Rev. Master Meian Elbert was ordained in 1977 and received Dharma Transmission in 1979 from Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett. She was named a Master of the Order by Rev. Master Jiyu in 1989. She was chaplain to Rev. Master Jiyu for more than 15 years and has served the community as Vice Abbess, Chief Cook, Chief Precentor, Prior and Novice Master. Both the lay and monastic communities have benefited from her Dharma Talks, the extended retreats she has led and her writings. She also served as Executive Secretary of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives. Rev. Master Meian was elected by the resident Shasta Abbey monastic community on June 17, 2010.
THE RESIDENT MONASTIC COMMUNITY OF SHASTA ABBEY
DAILY LIFE IN THE MONASTERY
Great Master Dogen, the Ancestor in our tradition who brought Buddhist teaching from China to Japan, spoke of “… the correct ordering of daily life …” as the foundation of Buddhist practice. At Shasta Abbey the daily schedule is a kaleidoscope of seated meditation, ceremonial and working meditation in all its various forms. The schedule flows through the day from the wake-up bell to lights out, and provides opportunities “…to do what needs to be done…”. A typical day’s schedule is hard to define, but most days start with meditation and Morning Service. The day is then filled with the normal activities of daily life: Meals eaten together, individual monastic office tasks and tasks done together for the benefit of the whole community, time for individual spiritual practice and time for common ceremonial and practice, rest and renewal time including community tea and tea with the laity.
Lay residents staying at the Abbey for an extended period of time, and visitors participating in retreats are asked to follow a similar schedule to that of the monks. Both monks and laity observe the practice of The Middle Way as far as possible in the daily schedule.