April newsletter

Posted on Apr 08 , 2011 in Blog

Here is the April newsletter for you, enjoy! April 2011


Peach Flowers Turn Pink

Posted on Apr 06 , 2011 in Blog


The Buddha and eminent teachers originally don’t understand.
I also don’t understand.
Only spring comes and peach flowers turn pink.
Clear wind blowing from the mountain.

(Poem by Zen Master Yong Sahn)


Photo Contest

Posted on Apr 05 , 2011 in Blog

Photo Contest


  Congratulations to all our Providence Zen Center members who took Precepts this Sunday!!

Didn’t we have fun this past weekend? The Hae Jae party Friday night marked the end of the long 90 day Winter Kyol Che retreat and even with a little snow on the ground, you could tell that “Spring has Sprung”! All our friends were back at the Zen Center from around the world for the Buddha’s Birthday Celebration on Saturday with quite a few new friends as well. There was the first bonfire of the season Saturday night, with the stars being covered and uncovered by the clouds … followed by the Sunday morning Precept Ceremony. There was a large contingent of new Dharma Brothers and Sisters who took their five precepts. It is so fun to see them in their brown kasa the first time they walk into practice!

We also have some new Dharma-Teachers-In-Training (DTIT), a few new Senior Dharma Teachers and Several DTITs that received their long robes and bowls as their training period has ended. Now they are full Dharma Teachers. Congratulations to everyone!

… so here an idea for a quick photo contest … how many pictures do you think we took all weekend? The attached photo is of our PZC family with several teachers and friends, but more photos will be posted to the photo gallery very soon …. if you couldn’t make it this April, maybe you can join us for the next Sangha Weekend! We’d love to have a photo of all our PZC members …


Buddha’s Birthday!

Posted on Apr 01 , 2011 in Blog


Almost time for dinner at Providence Zen Center.  Our three month long winter Kyol Che is finishing up today and so begins three months of Hae Jae. Kyol Che is the intensive meditation retreat period. Hae Jae is the looser, less formally scheduled period in the spring and autumn.

The Hae Jae period provides more of an opportunity to practice in everyday life situations. During this time, monks and nuns traditionally travel from temple to temple to visit other great masters at or meet with their Doban (Dharma friends).


5:00 pm dinner
6:00 pm chanting to 7:00 pm
7:15 pm Kyol Che closing ceremony
7:45 pm Hae Jae party

While on the Kwan Um website, I came across this mp3 of a closing talk at the end of Kyol Che from over 25 years ago . Enjoy!

Diamond Hill Zen Monastery Hae Jae

by Zen Master Seung Sahn on Mar 29, 1985




Rhode Island by Hoarded Ordinaries

Posted on Mar 28 , 2011 in Blog

“The Providence Zen Center just paid a hefty chunk o’ change to give their Gold Guys a makeover, commissioning master gilders to re-cover their hollow forms with gold leaf. So even though Buddha’s been sitting a long time, he’s looking fabulous these days with a fresh application of ruby-red lip paint and spring-green eyebrow and moustache appliques:”

-Lorianne DiSabato

If you want to read some great stuff about Rhode Island and the Zen Center you should read Lorianne DiSabato’s blog Hoarded Ordinaries, Mundane musings from a collector of the quotidian.



Poem For Zen Master Seung Sahn

Posted on Mar 25 , 2011 in Blog

By Zen Master Dae Kwang


Mushroom workshop

Posted on Mar 24 , 2011 in Blog & Upcoming Events

Mushroom workshop at PZC,

hello everybody, PZC is hosting mushroom inoculation workshop on April 17. It is going to be fun! Please see flyer for more information. George

Mushroom workshop


Lots of Activity

Posted on Mar 23 , 2011 in Blog

As always, there’s lots of activity today at the Zen Center. Kimball is busy helping our carpenter Jim install more of the new bamboo flooring. Diana is busy in the Kitchen with Charlie getting things in order for tonights public vegetarian dinner, meditation instruction and Dharma talk. Our house master Troy will be giving the introductory talk and we are very excited to have Zen Master Bon Yeon (Jane McLaughlin-Dobisz) of Cambridge Zen Center answering questions.

I also wanted to share this hand painted Korean Buddhist mural that’s currently hanging in one of our stairwells. One of our co-guiding teachers, Nancy Hedgpeth, JDPSN told me it had been used years ago for a special outdoor ceremony in Korea. Somehow, it was stored away for many years here at the Zen Center and wasn’t found until recently after some of our renovations. It’s quite impressive, it probably measure 20′ x 20′ practically reaching from the floor to the ceiling.

Finally I want to leave you with this video that Jason Quinn, Abbot of Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkley, California posted to our Facebook wall. It is a talk excerpt from 03/16/2011 with Zen Master Dae Kwang, former guiding teacher here at PZC and Abbot of the entire Kwan Um School of Zen.




After One Day Retreat, No Regret

Posted on Mar 21 , 2011 in Blog

One of the things that makes Kwan Um School of Zen so great,  is sitting retreats and having interviews with our teachers. Yesterday at PZC we had the privilege to sit a one day retreat with Zen Master Bon Haeng (Mark Houghton).  It consisted of sitting and walking meditation from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm followed by an informal meal. Robin ran a smooth retreat as Head Dharma Teacher, I heard many people comment on how quickly time seem to pass.  Tam was our Moktak Master as we chanted the Heart Sutra in English and the Great Dharani. A highlight and surprise to this retreat was a impromptu period of walking meditation outside led by Zen Master Bon Haeng.  It was a beautiful day as we walked “as one” past two geese, the pond, the monastery, people sleeping in a field… :)


Here is a video of Zen Master Bon Haeng as he answers a student’s question about regret by recounting a story about the late Su Bong Sunim, a much beloved monk who was a former resident of the Cambridge Zen Center.


Supermoon Before One Day Retreat

Posted on Mar 20 , 2011 in Blog

I’m laying on my back looking out the window at the “supermoon” and typing this post on my BlackBerry. Just about an hour before morning practice and 108 bows begin at Providence Zen Center. Today we have a one day retreat in the main dharma room at PZC.

This one day retreat consists of sitting and walking meditation from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm followed by an informal meal. It will include kong-an teaching interviews with Zen Master Bon Haeng (Mark Houghton) with an orientation at 8:45 am for first-time retreat members. Prior meditation experience or attendance at a meditation instruction class is recommended.

To register for your retreat online – please fill out the retreat registration form, click here.