave quietly during the sittings, as your schedule permits.

Sitting practice at home

Engaged Buddhist practice: community service/activism

Dharma study

Tea with the shuso A tradition we’ve adopted from San Francisco Zen Center is for practice period participants to have tea and informal practice discussion with the shuso. Given that Flo will only be here on weekends, it may help to schedule some tea meetings in small groups, so if you’d like meet with a sangha friend and Flo, just let her know. Please contact Flo at florob@dccnet.com or (604-740-8292)

Dharma study Group: The Great Matter of Life and Death
with Dai-i Flo Rublee
Sundays, 1:00-2:30
October 5, 19, 26, November 2, 9

An exploration of death and how it relates to life and our practice.
Topics include:
1) Marana- Sati (Death Awareness practice)
2) Personal Aspect of Death -Grief
3) Universal Aspect of Death-Who Dies?
4) Impermanence
5) What the dying can teach us
Classes will include readings and discussion.
To register contact Flo at florob@dccnet.com or (604-740-6292)

Shuso Entering Ceremony for Dai-i Flo Rublee
October 10, 7:00-9:00, Friday, at the Mountain Rain zendo

zazen, shuso entering ceremony, statement of practice period intentions by participants, followed by refreshments
Zoketsu Norman Fischer will join us to do the ceremony before going to Bellingham for the weekend retreat there. Everyone welcome.

Non-residential study retreat with Zoketsu Norman Fischer
October 11-12
Red Cedar Zen Community, Bellingham , WA
To register see www.bellinghamzen.org.

Shuso’s Way-seeking Mind talk
Sunday, October 12, 10:00-12:00
Zazen followed by talk and tea circle.

Day-retreat with Jan Chozen Bays
November 1
Asian Centre, UBC, Vancouver
To register contact Michael Winther at winther.michael@gmail.com or (604) 871-0321.

Residential sesshin at Loon Lake Camp
November 16-22
Led by Zoketsu Norman Fischer with Dai-i Flo Rublee as shuso
Concluding with a dharma inquiry ceremony in which participants bring their dharma questions to the shuso.
Registration form on the MRZC website- Please register early!
To register contact registrar@mountainrainzen.ca

Practice Period Closing Ceremony
Mountain Rain Zendo
Sunday, November 23
During regular sitting time.