On September 2 Rev. Master Meian gave the Precepts to Alexa Elizabeth Nash and Michael Julian Arnett. We wish them all the best as they take this important step in their training.
On October 7 Rev. Master Jisho was celebrant for the Memorial for Robert Uhl who died suddenly in Yreka (CA) on September 30. Robert, age 38, had attended several retreats at Shasta Abbey. On October 14 Rev. Master Ando was celebrant for the Memorial for Danny Dirck who died earlier this year in Chicago. Twenty-five members of Danny’s family and friends attended. Danny had taken the Precepts at Shasta Abbey. He was 34. We offer our deep sympathy to the families and friends of both these young people, who both died unexpectedly.
The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives’ 2017 Rules Conclave was held at Shasta Abbey from September 18 through September 29. Twenty-three senior monks from as far away as Latvia, Germany, England, Canada, as well as from Charleston (South Carolina), Wallowa (Oregon), Portland (Oregon), Eugene (Oregon) and Berkeley (California), joined the senior monks at Shasta Abbey for the Conclave. Every six years the senior monks come together and, through a process of consensus, update various Order rules as needed. The Conclave schedule also allowed for time to get together with monastic friends in quiet conversation and walks around the Abbey neighborhood, as well as to explore the trails and points of interest in Northern California and Southern Oregon. We are grateful for the opportunity to host our monastic family in this important work.
Rev. Meiko traveled to the Bear River Meditation Group the first week in October for a weekend retreat that included a Segaki ceremony and the Blessing of a nearby trail called the Assassins trail. This trail came by this name following two murders that took place there a number of years ago that have gone unsolved. It seemed a kindness to offer a Blessing for the well being of those who were involved. The group preparation for her visit gathered many of the necessary items needed for the Segaki ceremony and a number of rehearsals for the Kwatz and the Mantras that are used for the ceremony. The time put in was of great benefit for the unfolding of the ceremony. The next day there were a number of the lay sangha who joined in on the walk along the Assassins Trail, led by a signal gong, until we came upon a clearing where we all chanted the Scripture of Great Wisdom Mantra (Gate, Gate). This outing was followed, at the home of Andrea Speak and Pam Johnson, by the “Burning of the Wooden Tomb Stones” (Toro): the burning of the Names list from the Segaki ceremony and other items offered by the Group members for merit and purification.
Rev. Master Oswin and Rev. Allard visited the Chico Serene Reflection Meditation Group on October 10-12. On the morning of the 11th Rev. Master Oswin offered an introduction to Buddhism to Professor Jason Clower’s East Asian Religions class at CaliforniaState University Chico. Rev. Allard helped with answering questions at the end of the talk. The event was well received. In the evening, they joined the group for a potluck, meditation and Dharma talk. Rev. Master Oswin led a discussion on the Four Wisdoms, based on different translations of these qualities which the Buddha called the “means of embracing others” and drawing out examples from group members’ experiences. Rev. Master Oswin and Rev. Allard appreciated the generous hospitality extended to them by group members, which included a visit to the New Clairvaux Cistercian Monastery at Vina. The guestmaster graciously allowed access to the restoration-in-progress of a 12th-century Spanish monastery’s chapter house which is being incorporated into the Vina monastery’s new sanctuary and worship center.