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News October 1, 2016
The second part of June and all of July we had lots of visiting practitioners, several of whom stayed for a week or more, and on Sunday july 17 we were pleasantly surprised by having 15 people for the Kshtigarbha Ceremony and delicious potluck lunch. Kshtigarbha is the Bodhisattva of Optimism and Courage and our temple is dedicated to him. There are many smaller statues of this figure on the temple grounds, and a large gold colored one is on top of one of our hills, overlooking and protecting the valley.
On July 29 Paul Herren took the Precepts and became one of our temple members, we welcome him and wish him well in his practice.
Temple members help us in many ways, through their commitment to do their own meditation and training, and their regular presence, and by making a financial pledge which makes it possible for us to continue to live from donations and offer anyone who wishes to share in our practice without having to set a fee. The benefits of being a member are practical in that you become part of a group of like minded people who can support you in your practice, and deeply spiritual on a personal level where the fruits of commitment develop.
We encourage anyone who is serious about their practice, to consider becoming a member, and talk about that to another member or one of the monks.
There was a forest fire on the far side of Pine Mountain that went on for about 3 weeks, the temple was never in danger but it was good to be reminded of the need for clearing the grounds ( which we had done already), and being prepared for evacuation. We had several generous offers of a place to stay, and help with transportation in case of need, and were grateful not to have to make use of those. It is good to know those offers are there, and we do keep them in mind.
In August the monks were able to go away for a much needed period of rest and renewal and family visits, we had Chris here as caretaker and Bert, Dee, Paul and Beth all came out regularly to keep him company and make sure he had enough food. The dogs bonded even more in the three weeks of living together without their persons, and are now almost inseparable.
Rev. Lambert (center of photo) is a monk of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives who lives in Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in England. Throssel Hole is the sister monastery of Shasta Abbey in northern California. Rev. Lambert has been visiting the U.S. this year, spending most of his time at Shasta Abbey. He was able to get away for a week to visit us, from September 13—20. He enjoyed his time at the temple, helping with the making of “ihais” in our work shop, coming on a hiking trip to the top of Reyes Peak, the highest point on Pine Mountain (for which our temple is named) and exploring the immediate area around the temple. Rev. Lambert gave a Dharma talk on Sunday, Sept. 18, which was well received. He will return to the UK in December after about a year in America.
Trip to Shasta Abbey
The two monks and several lay members will be traveling to Shasta Abbey in early November, which marks the 20th anniversary of the death of our master, Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett. A memorial ceremony will be held, and a slide and film showing of scenes from her life. Dee has offered her van as transportation for the entire group.
September has started off calmly, we have one resident trainee, Travis. We were given a lot of wood that needs processing, and had to take down a couple of dead trees ourselves as well, so there is no shortage of firewood.
Two new fish were born in our pond and made it to full fish-hood, which is a sign of good pond health and a pleasure to see. The vegetable gardens had a hard time this summer, and not even zucchinis are making it. Fortunately we are not farmers and don’t depend on those for our livelihood. Perhaps the winter garden will fare a bit better.
Our heating ducts are in need of repair and maintenance; we have a very good father and son team who have done work for us for years, and will take on the job. If you would like to help pay for this big project, please make your donation to our Building Fund, which includes maintenance.
As well as generous offerings of food and drink the monks received: office supplies, gardening supplies, art supplies, Paper towels, TP and napkins, a food blender, a coffeemaker, garden hose, cleaning supplies, phone minutes, books, printed cards, medication, flowers, a pan, many tools, the loan of a wood splitter and firewood.
The Temple can use: Lysol Toilet cleaner, de-Solvit or Orange Oil, Forever stamps first class and Global, Large plastic bags for recycling, paper towels, paper plates, organic Peanut Butter, mixed nuts, Nature’s Miracle stain and odor remover, solar powered lights for our paths, candles for the meditation hall ( white, 3″ dia), white vinegar for cleaning, tofu and pasta.