On May 4, at Jo Ann Keifer’s ranch in Yreka, Rev. Helen was celebrant for the funeral of Harry, one of the nine cats Sally Bergraff left to Jo Ann. Rev. Helen and Jo Ann buried Greta as well, another of Sally’s beloved cats, whose funeral Rev. Helen celebrated in January and couldn’t bury because of the frozen ground. They also blessed the grave of Jo Ann’s horse Tennero who died in March and, on the 6 month anniversary of Sally’s death, remembered her and reflected on her life.
One Wednesday, May 3, Members of the Chico Serene Reflection Meditation Group joined Rev. Margaret Clyde for a spirited discussion on the subject of Distraction. They discussed how distractions of various sorts, including digital distractions, can pull us away from what is important to us. Group members exchanged many helpful suggestions of how to train with distraction from their own experience in practice. The meditation group meets weekly on Wednesday evenings at the Sky Creek Dharma Center in Chico. Newcomers are always welcome, and you can find their information under meditationgroups on the Dharma Center’s website.
Over the weekend of 5 – 8 May Rev. Master Meian, Rev. Master Serena, and Rev. Vivian traveled to Portland for Rev. Leon’s Induction as Prior of the Portland Buddhist Priory. The weather on the Induction day was lovely, perfect for the initial outdoor procession of children carrying lotuses to the temple “gate” (an altar on the porch), where Rev. Leon vowed that while he is Prior this gate shall be closed to no one. The ceremony continued in the Meditation Hall, at all altars there, and was followed by a Dharma talk given by Rev. Master Meian. We then enjoyed a very tasty potluck in the Priory garden. We congratulate Rev. Leon as he deepens his commitment to the Priory.
Friends of Shasta Abbey (FOSA) held a well-attended Work Day to decorate the Temple for Wesak. Festive Buddhist flags were hung by the gates and along the cloisters, as well as at the Stupa and at the Mucalinda statue. The Buddha Hall altar was beautifully decorated with colorful flowers and plants. After an enjoyable working morning we all shared a delicious lunch provided by FOSA. Thanks to all who helped prepare the Temple for the Wesak celebratory weekend.
The Stupa At Wesak
Our Wesak weekend, May 19 – 21, was a wonderful celebration of the Buddha’s birth, life and parinirvana. Nearly 30 retreat guests participated in the Wesak Celebratory Retreat along with many local congregation members. The weekend included Rev. Master Daishin’s talk on his 2015 trip to India, the ceremony of the Eve of Wesak – with lovely readings from The Light of Asia and the traditional invocations – and tea on Saturday night, the beautiful Wesak ceremony with the Blessing of the Children on Sunday morning, and the Wesak picnic on Sunday afternoon.
On May 19 at the Jizo Shrine by the Guesthouse, Rev. Master Meian was celebrant for the ordination of Bennett, Carol Jenkins’ new dog. Monks and local congregation members, as well as Wesak Retreat guests, attended the ceremony and the tea that followed. Bennett was relaxed and at ease throughout the ceremony.
Join our community of 25 male and female monks from Friday, July 14 – Monday, August 14, 2017
for the four-week Summer Intensive Program. The Program begins with a three-day introductory retreat, then phases into daily meditation and ceremonies, twice weekly Dharma talks and focused Dharma discussions. In addition trainees participate daily in temple working meditation in such ways as cutting and stacking wood, preparing food, gardening, and temple maintenance. As well as the usual daily activities, trainees have the opportunity to meet regularly with a senior monk to reflect on their experience and ask questions about their meditation and training. There is no set fee to attend this session. Anyone wishing to attend an earlier Summer Intensive this year may apply to attend this program beginning June 2nd. Please fill out a retreat application if you are interested in attending a summer intensive.
Brandy, Rev. Margaret’s dear 18-year old cat, died peacefully during the night of May 20/21. Rev. Margaret will be celebrant for Brandy’s funeral on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at the Jizo Shrine. May Brandy be in her own True Home in peace.