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Newsette 11-16-2023

This Newsette is following quickly on the heels of the one I sent last Friday. It includes news of dharma transmission, lay entrustment, and priest ordination ceremonies, a recommendation for a recently published book, a message from Alan Senauke regarding a petition for a cease-fire in Gaza, and a poem.

Everyday Zen founding teacher Norman Fischer gave Dharma Transmission to Flo Rublee and Ruth Ozeki on October 17. Flo’s dharma name is Dai-I JinShin, Great Healer, Deep Faith and Ruth’s is KanShin Do An, Generous Heart, Voice of the Way.

Hannah Sullivan, who practices at Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham WA, received Lay Entrustment from Kathie Fischer on November 5 during a retreat on Samish Island. Her dharma name is SeiU HeiAn, Quiet Rain, Stable Abode.

On Sunday November 12, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, guiding teacher of Still Breathing Zen Sangha and Myokei Caine-Barret, Shonin, Bishop of Nichiren Shu, ordained three priests at Green Gulch Farm. The Zendo was full of loving friends and family, sangha members, and Zen teachers. The new priests are Kaishin Unique Holland, whose new Dharma name is Kaishin Jiso – Ocean Heart, Healing Ancestors; Jozen Tamori Gibson, whose new Dharma name is Jozen Shinmu – Offering Zen, Empty Mind, and MK Abadoo, whose new Dharma name is Ganju Isshin – Wishfulling gem, One heart mind.

Shinshu Roberts, co-guiding teacher of Ocean Gate Zen Center in Santa Cruz CA writes, “I am reading a new book by Rebecca Li, who is transmitted in the Chan lineage of Master sheng Yen and the teacher at Chan dharma Community. The book’s title is Illumination: A Guide to the Buddhist Method of No-Method.  …As a teacher I find her insights helpful… I am recommending this book, which is published by Shambhala in paperback.

Alan Senauke, Abbot of Berkely Zen Center, sent the link to a petition from American Buddhists asking President Biden to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. He writes, “This is something Bhikkhu Bodhi and I have been working on for the last few days, feeling that compassionate Buddhist voices must be heard.  I recognize some of you might disagree with our call for a ceasefire. I respect your views. I know that some of you have already received this petition through other channels and have signed on.  If appropriate, please sign the petition, add a comment, and share it widely with other members of your community.”

To close, here is a poem posted by Two Streams Zen  in Westhampton, MA, whose guiding teachers are Ryūmon Baldoquin and Catherine Anraku Hondorp:

By Aurora Levins Morales

Last night I dreamed
ten thousand grandmothers 
from the twelve hundred corners of the earth
walked out into the gap
one breath deep
between the bullet and the flesh
between the bomb and the family.

They told me we cannot wait for governments.
There are no peacekeepers boarding planes.
There are no leaders who dare to say 
every life is precious, so it will have to be us.

They said we will cup our hands around each heart.
We will sing the earth’s song, the song of water,
a song so beautiful that vengeance will turn to weeping,
the mourners will embrace, and grief replace
every impulse toward harm.  

Ten thousand is not enough, they said,
so, we have sent this dream, like a flock of doves
into the sleep of the world.  Wake up. Put on your shoes. 

You who are reading this, I am bringing bandages
and a bag of scented guavas from my trees. I think
I remember the tune.  Meet me at the corner.
Let’s go. 

As those of us in the U.S. turn toward Thanksgiving, may we give thanks for everything that supports us in our lives. Wishing you a nourishing Thanksgiving