The Missouri Zen Center

April-May, 2007

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

Coming Events

New Board Members Elected

At the March 24 Annual Meeting, the sangha elected two people by acclamation to join the MZC Board of Directors. The new directors are Mitsudo and Bob Hawkins. They join Rosan, who is always on the Board as our Executive Director and Abbott, and continuing Board members John Hale, Kathy Albers, Sheryll Coulter, Karo, Meiku, and Kuryo. Board officers for 2007 are: president - Kuryo; vice president - Karo; treasurer - Sheryll; and secretary - Meiku.

The next Board meeting will be held on Sunday, April 15 following samu at the Zen Center. It will start sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. depending on the time needed for the teisho and samu. Everyone is invited to attend Board meetings. If anyone has an agenda item for the Board meeting but cannot attend, please contact Kuryo at the Zen Center with that information.

Board meetings are generally held once a month on a Sunday following samu. All meeting dates and times are announced

to the MZC listserv; see Page 4 in this issue for the address to subscribe to the listserv.

Plant Sale Fundraiser Ends

After careful consideration of our financial position, MZC’s Board of Directors has decided not to hold a Plant Sale fundraiser in 2007. We are deeply grateful for Kalen’s many years of effort to organize and hold 12 successful Hosta/Plant Sales. She has put in many, many hours of service to the sangha over the years to make this fundraiser a success, and we bow to her for her efforts. In addition, many members of the sangha have also put in many hours of work on the different aspects of the Sale, and we are grateful for their efforts as well.

Food Outreach

Founded in 1988, Food Outreach is the only St. Louis area organization focused exclusively on providing nutritional support to men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS. The Board

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of Directors, staff, and volunteers of Food Outreach have made it their mission to enhance their clients’ quality of life through proper nutrition. Food Outreach and its volunteers prepare and deliver nutritious meals, provide groceries, and offer nutritional counseling to persons diagnosed with HIV/AIDS disease or cancer. Clients choose meals from a menu developed by a registered dietitian with recipes created specifically for the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.

As a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization, the agency’s 500 volunteers carry out most of its vital nutrition services. During 2005, Food Outreach provided 231,474 meals to 1,211 persons and enrolled 167 new individuals to its program.

The Missouri Zen Center is accepting donations for Food Outreach. Non-perishable food items can be placed in the Food Outreach receptacle located on the front porch of the Missouri Zen Center anytime. The front porch is always accessible.

Food Outreach will accept any non-perishable food items. A list of requested items that Food Outreach is able to immediately incorporate into its Nutrition Center includes: canned tuna fish, canned turkey, canned chicken, canned salmon, canned corn, canned green beans, canned mixed vegetables, canned mandarin oranges, canned pineapple chunks, and canned peaches. For more information about Food Outreach see their web site:

Zen for Beginners CDs

In September of 2005 Dr. Rosan Yoshida, founder and Abbott of the Missouri Zen Center, gave a series of talks on Zen. These talks were designed for people just starting to investigate this contemplative tradition.

The presentations were anchored in the main concepts central to Buddhism:

  • Buddha - What is Buddhism, why Zen is needed, and how to do Zazen or meditation.
  • Dharma - What are the Three Treasures, what is Dharma and Karma.
  • Sangha - Community, limitless life, light, liberation, and love, and the three Dharma Marks.
  • Sila - Morality, the three teachings, five precepts, ten precepts, and freedom.
  • Samadhi - Concentration, including unconditioned peace and the four meditation stages.
  • Panna - Prognosis, unsurpassed awakening, and dependent origination.

Mark Hartsuyker of Recording Raccoon Studios captured video recordings of all the talks. The tapes were then converted to QuickTime files for playing on both PC and Apple type computers. The services to record, edit, master and create the discs were donated to further the mission of the Missouri Zen Center.

You may obtain a copy of these lectures on two CDs for a suggested donation of $15. They are available on the book table at the Zen Center.

If you do not have the software to play these files on your computer, the player for this type of file can readily be downloaded by going on the Internet to It is a

free download and you do not need to also load the iTunes program, which is offered on the site at the same time.

Recording Raccoon Studios can be contacted at

Movie Nights, April 7 & May 5

The Zen Center holds a Movie Night and Dinner on the first Saturday of each month. The featured movies for April and May are as follows. Please join in this opportunity to explore the movie as an expression of dharma!

Saturday, April 7th: I Heart Huckabee’s

A comedy starring Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Dustin Hoffman, and Lily Tomlin - 1 hour 46 minutes

Hoffman and Tomlin play a husband and wife team, counseling people with personal issues. The movie explores the Buddhist concept of interbeing and how separation from other people and nature leads to suffering.

Dinner will be prepared by Kathy Albers and includes Tofu in Curry-Coconut Sauce with Brown Rice, Steamed Asparagus, and for dessert, Pineapple. A $5 donation for dinner is requested. Proceeds will go to the Zen Center.

Saturday, May 5 (Cinco de Mayo): Bajo California: El Limite del Tiempo (Under California: The Limits of Time)

Directed by Carlos Bolado. In Spanish with English subtitles - 1 hour 36 minutes

Damian accidentally does something that causes him to flee to his ancestral homeland, Baja California, seeking his indigenous grandmother’s gravesite and leaving behind his pregnant wife. Although he is going literally to “Baja” or “lower” California, Damian is journeying metaphorically to a deeper understanding of himself and the world.

Dinner will be prepared by Meiku and includes vegetarian burritos and for dessert, Velvet Freeze ice cream, prepared in the Velvet Freeze store and plant in Jennings, Missouri. A $5 donation for dinner is requested. Proceeds will go to the Zen Center.

The schedule for both Movie Nights is as follows.

Dinner: 6:00 - 7:00 (Dinner is optional; please RSVP by the Wednesday prior to the dinner)
Movie: 7:00 - 8:46 (April), 8:36 (May)
Discussion follows the movie.

Step It Up 2007

A new event, Step It Up 2007, has been organized to give voice to the need to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, CO2, the major contributor to global warming. On Saturday, April 14, one or more events will be held in all 50 states with a common theme: to urge the U.S. Congress and President George W. Bush to enact legislation to reduce the total U.S. emissions of CO2 by 80% of the current level by 2050. According to Bill McKibbon, originator and main organizer of Step It Up 2007, this reduction is needed to keep the rise in average global temperature under 5°C, which scientists predict would avoid the worst effects of global warming.

As of press time, over 1,000 events have been registered across the country. In the St. Louis area, three events have been organized, all taking place from noon to 2 p.m. on April 14. For more information on Step It Up 2007 and the local events, go to

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The MZC Board encourages members of the sangha to attend an event nearby as part of our effort to live a safe, simple, and sustainable life. All events are located near a MetroLink stop or a bus line serving a stop; see for Metro St. Louis transit information and a trip planner for those who wish to take public transport to an event. If you are able to walk or bicycle to an event, consider doing so. Bicycles can be put in the bicycle rack on the front of all buses or taken on MetroLink trains. Check the Metro St. Louis website for more information on these options. Please watch the MZC listserv and announcements posted at MZC for more information on the possibility of attending an event as a sangha.

Garden Workday & Plant Exchange

On Saturday, April 28 starting at 9 a.m. at the Zen Center, we’ll

hold a Garden Workday and Plant Exchange. The Zen Center’s extensive gardens need some care to look their best, especially during the spring when weeds need to be removed and some of the plantings moved or divided. Many of you are aware that the Zen Center receives runoff from the parking lot in back of our lot during periods of heavy rain. The runoff drains through our gardens and causes some erosion. This Garden Workday will address both needs. Accordingly, some people will be weeding and dividing plants, while others will be working on solutions to the erosion problem. Either way, expect to be doing hands-on, potentially grubby work. We’ll conclude the morning’s work with a lunch prepared by one or more of the volunteers.

Many of us also have our own gardens and raise new plants from seed. Often we have extra plants left over when we divide ours or more seedlings than we need. Let’s share those plants

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More-Sustainable Lighting

By Kuryo

Recently a member of our sangha sent a post to the MZC listserv noting that Australia is planning to phase out use of incandescent lamps within 10 years. She wondered if MZC and other folks on the listserv were using compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or the newer light emitting diode (LED) lamps. I’ve excerpted Meiku’s response, with some added points in brackets, because it illustrates how we can change the way we light our homes in a simple, safer, more sustainable direction as Rosan urges us to do in all areas of our life.

Meiku’s response:

Kuryo and I have replaced nearly all of our incandescent lamps with CFLs. We still have incandescent lamps in locations where the lamps are lit for short periods, such as the basement and garage. This is because CFLs are good for a high, but limited, number of starts. Their useful life is squandered on short burn times. MZC uses them except where dimmers are used. The lamps at MZC are older models and do not dim well.

[The ability of CFLs to work well in cold temperatures varies. Real Goods,, offers several different styles of CFLs. The lowest operating temperature listed for each style varies from -6°F to 14°F. Since the lowest winter temperature we usually experience in St. Louis is from 0°F to -10°F, some styles of bulbs will work outdoors all year while others will not. CFLs do not work properly when dimmer switches are used and are not recommended for this application.]

Manufacturing any product uses surprisingly large amounts of resources - minerals, water, air, process fuels, transportation fuels, packing materials, etc. - and creates troublesome wastes. So the electricity saving is cancelled out by the energy used in manufacture and by the manufacturing wastes if the product does not last long enough. For this reason we phased out incandescent lamps as they failed rather than throwing out usable lamps. The same principle applies to automobiles, computers, and other appliances.

[CFLs save not only energy but money, even when the higher cost of the lamps is taken into account, because they last 10 times as long as incandescent lamps and use about 1/4 the electricity for an equivalent amount of light. You will save the cost of the bulb plus another $20-30 in saved electricity costs over the life of a CFL. The electric utility benefits by needing to generate less electricity for CFLs. Finally, changing to CFLs reduces the amount of carbon dioxide produced when coal is burned to generate electricity (AmerenUE uses coal to generate 70% of the electricity it produces). Carbon dioxide is the major contributor to global warming at this point. The reduction in global warming gas production is why Australia is mandating the switch to all CFLs.

LED lamps are becoming more widely available. They are currently used in applications in which a very long-lasting lamp and/or a lamp requiring very low power to run are needed. Common applications include flashlights, bicycle lights, low-powered landscape lighting, and lighting for homes and RVs using solar panels to generate electricity. LED lamps with medium bases are available for general lighting purposes. The ones sold by Real Goods have a 50,000-60,000 hour lifetime and are rated at anywhere from 2-8 Watts (W), versus 9-26 W for CFLs. While LED lamps give off less light than CFLs, the light from LED lamps is more bluish-white in color than the light from most CFLs. (Some full spectrum CFL lamps with similar bluish-white light are available.) An LED lamp is more expensive than a CFL, in the $35-60 range, but will save more than the cost of the lamp in lower electricity use over its lifetime. If I had a fixture that I used a lot but was hard to reach, I’d put an LED lamp in it once its current lamp burned out. LED floodlights might be such a case for some people, but the lowest operating temperature they are rated to is 14°F, so they might not be useful in an outdoor application in a St. Louis winter. I’ll wait for further developments in LED lamp technology before I replace any burned-out CFLs in our often-used fixtures with LED lamps.]

Live Unconditioned & Awakened

By Rosan Daido

Live here and now, unconditioned by future fears and past perceptions, awakened into full function and the wholesome whole. Cultivate the awakened peace to be developed and verify unconditioned peace and unsurpassed awakening to be attained.

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among the sangha and with the Zen Center! Bring any excess seedlings and any divisions of garden perennials with you on the 28th, and take home some seedlings or plants that other people bring. If you can offer a small donation for each plant you take home to the Zen Center, that will help the Zen Center - perhaps 25 cents for a seedling or two or a dollar for a larger plant. If possible, please donate some of your seedlings or divisions to the Zen Center’s garden. We have empty spaces in the garden waiting for beautiful plants and would love to receive excess seedlings or plant divisions, as well as shrubs or trees no longer needed in members’ gardens. We can join together to increase the beauty and usefulness of the Zen Center’s and our members’ gardens at the same time!

Vesak Day and Change Your Mind Day

The Buddhist Council of Greater St. Louis, a nonprofit organization of Buddhist groups in the St. Louis area and nearby which includes the Zen Center among its members, holds Vesak Day each May at the Mid-America Buddhist Association in Augusta. The 2007 Vesak Day will be held on Sunday, May 20. The event is free and open to the public. We encourage the sangha to attend and ask that you bring it to the attention of people you know who are interested in learning more about Buddhism.

The tentative schedule is as follows. Please check the MZC listserv and postings at the Zen Center for updated information as we receive it.

May 20th, 2007: Many Traditions, One Heart
10:00-10:15 Opening Ceremony
10:15-10:30 Bathing Buddha
10:30-11:00 Guided Meditation
11:00-11:30 First Speaker
11:30-12:45 Lunch
12:45-1:00 Walk to Kwan Yin Pavilion
1:00-2:00 Dr. Don and Chaplain Monnett presentation
2:00-2:30 Walk back
2:30-3:30 Last Speaker
3:30 Closing Ceremony

Change Your Mind Day, an event begun by the Tricycle Foundation in New York City in 1994 and now celebrated by Buddhists in over 50 cities nationwide, will be held on Saturday, June 2. The Buddhist Council of Greater St. Louis sponsors the St. Louis version of Change Your Mind Day. It will take place at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, just south of the Riverview Blvd. Exit off I-270. Watch for more info at the Zen Center and on the Zen Center’s listserv.

Great Sky Sesshin, Aug. 11-18

The Great Sky Sesshin, an annual Soto Zen style sesshin, draws together teachers and practitioners from around the Midwest for seven days of deepening understanding of the dharma under the extraordinary big sky of Hokyoji. The daily schedule will consist of zazen, dharma talks, services, dokusan, meals with oryoki, tea breaks, and work. Teachers will be Dokai Georgesen (Hokyoji), Tonen O’Connor (Milwaukee Zen Center), Zuiko Redding (Cedar Rapids Zen Center), Genmyo Smith (Prairie Zen Center, Champaign-Urbana, IL), and Rosan. The sesshin is limited to 24 participants. Cost is $250 or $285. The registration deadline is July 1.

For more information or to register, visit or contact:

Milwaukee Zen Center
Phone: 414-963-0526
Cedar Rapids Zen Center
Phone: 319-247-5986

Zen Center E-mail List

All members and friends of the sangha are invited to subscribe to the Missouri Zen Center e-mail list. To subscribe, send an e-mail message from the address you wish to use for list messages to:

The message field should remain blank.

You will receive a message asking you to confirm your subscription. Follow the directions in that message and your address will then be added to the list. If you encounter difficulties, consult the list owner at this address:

Please note: we may lose our current e-mail server at any moment. To help us make the transition if and when we need a new list server, new subscribers should also please send their subscribed e-mail addresses to

Regular Zendo Schedule


6:20-7:00 am Zazen
7:00-7:20 am Service (sutras)
7:20-8:00 am Zazen
8:00-8:10 am Kinhin
8:10-8:30 am Zazen
8:30 am Talk/discussion, work period, tea

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

6:00-6:40 pm Zazen
6:40-7:30 pm Yoga


6:00-6:40 am Zazen
11:00-11:40 am Zazen
7:00-9:00 pm Writing Practice
Beginner's Night*
6:30-7:00 pm Instruction
7:00-7:20 pm Zazen


6:00-6:40 am Zazen
11:00-11:40 am Zazen
7:00-7:40 pm Zazen
7:40-9:00 pm Tea/discussion


6:00-6:40 am Zazen
11:00-11:40 am Zazen
7:00-7:40 pm Zazen


6:00-6:40 am Zazen
7:00-7:40 pm Zazen


6:00-6:40 am Zazen
7:00-7:40 pm Zazen


8:00-8:40 am Zazen
8:40-9:30 am Discussion
10:00-10:30 am Family Sitting

Work periods may be scheduled following zazen.

* Anyone bringing a class to the Monday Beginners Night, or wishing to bring a class at any other time to the Zen Center, should contact the Zen Center well in advance.

April-May, 2007

A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center