Dear Friend of Prairie Mountain Zen Center,
Over this past year, we have all become well acquainted with the cries of the world from the ongoing global pandemic, social injustice and political violence. Rev. Shoken Winecoff from our parent temple, Ryumonji Zen Monastery says, like Kanzeon the Bodhisattva of Compassion, we are all called to “open our eyes and heart to the suffering of the world.”
Our Zen practice provides relevant training for sheltering in place, finding freedom in the midst of constraints and taking care of life as it is with true compassion. Katagiri Roshi explains that, through study and spiritual practice, we can go deep and touch the bottom of human life. Then, even at the bottom of our busy minds, we can see the vast and eternal energy of our lives, and discover that we already possess the energy and activity of Buddha’s compassionate heart.
We continue to meet online every Sunday; sitting and walking from 8:30 to 9:30 am, followed by a Dharma talk and discussion for an hour. Transition to an online forum allowed participation by practitioners outside of the Boulder area, and even from overseas, and we hosted Dharma talks from 18 (and counting) prominent guest teachers from Zen communities across the nation. We continue to meet Thursday evenings online at 6:30 pm for sitting and Dharma discussion. Our current topic is a class offered by Rev. Chikyo Ewan Magie on Okumura Roshi's Living by Vow from February 4 through March 11. You may drop in for the Thursday evening class even if you can’t be a regular participant.
Our guiding teacher Rev. Jodo Cliff Clusin continues to provide opportunities for Zen practitioners to receive the bodhisattva precepts. To prepare for Jukai, we have an active sewing practice under the guidance of Judy Putnam, who is a long-time sewing teacher associated with the Zen Buddhist Sewing Teachers group.
We have recently grown to 26 voting members, and our board of directors is actively engaged in our bi-monthly board meetings. Volunteer energy from Sangha members has increased, and we are particularly grateful to David Coupland, who has designed a new-and-improved website and weekly email communications. With a view to gathering in person once again, we continue to maintain leases on our beautiful and relatively spacious practice space in Longmont as well as our space in Plymouth Congregational in Ft. Collins.
Suzuki Roshi proclaimed in Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, “even if the sun were to rise from the west, the bodhisattva has only one way.” As we plan for the coming year, your generosity would help maintain and grow our practice during this difficult time, and the hope for in-person practice in the future.
You can contribute online with a credit card using the donation button on our website: prairiemountain.org; or you may mail donations to Prairie Mountain Zen Center at PO Box 125, Longmont, CO 80502. We are immensely grateful for any donation you can make.
Thank you for your support,
Nendo David Pavlacky
President, Prairie Mountain Zen Center