August 2019 Update

Activity Report: January through August 2019

Dear Charles River Zen Sangha and Friends,

September is coming quickly and our sitting at the Watertown Center for Healing Arts will resume! We hope that you will take the time to come and participate in our sittings and to keep your practice going with the support of fellow Zen practitioners.

A lot of social, political, and economic uncertainly has marked the recent past. At times we do not even know if we are living in the same country that we had lived in, merely a few years ago. How do we cope with these times and with the demands made on our emotional and spiritual strength and wellbeing?

Zen practice offers us the opportunity to develop clarity about who we are and how we can relate to the current time – the only time that we have – right here, right now: our lives. Looking away or seeking refuge from that what irks or frightens us will not suffice. Developing the strong practice of an open heart and clear mind serves our own maturation and the world in turn. A little kindness, understanding, and the strong compassionate action to help others clarify this human condition have noticeable, deep, and lasting transformative impact on this world.

Come, join us, and find out how spiritual practice can transform difficult situations into opportunities to grow and mature.

Activity Report: January through August 2019

Our weekly sittings this year continue to be held on Wednesdays, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm in the Skylight Studio at the Watertown Center for Healing Arts, 22 Mt. Auburn Street, in Watertown (Massachusetts). In addition to the weekly Zazen meetings we held a retreat on January 26.

Dokurō attended most of the weekly sittings, unless his duties with Dai Bosatsu Zendo, New York Zendo, or activities at Rinzai-ji prevented him from attending. In January Dokurō Oshō led the Martin Luther King Jr. Sesshin at New York Zendo. The Teishō was recorded on video and is available through YouTube.

Yamakawa Roshi and Dokuro Osho in New York City

He also spent March 1 through 3 at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, practicing with the Kessei residents. From April 3 through 11 Dokurō Oshō helped with the Hō-On Memorial Sesshin for Eidō Rōshi. Yamakawa Sōgen Rōshi from Shōgen-ji (Gifu Prefecture) led the memorial services and gave teishō during the first four days of the retreat.
On the evening before returning to Japan Dokurō Oshō hosted Yamakawa Rōshi and the monks from Shōgen-ji for a dinner in New York City, which was co-sponsored by the Rinzai Zen Sangha.

From April 26 through 28 Dokurō led an Introduction to Zen (ITZ) Weekend at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, which was well attended. Another ITZ weekend with Dokurō is coming up in November 22 – 24 and is a great opportunity to see DBZ and learn about the intense Rinzai Zen practice.

With the end of June Charles River Zen stopped the weekly sittings, which are going to resume on September 4. Shūkō and Dokurō both attended the Anniversary Sesshin at DBZ, from June 29 through July 6. The annual walk around the lake was wonderful, and as in most sesshin Shinge Rōshi and Dokurō Oshō shared the responsibilities of giving talks and seeing students in dokusan. Soon after this, July 17 through 21, the American Zen Teachers Association met for the annual meeting at DBZ, which Dokurō attended and in which he assisted Shinge Rōshi and the residents as a co-host.

Shūkō and Dokurō were able to visit Mt. Baldy Zen Center on the weekend of July 28, just prior to the beginning of Jōshū Rōshi’s Hō-On Sesshin, which was held from July 29 through August 3 at Rinzai-ji Zen Center in Los Angeles. Dokurō Oshō had the privilege to lead the sesshin and to serve as the leader of the two memorial ceremonies for Sasaki Rōshi on August 3 and 4. The five teishō that were given were recorded and can be streamed from SoundCloud. Have a look at images taken during the sesshin and the ceremonies in the online photo album.

O-Bon at Dai Bosatsu Zendo
Shūkō Zenni and Dokurō Oshō participated in the O-Bon Festival, led by Shinge Rōshi at Dai Bosatsu Zendo on the weekend of August 10 and 11.

Dharma Talks, Teishō on SoundCloud

Please take advantage of being able to listen to the talks that Dokurō Oshō gave over the last few years. Many of them are available on SoundCloud: The talks that were not recorded by Charles River Zen, such as talks given at Dai Bosatsu Zendo or New York Zendo, are linked through a playlist that groups them together for easy access:

Sustenance and Giving

Charles River Zen operates with funds from donations. Annually our cost, which is rent for the space to hold the sittings, exceeds the income from donations substantially – we have been operating at a loss for a number of years. We depend on your generosity to continue to offer these invaluable opportunities for practice. Please consider supporting Charles River Zen with an online one-time or recurring donation. Thank you!