The Missouri Zen Center

August-September, 2006

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

Coming Events

Rosan Offers Public Talks, Classes

Our teacher Rosan will be offering several talks and special classes on Zen practice while he is in St. Louis. Please join us for any of these that interest you, and let other people know about them as well.

On Thursday evening, August 24 and Thursday evening, September 7, at the Zen Center, Rosan will offer an advanced class following the evening sitting until about 9 p.m. These classes will be especially beneficial for members who have been practicing regularly for several months or longer.

During the Japanese Festival, Rosan will be giving two talks at the Missouri Botanical Garden, in the Schoenberg Auditorium. These will be held from 5-6 p.m. on Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3. The only cost is the Japanese Festival admission fee. (Volunteers for the Festival get in free, so be sure to let family and friends who are volunteering at our booth or at other events know about Rosan’s talks.)

Rosan will speak at the McKendree College Japanese Festival on Monday, September 11 at 12:00 p.m. at the Holman Library on the college’s main campus in Lebanon, IL, just 25 miles east of St. Louis. For more

information about McKendree College, visit the college’s Web site at

Rosan will be teaching a Beginner’s Mind class from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, September 14, 21, and 28 at the Zen Center. This class is designed for newcomers to Zen practice. They will learn zendo etiquette, basic information about Buddhism and Zen, how to sit zazen, and the benefits of Zen practice to themselves and all beings. Each class will include a period of zazen. Suggested donation for the series is $30, payable to Missouri Zen Center. (Please note that the regular Thursday evening sitting will not take place for these three weeks so that the class may be offered.)

Finally, on Monday, September 18th Rosan speaks at the Religious Center of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville as part of their Peace Week activities. His talk, on the Buddhist philosophy of peace, takes place from 11-11:45 a.m. A lunch buffet follows until 1:00 p.m.

To hear about any other public talks that may be scheduled, join the Zen Center’s listserv. Directions are found elsewhere in the newsletter.

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Sangha Life

Board Approves Member Dues Increase

After careful consideration of the Zen Center’s financial situation, the Board of Directors has approved an increase to the recommended member dues of $5 per month (from the current $20/month to $25/month). This change will help to counteract increased fixed expenses and decreased income.

The member dues are one way for practitioners to support the Zen Center in continuing to offer the practice to everyone. Some members who are able to do so donate more than the recommended level. Other members donate whatever they are able to. We offer the teachings for free and request support from those who are able to offer it and who wish to help us continue to spread the Dharma. We strive to keep expenses low and are continuing to look for ways to reduce them.

For those of you who give a different amount than the recommended member dues, if you can increase your giving by $5/month or some other amount, you will add to our ability to keep the Zen Center in good financial shape.

We are very grateful for all gifts to the Zen Center and will use them to offer the Dharma to all beings.

Family Sitting Every Saturday Resumes

Because of low attendance due to summer schedules and vacations, the family sitting took place on only the first Saturday morning of the month at 10:00 a.m. during the summer. On Saturday, September 9 family sitting will resume taking place every Saturday at 10:00 a.m., followed by discussion as usual. Everyone is welcome, including children of any age!

Ven. Chodron Talk On DVD

The Zen Center is offering DVDs of the Dharma talk that Ven. Thubten Chodron gave at the Missouri Botanical Garden on June 30, 2006. The title of her talk was “Creating Peace in a Chaotic World.”

The DVDs are at the Zen Center on the book table. There is no charge for the disk, although anything that you can contribute would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your generosity.

If we run out of disks, please leave your name and telephone number and we will arrange to have more copied. If your DVD player cannot play the disks, please contact the Zen Center.

by Kalen

Inside Dharma, the nonprofit organization bringing Buddhist practice to Missouri state prisons, is selling fair-trade coffee as a fundraiser. Four coffees are currently being offered:

Inside Dharma Offers Fair-trade Coffee

  • Cafe Salvador: whole bean, Full City roast; 12 oz. $8
  • Organic French Roast: whole bean, dark roast; 10 oz. $9
  • Organic Mind, Body, and Soul: whole bean, medium (Vienna) roast; 12 oz. $9
  • Organic Ethiopian: whole bean, Full City roast; 12 oz. $9

Checks should be made payable to Inside Dharma. Order these from me by email ( or by phone, 314-961-7515. Organic dark chocolate bars should also be available in the fall; watch for them!

Nonviolent Communication Practice

by John Hale

The Zen Center’s nonviolent communication practice group meets on Thursdays at Missouri Zen Center from 5-6:50 p.m. Our practice is guided by the book by Marshall Rosenburg entitled Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.

Nonviolent communication (NVC) language strengthens our ability to inspire compassion from others and respond compassionately to others and ourselves. NVC guides us to reframe how we express ourselves, how we hear others, and how we resolve conflicts by focusing our consciousness on what we are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting. NVC language awakens empathy and honesty, and is sometimes described as “the language of the heart.”

Our NVC group will be drawing not only on the book Nonviolent Communication but also on the experience and insights of one of our Zen Center practitioners, David Hildebrand. David has attended workshops led by Marshall Rosenburg, and has helped to lead NVC practice groups in the past. He holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from St. Louis University and works as a counselor. Currently David is working in cooperation with a group of therapists to open a wellness center for children on the autism spectrum. David is interested in the ways in which NVC can be incorporated into and can enhance our Buddhist practice. NVC techniques will be learned through group interactions that will include role playing situations from our lives with fellow members and group discussion.

If you have any questions please call the Missouri Zen Center. To learn more about Nonviolent Communication go to the website

If you will not be staying for the 7 p.m. sitting please park in the public parking behind Einstein’s Bagels or the lot behind 7923 Big Bend Rd. If you do plan to attend the sitting you may park in the Zen Center driveway.

Live a Lawful Life

by Rosan Daido

The law of Dependent Origination is a limitless law, universally applicable in time and space. The global life system is One Life System, interdependently originated and originating. Thus, killing one life is killing the whole life system. Killing is the gravest crime, neither retrievable nor responsible. Killing is killing for whatever names (nation, group, etc.) or causes (religion, justice, etc.). Limitless life, light, liberation and love depend on the observance of the limitless law.

(Ed. note: to join the Global System Ethic listserv and thereby deepen your understanding of the One Life System, please give Rosan your email address.)

August-September, 2006

A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center

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Sangha Life

Fundraiser Volunteers Needed Sept. 2-4

The Zen Center operates a food booth as a fundraiser during the Japanese Festival. This event takes place every Labor Day weekend at the Missouri Botanical Garden, which includes a very large Japanese garden among its many wonderful garden areas. This year the event takes place on Saturday through Monday, September 2-4. This is both our largest fundraising event of the year and our best opportunity to offer our practice to the general public through information available from volunteers at the booth and from Rosan’s public talks during the event.

Rosan tells us that volunteering for Zen Center activities is an important contribution to the Zen Center and to offering the Dharma to all beings. We need many volunteers to enable us to run a successful food booth, so please take the time to volunteer for this critical fundraiser! We need at least 8, and better yet 12, people during each of the four-hour shifts, and there are nine of these. Because of this we ask that as many of you as possible commit to working at least one, preferably two or even more, shifts. We welcome responsible family members and friends as volunteers also, including older children who can serve food to customers and make change.

All volunteers receive a pass for free admission to the Festival all three days (admission is normally $10/day during the Festival). You’ll be able to enjoy many different Japanese cultural activities, including taiko drumming, tea ceremony, and sumo wrestling exhibitions, when you are not volunteering at our booth. Also everyone who needs one will receive a parking pass to park in lots reserved for volunteers and served by a shuttle bus.

The shifts are the same each day: 8am-noon, 11:30am-3:30pm, and 3-7pm. The half hour overlap allows for smooth transitions from one set of volunteers to the next.

Sign-up sheets for each shift are posted on the closet door of the Zen Center. Please put your name and phone number down for the shift(s) of your choice. You may also call Kuryo at home, 314-355-3505, to sign up for a shift. Please do the same for any family members or friends who are volunteering.

Volunteer passes (yellow cards with the word Participant on them) and parking passes (large orange cards with the words Volunteer/Staff on them) are in Kuryo’s box at the Zen Center. Please take one for each volunteer and one for each car that will be parked at the Festival.

Please take only as many of each as you need so that everyone who needs one will receive one. If you can’t pick up your passes at the Zen Center, please contact Kuryo.

All volunteers must wear hats (city Health Department regulations). If you don’t have one, the Zen Center has hats with Rosan’s calligraphy available for purchase. We ask all volunteers to wear a Zen Center T-shirt, which offers a unified look to our booth. Again, these are available for purchase at the Zen Center in various colors and sizes.

Voluntary Simplicity Course

by Kuryo

Voluntary simplicity is one of the three pillars of practice at our Zen Center. Rosan tells us, in his article Actual Awakening from the October 2003 issue of Interreligious Insight:

Countless religious leaders devoted their lives to awakening (Insight) and action (Engagement), that is, to wisdom and compassion. They have lived the path of perspective, prognosis (prajna), peace, purity, poverty, embodying all of the principles enumerated above. Those who live these principles are benevolent, blissful, bountiful, beautiful and blessed by the whole holy life community. We follow their example ... (and) wakefully live our daily lives in a manner that is simple, safe, sustainable, systemic and that saves all life forms and life systems, including even time and space.

But it can be very difficult to practice simplicity. Our cultural karma keeps increasing our hours at paid employment, offering ever more enticing goodies for our consumption,and creating ever more beguiling ads to get us to purchase those goodies. This keeps us on the work-spend-work treadmill. How can we get off and begin to live in a simple, safe, sustainable way?

One way off the work-spend-work treadmill is through a program developed by the late Joe Dominguez called Your Money or Your Life. He and Vicki Robin traveled around the country in the 1980s, offering a day-long workshop to teach the program to others. It was so successful that they created first an audiotape version and then a book in order to spread the idea to others. Meiku and I found the book in 1994 and through it we were able to transform our relationship with money. We greatly decreased our spending, got out of debt, and began to enjoy life and engage with it meaningfully.

The Zen Center will sponsor a Your Money or Your Life group study course. We’ll offer it as a one hour long discussion following sitting on Tuesday evenings, separate from the regular Tuesday evening tea and discussion (which will continue as usual). The course will begin at 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening, September 19 and continue each Tuesday evening through early January, with the possibility of skipping Tuesdays around the major holidays if needed. Each session will last from 8 to 9 p.m. Because the workbook is set up for two hour long sessions, we’ll take two weeks for each workbook session.

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August-September, 2006

A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center

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Sangha Life

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The Your Money or Your Life program works as long as you do the steps, so each participant will be expected to do the steps as they are introduced. This means some “homework” between sessions ... please be prepared to do this work if you sign up for the course. The work will take just a few hours each week, and it will help you to awaken to the way money really works in your life. This awareness is the way that change begins.

Study group participants will need to have a copy of the book Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin and a copy of the group study guide Money and Spirit which has been developed for this course. If you already have a copy of the book, you may use it and deduct the cost of the book from your registration fee. For three weeks near the end we will also be using sessions from the book The Circle of Simplicity by Cecile Andrews. This will be an optional item to purchase. If you prefer, you may obtain a copy from the library, or just attend the sessions and participate in the discussion without having read the book. We’ll design these sessions so that people without the book will still find them enjoyable and meaningful.

Registration for the course is due by September 5, 2006 and is first come, first served. The course is limited to 15 participants. To register, calculate your fee according to the table below (deduct the charge for the book Your Money or Your Life if you already have it); pay by cash or check, indicating which items you are purchasing. Please make checks out to Missouri Zen Center and write Simplicity Course on the memo line. Put your name, address, phone, email, and registration fee in my (Kuryo’s) box, or mail it to me in care of the Zen Center so that I have a listing of all course participants and means of contacting them with any changes or updates. We will set up a group listserv for course participants.

Registration fee calculation:

Your Money or Your Life book (required) $20.00
Money and Spirit study guide (required) $10.00
The Circle of Simplicity book (optional) $15.00
Dana to Zen Center (optional) $20.00
Please note that in the Buddhist tradition we are offering the course for free, other than the need to purchase the books we’ll be using. Buddhist tradition does include the practice of dana (giving). Please consider offering dana to the Zen Center so that we may continue to offer Zen practice in the St. Louis region. . If you cannot offer monetary dana, you might offer a few hours of service to the Zen Center, such as yard work or addressing newsletters. In this way you will contribute to the awakening of all beings.

For more information, please contact Kuryo at the Zen Center. You must register by September 5 so the books will arrive in time for the beginning of the course. Let’s step off the hundred-foot pole together and live simply, safely, and sustainably!

Wild Edibles, Worm Composting Workshops

Workshops on identifying wild edibles and using them in cooking and on composting food waste in a worm bin will be offered in October. Both workshops will take place on Saturday afternoons at Kuryo and Meiku’s house in Spanish Lake. A suggested dana of $5 for each workshop will benefit the Missouri Zen Center, but if this is a hardship, offer whatever you can as dana.

If you haven’t gathered and used the free food available in your yard and in public parks, you’re missing both good taste and good nutrition. The wild edibles workshop will take place on Saturday, October 14 from 1 p.m. to about 4 p.m. or whenever we seem to be finished. In case of rain, the workshop will be rescheduled to October 21.

Registration is limited to about 10 to 12 people, first come, first served. Contact Kuryo at the Zen Center or at home, 314-355-3505, to register or for more information. More information will also be available in the October-September issue of Sangha Life.

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:

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
6:30-7:00 pm Instruction
7:00-7:20 pm Zazen
7:20-9:00 pm Writing Practice


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.
Any changes to this schedule: please contact the Zen Center.

August-September, 2006

A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center