In chill winter weather we rang in 2017 with our New Year celebratory retreat. Lay guests and local congregation members attended the events of the retreat including the New Year’s Eve potluck, evening meditation, the Vigil for Maitreya, and the New Year ceremony at midnight. The next day, January 1, 2017 we celebrated the Festival of Maitreya, the Buddha Yet to Come. Rev. Master Meian gave a talk on Seeing Clearly. We wish you all a very happy New Year.
The monastery then closed on January 2 through February 2. We are grateful for the opportunity to spend the month of January in reduced activity and, with the wild snowstorms and wind, lots of snow clearing.
We welcomed a new ginger tabby cat, Toby, to the monastery. He was cold and very hungry, and came to us for help just before the first big snow. He settled in easily with Rev. Master Serena. Pictures will follow soon.
Rev. Enya was celebrant for Cate Lewis’s House Blessing on January 12, 2017, naming it “Dharma Cloud House”. Rev. Master Daishin and Rev. Valeria were also in attendance. Rev. Helen performed the Animal Shelter Blessing at the Siskiyou Humane Society. House blessings and the Animal Shelter Blessings are two of the services we offer to our local community.
Rev. Vivian led a ten-day intensive practice period for the Bear River Meditation Group in Meadow Vista CA from 15 – 24 January, 2017. The theme was Love and how this very important aspect of our lives can be included in our Buddhist practice. Is it possible to love all beings equally, unconditionally, and without attachment? Rev. Vivian gave Dharma talks on the subject at two regular evening meetings of the group, followed by lively discussions. There was a half-day meditation retreat, and they had meditation and Morning Service most mornings as well as meditation and vespers most evenings. On three days Morning Service was followed by a simple breakfast and Dharma discussion. This is the second year that the group has offered this intensive practice period and everyone found it to be very helpful for deepening and enriching training.
On February 2 Rev. Trahearn performed the official Entry into the Meditation Hall of the Head Novice, thereby beginning his Head Novice training term. We all wish him well as he takes this next step in training.