Dear friends of Charles River Zen,
It has been some time since you have heard from us with updates of what is happening around our Rinzai Zen Community. Today I am pleased to write with some exciting updates, that will have significant impact on the practice we offer at Charles River Zen.
As many of you may know, after Joshu Roshi stopped teaching, I started to attend Sesshin at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, Kongo-ji, in the Catskill Mountains. Shinge-Shitsu Roko Sherry Chayat is the Abbot of the Zen Studies Society and leads the Sesshin at DBZ. Shinge Roshi and I met first in 2010, when she visited as a guest teacher at the Cambridge Buddhist Association where I served as the Abbot. We kept in touch from then on, and with Joshu Roshi retiring from formal teaching I decided to continue my training with the Zen Studies Society and Shinge Roshi. When Joshu Roshi passed away last year, I became officially a disciple of Shinge Roshi and commenced formal training in the ZSS tradition.
Last May, after a Sesshin at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, Shinge Roshi announced that she will be giving Dharma Transmission to me on a specific date, in January 2016. Since then and over the course of the recent past Shinge Roshi and I, in consultation with other senior leaders of the ZSS, have come to the decision and agreement to extend the time that my advanced training in the ZSS tradition will last. It is important to us to go through the entire traditional process to become a Dharma heir. The formal training includes completion of a prescribed koan curriculum and familiarization with the responsibilities and duties that a ZSS lineage holder assumes. It is a privilege for me to be chosen to go through this process, to walk the traditional path to become a Rinzai Zen master, and I feel that with the commitment to pass through these Dharma gates I am honoring and retracing the steps which our Zen ancestors and living Zen masters took to become authentic representatives of this wonderful tradition.
At Rohatsu Sesshin this year I will officially be welcomed into the ZSS family as an authorized Dharma Teacher; the combination of this recognition with having been a Rinzai-ji (and therefore Rinzai Zen) Osho for some eleven years, will also empower me to offer formal dokusan and thus enrich our practice with one of the most fundamental ways of teaching Rinzai Zen.
In the Four Great Vows we chant HO MON MU RYO SEI GAN GAKU – how ever innumerable the Dharma gates are, I vow to pass them all. I ask all of you for your support in these further steps of the training for this Zen monk Dokuro, and for your continued practice and participation in this great new chapter in the growth of Charles River Zen.
With nine bows,
Kyo-on Dokuro, Osho