The Missouri Zen Center
The Missouri Zen Center
220 Spring Avenue
Webster Groves, MO 63119
Gobal System and Ethic Discussions, Listserv, and Websites
by Rosan Daido
We are meeting to discuss the Global System and Ethic after Wednesday night sittings and during the Sunday tea and discussion period (beginning about 10 a.m.). All are welcome to join the preceding meditation periods as well as the discussion.
This is in accordance with our three pillars of Awakened Way, Global Ethic, and Voluntary Simplicity. Please join us to share ideas and actions on how to save all (goods, energy, life, space, time, etc.).
We are experiencing the global problematique (globally interrelated problems), such as population explosion, resource depletion, environmental deterioration, species extinction, wars, and poverty. We have started a global disintegration and the sixth mass extinction through our collective and individual habits and actions.
We must study and share the facts and future trends of the global life system and agree to and activate the global ethic for the global life system to be safe, sustainable and satisfactory.
We welcome more people to participate and practice in sharing news, views, findings, ideas, etc. through the internet (listserv, websites, etc.) and other means (workshops, conferences, etc.).
We have at present the following websites for members to contribute or forward news, ideas, and so forth to the moderators:
Please join our newly created listserv and share the message and meetings we promote with your friends and families. Everyone is invited to share, post, and propose on the subject.
To become members and subscribers, please send an email to:
Include the word “subscribe” (without the quotation marks) in the subject field. Leave the message field blank.
Inside Dharma News: Coats, Coffee, & Chocolate
As the weather gets colder and you start sorting though winter coats, sweatshirts, and jackets, please remember that if you decide to get new winter outerwear this year, Inside Dharma, the nonprofit organization bringing Buddhist practice to people in the Missouri state prison system, can use your old outerwear. Many men have been getting out lately. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs when they are released. Inside Dharma is providing shoes, clothes, and so forth but has only a limited supply of winter coats and jackets. Inside Dharma can also use good blankets and towels and non-stuffed furniture (wood or metal furniture which will store easily in a garage).
Inside Dharma is selling organic fair trade coffees to support its efforts and has recently begun selling organic peanut butter and cashew butter as well. Fair trade dark chocolate will be available for purchase soon. For more information or to purchase these items, please contact Inside Dharma, P. O. Box 220721, Kirkwood, MO, 63122, or call Kalen at 314-961-7515.
Inside Dharma Dinner & Art Auction
Volunteer Help Needed!
Inside Dharma will hold its first dinner/prison art auction on Saturday, November 11th at the Natural Fact grocery store in Webster Groves from 7 to 9 p.m. All proceeds will go to Inside Dharma’s work to bring Buddhist practice to people in the Missouri state prison system. Inside Dharma is a nonprofit organization.
Art created and donated by the prisoners will be auctioned off during a silent auction. Coffee, cashew butter, items from India, books, T-shirts, and so on will also be available for purchase.
Inside Dharma needs volunteers to stand behind the sale tables and sell the items, take door tickets, set up and break down and so forth. If you can help, please contact Kalen at 314-961-7515.
Help Make More Zafus
The Missouri Zen Center makes and sells zafus and zabutons as an aid to our practice and as a small-scale fundraiser. Our supply of zafus for sale is low, so we have begun to make more. We welcome the help of our members and friends to mark and cut the fabric covering pieces; sew the pieces together to make the zafu shell; and stuff the shells with kapok to create the finished zafu.
Over the next several weeks our Sunday samu (work period) will include the various activities described above. Please join us on Sunday for meditation, samu, and tea and discussion. If you want to help with any of the steps but cannot attend on Sunday, please contact the Zen Center to offer your skills at the time best for you.
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, 1519 Twillman Ave. in Spanish Lake, near the intersection of I-270 and Bellefontaine Road (directions provided to registrants). 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. By using locally available food we cut down on the damage caused by industrial farming methods and the energy required to transport food thousands of miles from where it’s grown to our tables. 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. It will begin with identifying and gathering wild edibles on Kuryo and Meiku’s property. The group will then carpool to nearby Spanish Lake County Park to identify and gather wild edibles growing in the park. Finally, we’ll return to Kuryo and Meiku’s house where we’ll prepare and eat whatever we’ve gathered. Likely plants include leafy greens (violet, lambsquarters), tubers (Jerusalem artichoke), fruits (persimmon) and, maybe, nuts (pecan, hickory, black walnut). Kuryo will show attendees some of the more useful books on wild edibles that she’s found and discuss how to encourage edible wild plants to grow in your own yard and in nearly public parks. In the event of rain, the workshop will be delayed until sometime in 2007.
Everyone, even apartment-dwellers, can make and use worm castings, a type of compost produced by redworms in bins located in a garage, basement, or under the kitchen sink or in a closet. Worms will eat kitchen waste that would otherwise need to be landfilled. Their castings may be used to fertilize the soil that feeds potted plants and seedlings and garden plants. Feeding food wastes to worms and using their castings to fertilize the soil preserves nutrient cycles that sustain the global life system. The worm composting workshop will take place on Saturday, October 28 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. or whenever we seem to be finished. Kuryo will show attendees her one-bin worm composting system and the worms and other creatures who live there. She’ll have some waste to feed the worms during the workshop; attendees are welcome to bring a little fruit or vegetable waste of their own (like an apple core) to feed the worms. She’ll demonstrate removal of the worm castings and how she uses them in mixes to grow potted plants and vegetable seedlings. Copies of worm composting articles will be available.
Please register for each workshop so we know who to expect. 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.
Live Saving life
by Rosan Daido
Bodhisattvas (awakening beings) vow to save all beings before oneself. This is because of the unsurpassed awakening to the Dharma of Dependent Origination. All originate and cease depending on all in space and time, thus are interdependent and impermanent. Our mind-body-world phenomena owe to all in limitless space and time. Thus we must be grateful and attentive to receiving and giving to all. Otherwise we are ignorant, ungrateful and irresponsible. We must save all: body, mind, matter, energy, space and time.
A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center
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
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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A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center
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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:
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.
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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regular Zendo Schedule
You are welcome to come throughout the morning, but please do not enter the zendo during zazen. Enter quietly at other times.
6:40-7:30 pm Yoga
Work periods may be scheduled following zazen.
A Publication of the Missouri Zen Center