“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:”
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.
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.
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.
Around Providence Zen Center we have no shortage of relaxing meditative spaces. As Robin mentioned in a previous post there are many projects happening on the grounds of the Zen Center, one of which happens to be the creation of the “Room of Awesomeness”. With views overlooking the pond, Diamond Hill Zen Monastery, and the Abbot’s House, this brightly painted, naturally sun lit room is the perfect spot to drink some tea or coffee while reading your favorite book or blog. It even has a fully functioning kitchen!
Last Sunday after the Dharma Talk some of us were able to spend some time together in the Room of Awesomeness. George, Tam, Darlene, Emily and I all shared some of George’s birthday cake while we talked about our shared appreciation for geeky science fiction movies and television. My kind of together action!
Have you ever considered doing a solo retreat? Here at Providence Zen Center we have the Jung Wol Gak hermitage, a retreat cabin situated in a secluded area of the woods just behind the zen center. It is available for solitary retreats from one to one hundred days. It is open to any student of one of the Zen Masters or Ji Do Poep Sa Nims, who follow a schedule approved by that teacher. The hermitage was completely renovated in 2005 and has been a popular spot over the last six years. There is electric heating and cooking facilities, including a small refrigerator and a sink. Bathroom facilities are available in a quiet area of the nearby main building. For more information please contact the Abbot of the Providence Zen Center.
I am getting very excited about our upcoming 9th conference called,The Whole World is a Single Flower. This Conference and Tour will go to India for 2011 … check out the official web page .
The last day to register is quickly approaching at the end of this month. We are getting our tickets to India and planning our trip there … the history of this conference is quite fascinating and I am sorry to have missed all the other ones. Our friend, Arthur Collins, has already left for India but before we had to say goodbye, he made us a web page with more information about the cities on the trip. Check out his webpage for more information about our destinations.
Even though our Kitchen Master, Chong Yew, is participating in the three month long Kyol-Che at Diamond Hill Zen Monastery, his presence can still be felt all around us at Providence Zen Center. If you’ve been around the Zen Center for the past few months you may have noticed his beautiful calligraphy hanging on our walls or at the Pagoda Gift Shop. All of his works are for sale and the proceeds help support the Zen Center. If you have something custom or personal in mind he will gladly create whatever you desire, you just have to wait until the beginning of April for Buddha’s Birthday Celebration when he will be finishing up his retreat.
If your interested in what is currently available email: email@example.com or call 401-658-1464
Also tomorrow Zen Master Soeng Hyang the Guiding Teacher for the whole Kwan Um School of Zen will be giving the regular Sunday Dharma Talk on Sunday, March 13th at 10:00 am.