Well, it has been quite a spell since our last newsletter. This will be the start of our newsletter initially going out about every 6 weeks.

 

The Heart of Kannon Bosatsu
In this difficult and scary time with financial changes, losses in real estate prices, the H1N1 flu etc., Let us remember the Prayer of Blessings: We surround all men and all forms of life with infinite love and compassion. Especially, do we send out compassionate thoughts to those in suffering and sorrow, to those in doubt and ignorance, to all who are striving to attain truth, and to those whose feet stand close to the great change that men call death, we send forth all wisdom, mercy and love.

Heart Sutra presentation:

THE GREAT HEART OF WISDOM SUTRA (Hannya Haramitta Shingyo)

The Buddhist concept of emptiness is that ultimate reality is knowable, that there is a basis for phenomena, and that we can communicate with and know about the world around us.

Emptiness (sunyata) should not be confused with nothingness. Buddhist Emptiness is not “non-existence” or “non-reality”. It is a state of awakening and then reacting from the core spiritual truth,
and being free of all limitations of mind.

Kannon, a priest and an Enlightened Being (Bodhisattva) of Compassion,
while practicing the Deepest Meditation (Wisdom),
Clearly saw the five sensory experiences: the body, sensations, perceptions, mental formations,
and consciousness (aggregates) to be empty, Thus transcending every suffering

(He turned to another monk and said)

O Shariputra , Form is no other than Emptiness — Emptiness no other than form.
Form is innately Emptiness — Emptiness innately form,
Feeling, thought, impulse, and consciousness are likewise like this.

O Shariputra remember, All being is fundamentally empty
Without beginning — without end, neither pure — nor defiled
Not increasing — not decreasing.

So in Emptiness, there is
No form, no feeling, no thought, no impulse, no consciousness,
No eye — no ear — no nose — no tongue — no body — no mind
No seeing no hearing no smelling no tasting no touching no thinking
No realm of sight — no realm of thought
No ignorance — no end of ignorance
No sickness old age and death — no end to sickness old age and death
No suffering — no craving — no end of suffering
No Path — no wisdom and nothing to be attained

Hence all enlightened beings (Bodhisattvas) live this Deepest Wisdom.
Free of hindrances they are free of fear.
Free of delusion they awaken to being free from both suffering and the cycle of rebirth (Nirvana).
All Fully Awakened Ones of all times live this Deepest Wisdom,
and thereby realize Supreme Enlightenment, Perfect Enlightenment,
Unsurpassed Enlightenment, Complete Enlightenment.

Therefore know that this Wisdom beyond wisdom is the transcendent Power the Illuminating Power,
The Absolute Power the Incomparable Power It overcomes all suffering

Know this as Truth and do not doubt
Proclaim this profound Wisdom Teaching
The Teaching that declares
Gone, Gone, Gone to the Other Shore
Attained the Other Shore
To beyond the Other Shore
Having never left

May this merit pervade all existence.
May we and all beings achieve liberation.
Veneration to all Awakened Ones
of past present and future, The World-Honored One,
Great Enlightened Beings (Bodhisattvas), and to the Great Heart of Wisdom.

TUCSON

7620 N. Hartman Lane, Suite 112, Tucson, AZ

Going strong under the leadership of Ron Sensei (phone 520.904.9474) and Ed Reis (phone 520.991.8108). The group meets every Sunday Morning at 9AM. Please give them your support by attending. Also there are other Zen groups in Tucson; Hsu Yun Buddhist Association Inc. (140 E. Navajo Rd, Tucson – (520) 907-6245) and Zen Desert Sangha. Of course you can also visit our dear friend, Venerable Losang Kalden (Ane La, respected nun), at the Manjushri Wisdom Study Group (520.971.1681) or the venerable Ajon Wirot (520.546.5115 / mobile 520.396.9305) at theTriRatana Tucson Buddhist Temple, 20 N. Evelyn Ave.Tucson AZ 85710 or by e-mail.

PHOENIX

The Phoenix center has closed. Rev. Johndennis Govert (480.213.8979) is still available for those who wish to have a priest’s direction guidance.

TROUT LAKE ABBEY

PO Box 487, Trout Lake WA 98650 • 509.395.2030

We have our county hearing in May and if approved to operate, we’ll have a grand opening sometimes in June or July. We have been working very diligently to create a real working farm and training center. Our goal is to create a Spiritual Retreat Center where we can live our faith, grow 80% of our own food, donate 40% of everything we grow to the local food bank, and keep everything Organic (chemical free and without pesticides).

Temple Activities (we cannot legally open yet so we are waiting for county approval to advertise. However some neighbors do come and sit with us on a regular basis)

  • Presented at local middle and high schools on Buddhism
  • Scheduled presentations on Buddhism at local churches
  • Zazen Schedule: Monday – Saturday at 6:30 am, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm
  • Have a small temporary zendo and temple set up.
  • We have ordered a new altar and it is being built by Ken McGuire Roshi in New Mexico. He is the senior student of Matsuoka Roshi and we’re so honored to have him build our altar.

Farm and Organic Garden Activities:

  • We now have over 200 fruit trees in our orchards
  • Constructed raised beds for our gardens
  • Ordered deer fencing for our orchards
  • Removed over 80% of all the pressure treated fence posts (green ones with copper cyanide and older ones that are oil immersed), with natural wood or metal posts.
  • Rebuilt the chicken coop and have ordered 45 baby chicks (http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/index.html) for delivery in June. We harvest the eggs (certified organic) but do not kill any chickens for meat.
  • Applied for and been accepted as a Certified Organic farm. We will have our inspection soon.
  • Developed an ecologically based farm plan with the help of Underwood Conservation District (http://w3.gorge.net/ucd/index.htm)
  • Planted a hedgerow of local trees and shrubs around our property to support wildlife.
  • Planted trees along the road and creek in back of our property to help stabilize that riparian area.

We will have our hearing on May 4th to see if our request for a zoning variance will be accepted. If we are allowed to operate as a temple, we will have our grand opening on Sunday July 12th.

Financial News:
We are doing Ok financially.

  • January – March 2009 Donations = $450.00
  • Cash on hand = $1,240
  • Liabilities = $ none

Miscellaneous News

Kozen’s travels: Kozen will be going to Thailand late June – Early July for about 2 weeks. While there he will visit local temples and stay at a Thai Monastery. Kozen will go to India in Late October to visit Buddha Gaya (the site of Buddha’s awakening). He will be traveling with his good friends Ajon Wirot, a Thai Buddhist priest, and Ed Reis, a Board member of AZSZC. Next year Kozen hopes to return to Japan for a 5 month stay.
Visitors: So far we’ve had 2 AZSZC Buddhist visitors at our facility, Denise and Jeremiah and his daughter Kaya. Thank you both for your visits – it was great to have guests. Please do come and see what we are doing here and join in our practice and work.
Questionable Practices: We attempted to lease a copier from Pacific Office Automation (http://www.pacificoffice.com). They came to our farm in Trout Lake and we believe that they grossly misrepresented themselves. We signed a lease form, they informed us 4 days later that we could not lease from them and wanted us to pay them $9,000 for the copier we had just purchased. We believe that they have deceptive and unethical business practices and encourage anyone dealing with them to be very, very cautious.

Blessings, may all beings awaken.

GASHO!

Kozen Sampson
Arizona Soto Zen Centers
PO Box 487
Trout Lake, WA 98650
509.637.5995 cell
509.395.2030 home