The Missouri Zen Center

February-March, 2011

The Missouri Zen Center
220 Spring Avenue
Webster Groves, MO 63119
(314) 961-6138

Coming Events

• Feb. 8, 15: zafu sewing
• Feb. 20: one-day sit
• Feb. 22: Brad Warner at Seki’s
• Feb. 24: Lost in Woonsocket screens
• Feb. 26: Brad Warner at MZC
• Mar. 6: Socially Engaged Buddhism
• Mar. 13: Annual and sangha meetings
• Mar. 18-20: sesshin
• Apr. 10: Board meeting
• May 15: Vesak Day

New Lay Ordainees

On December 5, 2010, four sangha members took lay ordination. Following the ceremony, Rosan wrote:

Congratulations on the ordination of the newly born Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas with our sangha, all buddhas, ancestors and all beings!

Erin 恵林: Grace/Wisdom Forest,
        Erin Davis

Rido 利道: Benefitting (the) Way,
        Richard Burke

Shuri 秀理: Supreme Principle/Truth,
        Sheryll Coulter

Soho 祖峰: Patriarch Peak,
         Steve Collier

Thank you all participants - ordainees, officiants, helpers, attendees for your dedicated cooperative wonderful work!

Help Sew Zafus, Feb. 8 & 15

One of the nice services MZC provides to the community is making zafus and zabutons.

We have orders to fill and winter is a great time to sew zafus and zabutons together. We have tasks for all sewing skill levels including beginners.

Please join us 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Tuesdays, February 8 and 15.

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Recipes Wanted for MZC Cookbook

We are collecting recipes for a MZC fundraising cookbook. Anyone who has recipes to contribute can put a copy into Kathleen’s mailbox at MZC. If you’d prefer to email your recipe, send it to MZC’s email address. Please consider providing recipes for dishes you’ve brought to sangha potlucks and/or other of your favorite dishes. Submit as many as you like!

Zen Teacher Brad Warner
Comes to St. Louis

Brad Warner, a zen monk, musician, and author, will be in St. Louis to discuss his newest book, Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between. He also wrote Hardcore Zen, Sit Down And Shut Up, and Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate. His blog is at:

Though Brad’s talks always focus on the Buddhist dharma, the actual topics covered can range from the words of the ancient masters to the finer points of slam dancing, from insights to be found in the depths of marathon meditation sessions to whether Godzilla could beat up Yog the Space Monster. Brad prefers to respond to an audience rather than lecture them. The talks themselves tend to be more like brief introductions to free-wheeling and stimulating Q & A sessions.

On Tuesday, Feb. 22, Brad will be appearing at Seki’s Japanese Restaurant, 6335 Delmar Blvd. (Delmar Loop). Seki’s will open at 6:30 p.m. Brad’s talk with Q & A begins at 7 p.m. with book signing to follow. Refreshments will be available for purchase. The event ends at 9:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Feb. 26, Brad will be at MZC. Zazen will take place from 7-7:20 p.m. followed by Brad’s talk and Q & A. For anyone who would like zazen instruction before the talk, such instruction for beginners will be available at the Missouri Zen Center at 6:30 p.m. Space is limited, so please contact the center by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 24, to reserve a spot. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early.

We’ve included a flier for both events. You are welcome to copy and post anywhere you obtain permission for posting. We’re also planning some opportunities to meet with Brad more informally. Please check the e-list or contact MZC for updated info.

Socially Engaged Buddhism, March 6

A special event on Socially Engaged Buddhism will be held on Sunday, March 6, 2011, at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Rd. This event is sponsored by the Buddhist

Council of Greater St. Louis, of which MZC is a member organization.


2:00: Introduction: Leonora Kham
2:05: 38 Highest Blessings / Mangala Sutra chanting
2:10: Prof. Don Sloane: Being Socially Engaged Now
2:40: Prof. Dr. Kongsak Tanphaichitr: Buddhism and Healthcare & Related Issues
3:10: Former inmates associated with Inside Dharma: How Buddhist Teachings Helped Us In and Out of Prison
3:40-4:05: Group discussion 1
4:05-4:30: Group discussion 2
4:30-5:00: Group discussion summaries, conclusion

For more information, contact Dr. Tanphaichitr: (314) 839-4339

You can look up and print for distribution the “Socially-engaged Buddhism” flier posted on the Buddhist Council website:

MZC Annual Meeting, Mar. 13

The Annual Meeting of the Missouri Zen Center will be held at MZC on Sunday, March 13 following family sitting. The meeting will begin with election of new Board members, followed by a sangha meeting. We will meet during and following a potluck lunch. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share.

The Annual Meeting is the one meeting each year that our Zen Center must conduct, according to our by-laws. The primary purpose of this meeting is to elect new members to our Board of Directors. Anyone who has paid membership dues or has taken lay ordination at the Zen Center may vote at this meeting. If you don’t fall into either category but you’ve been coming to the Zen Center more or less regularly for some time (meaning we recognize you as part of the sangha), you may also vote at this meeting. The same voting procedures will be followed during the sangha meeting.

After the sangha meeting ends, the new Board will meet very briefly for the purpose of naming the officers for 2011. This is the one Board meeting that is required by our by-laws. Please see the article on nominations to the Board for more info on MZC’s Board and its duties.


February-March, 2011

A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center

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Sangha Life

Nominations for MZC Board

by Kuryo

MZC’s by-laws require us to hold an election once a year to seat new members on the Board. Board members serve for three years and can be re-elected. Rosan is automatically on the Board as our abbot and Executive Director. Of the current Board members, Kuryo’s term ends after the Board election. Suzanne and Brittany will serve the final year of their

terms in 2011, and Maku and Erin will serve the second year of their terms in 2011.

We welcome new members to the Board so that knowledge of how to keep the Zen Center operational is spread as widely as possible among the sangha. Nominations are now open for new members to the Board and will remain open through Sunday, Mar. 6. We encourage sangha members to consider nominating themselves or another member to the Board.

A good nominee is someone who has a strong commitment to our practice and to the Zen Center as our place to practice together. Nominations can be submitted to the Zen Center by phone or email. You can also make a nomination by contacting a current Board member. If you nominate someone else, please be sure you have his or her permission to do so. We don’t want anyone to be put in the awkward position of being nominated but not being able to serve on the Board.





All that's visible springs from causes intimate to you. While walking, sitting, lying down, the body itself is complete truth. If someone asks the inner meaning of this: “Inside the treasury of dharma eye a single grain of dust.”

February-March, 2011

A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center

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Sangha Life

Why One Should Know the True Self

By Rosan Daido

Problems: We have all kinds of individual, social and ecological problems and sufferings: birth, sickness, aging, death, dissatisfaction, loss, parting, passion, pollution, distortion, discrimination, disintegration, depletion, deterioration, exploitation, extinction, etc.  We disagree, dispute, disregard, degrade and delay them to decay, demise, destruction and doom. We may sum them up in the five calamities of delusion (of self-identity), bondage, discrimination, exploitation and extermination in their causal relations.

Causes: All the problems come from our nescience of our true selves. All people are karma (action/habit) machines that run in rat races, biting baits, trapped in tragedies into tombs. We are short-sighted and short-circuited like mice running in the tread-wheel or eating peanut-butter near at hand, trapped, dead. We think we drive our cars for fame and fortune, but actually we are driven by the karma of small self (like a bubble), missing holy (wholly wholesome: all related/relative: selfless) truth, goodness, beauty and happiness (like the ocean).

Solutions: Because karma (past, present, physical, verbal and mental) creates self-delusion, thus accruing attachment and aversion (three poisons) and ensuing the five calamities as stated above, solutions lie in stopping karma, seeing holy truth, goodness, beauty, peace, etc., solving the self-problem and samsara (transmigration through birth/death, up/down) suffering. Karm is the source of evolution or devolution, development or deterioration. So we must first stop it and clearly see and select the way.

Methods: The universal, essential, simple, direct method of stopping karma is still sitting, stopping physical, verbal and mental karma (actions/habits), which frees anyone from karma and facilitates holy (wholly wholesome) and full function.  Constant sitting enables one to witness and work in greater perspective and higher priority into truth and peace, eventually attaining the unsurpassed right complete awakening (anuttara-samyak sambodhi) and unconditioned peace (nirvana) (opposite process of the five calamities).

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Regular Zendo Schedule


6:20 am Zazen
7:00 am Service (sutras)
7:20 am Zazen
8:00 am Kinhin
8:10 am Zazen
8:30 am Lecture (teisho)
9:30 am Work period (samu) and tea

You are welcome to come throughout the morning, but please do not enter the zendo during zazen. Enter quietly at other times.

10:00-10:20 am Family Sitting
10:20-11:00 am Children’s activities


6:00-6:40 am Zazen
11:00-11:40 am Zazen
 Beginner’s Night—Registration required (at least 24 hours in advance)
6:30-7:00 pm Instruction
7:00-7:20 pm Zazen
7:20-8:00 pm Discussion/Q&A


6:00-6:50 am Zazen & Heart Sutra
7:00-7:40 pm Zazen
7:40-9:00 pm Tea/discussion


6:00-6:40 am Zazen
6:40-6:50 am Kinhin
6:50-7:40 am Zazen & Heart Sutra
7:00-7:40 pm Zazen


6:00-6:50 am Zazen & Heart Sutra
7:00-7:40 pm Zazen
7:50-9:00 pm Dharma Study Group (call for details)


6:00-6:50 am Zazen & Heart Sutra
7:00-7:40 pm Zazen


8:00-8:50 am Zazen & Heart Sutra

Work periods may be scheduled following zazen.


February-March, 2011

A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center

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Sangha Life

February-March, 2011

A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center

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Sangha Life

The Great American Hot Air Leak
(and how to stop it)

by Kuryo

In the last issue, we considered some free or low cost measures to take to reduce your use of heating over the coming heating season and why you might wish to take these actions. The measures we’ll consider this issue are generally easier for homeowners to do than renters, although some renters may find some of them practical as well. The costs run the gamut from rather cheap (caulk, window films, weather-stripping) to quite expensive (insulation, new windows). While all measures will quickly save enough energy to compensate for the energy required to make them, some of the measures will pay back financially quickly (caulk), others not in less than 10-20 years (wall insulation). They will all pay back immediately in terms of reduced discomfort at lower thermostat settings.

A surprising amount of the heated air in a dwelling leaks straight to the outside through gaps and holes. Plugging those gaps is the cheapest and most cost-effective way to reduce your heating cost and fuel use. Look for gaps to seal wherever two or more surfaces meet, such as where your windowframes meet the house or your door contacts the door frame. Caulk and weatherstripping are what you need to seal whatever gaps you find. Many if not most hardware stores carry books that include details on how to apply these materials. It’s likely that your public library has similar books available for checkout. The book Homemade Money, referenced at the end of this article, has a chart comparing different types of caulk. If you’ve sealed most of the leaks, you will notice a decrease in cold drafts, and your feet will thank you, although your heating utility may not.

Some gaps hide in non-obvious places, like the sheet-metal ductwork of a forced-air heating system that leaks heat into an unfinished basement. The best way to find all the gaps, if you can afford it, is to retain the services of a home performance contractor. This will cost you on the order of a few to several hundred or more dollars, depending on the size of the dwelling. In the St. Louis region, you can locate them through the Healthy Planet newspaper (free at various locations around town, including businesses on Big Bend near MZC) or through the Earthways Center portion of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s website ( If you have the financial resources and you can find a contractor that does the work, you can hire them to seal the gaps that your home performance contractor found. The older your dwelling is, the more leakage it probably has and the faster the payback will be once the leaks are found and sealed (and the more comfortable you will feel in winter).

Your dwelling also leaks warmth through uncovered and single-pane windows. You can cut down on these losses with clinging window films, storm windows, and even just closing the blinds and curtains over your windows at night. If you want to go to a little more effort, some books and websites show you how to make insulated window coverings, or you can look for a vendor who can make them to order.

Adding insulation is what comes to most peoples’ minds when they think about saving energy. Insulating is only cost-effective, however, if it’s done after you seal air leaks. The most cost-effective place to add insulation is in your attic if you don’t already have enough. In the St. Louis area you want to have enough insulation in your attic to achieve an R-44 rating. There are a variety of different materials to choose from when adding insulation to your attic. You’ll want to choose a material which is compatible with any insulation which is now in place and is not hazardous. Blown cellulose is probably the most suitable material for most attics, but more difficult for a do-it-yourselfer to install than fiberglass batts. Homemade Money has good information on the advantages and disadvantages of various insulation materials. Other good places to add insulation are to forced-air ductwork (but only after it’s sealed) and to basement ceilings. Blowing insulation into uninsulated walls is helpful as well but requires a long time for financial payback and is best done by specialists.

If you have a pre-1990 furnace needing to be replaced, by all means replace it with the most energy-efficient model you can afford. Natural gas forced-air furnaces of 96% or better efficiency are readily available. This is an expensive and long-payback item, but if you need to replace the furnace anyway, it’s worth doing.

Probably the last thing to consider for most people is replacing windows. New windows are expensive and require a lot of energy to produce. You’ll find it more cost-effective to caulk and weather-strip around your windows, replace any broken window panes and re-putty any loose ones, and add clinging window film and/or storm windows than to replace your windows. Home rehabbing websites have lots of information on repairing old wooden windows and why you might want to repair them rather than replace them. If you do choose to buy replacement windows, spend however much is needed to get double-pane windows with the longest possible guarantee against leakage. Once they leak, and they will leak eventually, you will have permanent fogging between the two layers of glass.

Homemade Money: How to Save Energy and Dollars in Your Home, by Richard Heede (Rocky Mountain Institute,, 1995)

February-March, 2011

A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center