We offer the merit of our Thanksgiving Day Ceremony to all who have made offerings to this temple of their training, of their time, money, wealth, food and drink, clothing and all other requisites of life. We especially give thanks to Rev. Master Houn Jiyu, to all the monks of our monastic order, to the greater Buddhist Sangha, and to our members who make this temple possible. We thank all those who have visited here in the past year, to all who make deliveries or provide services, to our neighbors, to this valley and all living beings who give it life and share their lives with us. We pray for peace in all the world, we pray that evil may be overcome by good, we pray for the peace of this temple and for the cessation of all disaster. Homage to all the Buddhas in all worlds. Homage to all the Bodhisattvas in all worlds. Homage to the Scripture of Great Wisdom.
This years Autumn Retreat focused initially on various chapters from Rev. M. Meiten’s book “Reflections on the Path”. Since the election results had come out the day before, we had a good opportunity to ground ourselves in the practice and teaching while looking at our responses to circumstances in real time. The participants all have tens of years of training behind themselves, and the maturity was a joy to witness. As you can see we were all smiling at the end of the retreat, determined to keep the Dharma perspective with us wherever we are.
The Autumn Retreat happens in November, and starts on Thursday afternoon, ending on Sunday. It is for people who have taken the Precepts and have done at least one weekend retreat here before. In January we decide on which book to read for the next retreat and discussions are a large part of the schedule.
In April we have a similar retreat, but this one is silent except for one short Dharma talk every day. Please contact the temple if you are interested in attending the Spring or Autumn Retreat.
On Friday November 5 Day, Dee, Bert, Rev. Phoebe, Rev, Seikai and Steve (from left to right in front of Rev. M. Jiyu’s Stupa) drove up to Shasta Abbey, where we were joined by Benjamin (center) who came over from Eureka. We spent the weekend with the Shasta Abbey community and guests to remember Reverend Master Jiyu, who died 20 years ago. Several of our group had been given the Precepts by her, and it was good to show our gratitude this way.
On October 16 we had a surprise visit from Maki and Robby, who brought their 3 month old son Brumi to be blessed and see the Buddha. He was very focused and sweet, and a seed was no doubt planted in his young heart. May he have a long and happy life and bring many blessings to every being he meets.
Al Cruz, born in 1936, died on July 28, 2016, in his home in Bakersfield. We were notified of his death by one of his many nieces: Al came from a large family and grew up in Oxnard. He was a member of the Santa Barbara Buddhist Priory years before the temple moved to the Ozena Valley and became Pine Mountain Temple in 2000. Working at the former State Mental Hospital Al became friends with Dee, and introduced her to the Zen practice at the SB Priory. Al was a very regular presence at the temple, would come most weekends and attend retreats. Upon arrival he would invariably ask: “What can I do?” Later he moved to Bakersfield and continue to come until various health problems caught up with him and he could no longer make the drive. We miss Al and offer our condolences to his family and friends. Al had always spoken fondly of his practice and so his family arranged for a funeral and burial of his ashes at the temple, on October 2nd. Twenty people came and many spoke of their memories of Al’s kindness and steady example in practice. After the burial we shared a lovely potluck lunch.
New articles are in the Dharma page.
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.