June Wednesday Meditations and Discussions
1 Dengyo Daishi (Saicho) Day – this day is observed on June 4th in Japan. The founder of Tendai Saicho was seminal to all the subsequent traditional schools of Buddhism in Japan. Tonight's discussion is not a litany of his accomplishments, rather it is a more personal gaze at this extraordinary bodhisattva.
8 How to Struggle Constructively with One's Practice – Whether sitting meditation, chanting mantra, reading sutra, circumambulating Nembutsu, whatever your method of seeking the nature of reality, we all reach a point when just getting it done is a struggle. This discussion will not make your practice easier, but hopefully more productive..
15 Shinto – 'The Way of the Kami' Kami are spirits and occurrences that are worshiped in Shinto. Buddhism and Shinto have been syncretistic in Japan since the 7th century. Shinbutsu-shugo, the amalgamation of these two religions, contributes to the distinct nature of Tendai, and provides the foundation of Tendai's harmony in nature orientation. No potluck dinner this evening.
22 Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage– Presented by Shingaku Jen Henderson, who recently completed this pilgrimage through remote areas that was initiated over 1,200 years ago. No potluck dinner this evening.
29 Buddhist Joke Night – It's time to laugh your way to awakening. If you have any new Buddhist Jokes bring them to share. There will be a bunch of jokes set to go. (If I hear "what did the man say to the hot dog vendor . . .", I'll scream.)
Other Events in June:
4 Sutra Class and Morning Service, 8:30 – 10:30 AM – The Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra (Heart Sutra) is the most often chanted, cited and best known sutras in the Mahayana canon. We will read and discuss two different translations and commentaries (Mu Soeng's and Red Pine's) as a set throughout the classes.
12 – 26 Doshu/Soryo Gyo will take place during this period. At this time the Tendai Buddhist Institute becomes a monastic training center while at the same time serving the temple sangha. The Wednesday evening activities will take place and there will be a morning meditation each day of the gyo, see below. However, during the two Wednesday evenings the gyo is held there is no pot luck dinner.
13 – 26 Morning Meditation; 7-8 AM. Each morning during the gyo there will be an open mediation. There will be no service at this time only the meditation. Join us each day to inspire your practice and join the gyo participants for this daily meditation, usually led my Monshin.
26 Mahasangha Sunday – This is the final day of the gyo. Join us for a meditation service and Pot Luck lunch with the gyoja
Notes and Upcoming Events
Road Trips in August:
8/7 Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma at Tanglewood – The historical Silk Road, a series of land and sea trade routes that crisscrossed Eurasia, enabled the exchange of goods and innovations from Japan to the Mediterranean Sea for some 2,000 years, until the 14th century. With its artistic director Yo-Yo Ma, the Silk Road Ensemble returns to Tanglewood for another fascinating and wide-ranging traversal of music both traditional and new, suggesting a modern-day equivalent to the sort of cultural exchange that characterized the old trade routes in centuries long gone. Sign up for this fascinating evening (on the announcement board in the main house). We will purchase tickets separately so people may sit where they wish. We will meet for a picnic dinner before the performance.
8/20 The Diamond Way – An evening of Baseball at 'The Joe' in Troy, New York. The Tri-city Valley Cats will be playing the Hudson Valley Renegades. There is no better way to spend a night at The Joe than with your sangha friends and family. In the past we have signed up for the 'Group Picnic' with hat, seat and picnic food. Sangha members have shared that they have enough hats and would prefer to have better seats and eat what they choose. So this year we will sign up for the best seats in the house for less than $10 a ticket with our group discount. Sign up for this evening of baseball (on the announcement board in the main house). We will purchase group tickets and we need a minimum of twenty people.
Food Pantry at Jiunzan Tendai-ji – Springtime is especially difficult for those who are need of the very basic necessities. Gratitude is best shown by extending to others the thoughtfulness we have received. Please bring non-perishable food items to the Tendai Buddhist Institute on Wednesday's. We contribute these items to the Chatham Silent Food Pantry