Author Archive for A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

Photos from Jukai and Shuso Hossen in Bolivia

Aug. 19, 2013 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Our affiliate sangha in La Paz, Bolivia, held a Jukai ceremony on July 21st 2013, and a Shuso Hossen on July 28. Patricia Hannya Jin Lada was shuso. Mike Borisenko photographed the Jukai, Pablo Kōmon Alanes photographed Shuso Hossen and assembled these booklets of photos from the two events.

PDF download  Jukai at the Centro Zan Phajjsi Qollut Jalsu

PDF download  Shuso Hossen at the Centro Zan Phajjsi Qollut Jalsu

 

Village Zendo Ethics Statement

Jul. 4, 2013 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Inclusivity

We welcome people of different cultures, colors, abilities, ages, identifications, and beliefs who can practice within the guidelines for meditation and harmonious practice that we have laid out for the Village Zendo.  We appreciate and explore our differences in order to build understanding, harmony, and openness for the whole community.

Student-Teacher Relationship

In Zen, the uniquely intimate nature of student-teacher face-to-face meetings can give rise to questions about confidentiality.  We treat these meetings with a reasonable assumption of privacy, not a strict code of secrecy. A core aspect of our practice is spiritual direction. While there is a right to a reasonable sense of confidentiality regarding what is said in these meetings, Dharma teachers consult with one another and hold confidentialities among themselves rather than alone.

Students are also expected to hold private interview interactions in confidence unless they wish to lodge a complaint. It goes without saying that any perceived slight should be discussed with the teacher in question first. Idle talk about interview is inappropriate and harmful to everyone’s practice.

Whenever a teacher and a student are relating to each other in different capacities or contexts, a dual relationship is created. For example, a teacher who is a psychotherapist may be asked by a student to become a client/patient. Or a student who is an attorney may be asked by a teacher to provide legal services. These and other such situations give rise to a dual relationship. 
We recognize that not all dual relationships are inherently unethical. We are, however, mindful of the complexities and risks in these circumstances, and we recommend caution in such relationships. Should they occur, they should be monitored with extreme professionalism.

Village Zendo teachers acknowledge their shared and individual responsibility to hold the clarity and integrity of the teacher-student relationship. We will seek the counsel of the other teachers as needed.

Power Relations

The Village Zendo is committed to providing an environment of equality and respect for all those who come to practice.  We seek to maintain a container where all can feel safe to participate fully and authentically in a variety of ways.

Recognizing and valuing the importance of diversity, no individuals or forms of practice are privileged or given special status. This is especially true in regard to those who are ordained, for whom the dangers and pitfalls of power projection can run high. Any seniority is based solely on the maturity of spiritual practice. In fact, the majority of senior practitioners at the Village Zendo are not ordained.

All members of the Village Zendo – especially teachers and senior students – are encouraged to observe a high standard of ethical conduct. We expect them to pay close attention to personal boundaries especially in the areas of sex and money, and to avoid other forms of control over others. We also seek to maintain as much transparency as possible in regard to the structure, operations, finances, and decision-making of the organization.

If anyone experiences or perceives a violation or abuse of power, we strongly encourage him or her to speak up. This is vitally important not only to the individual involved but to the whole community. The procedures for addressing such abuse are those in place for conflict resolution.

Conflict resolution

Conflict is prone to occur in all communities, including spiritual ones. When conflict arises, we attempt to address it skillfully, rather than to avoid or deny it.  We seek to respond to conflict in a way that promotes greater individual and collective self-awareness.

Our procedures for resolving conflict involve the following steps:  1) examination of one’s own role in the situation; 2) when appropriate, direct efforts at communication and reconciliation between the parties involved; 3) when Step #2 is inappropriate or inadequate, recourse to a Village Zendo teacher to seek advice; 4) when Step #3 is inadequate, recourse to the Village Zendo Omsbudsperson who may intervene or facilitate resolution; 5) when Step #4 is inadequate, recourse to the Village Zendo Executive Committee and the Omsbudsperson (with any Executive Committee member recusing herself or himself if involved in the conflict); 6) when Step #5 is inadequate or the case involves formal legal matters, recourse to the Village Zendo Board.

Summer Ango 2013 General Information

Feb. 18, 2013 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Summer Ango 2013

at The Grail, Cornwall-on-Hudson
JULY 24th to AUGUST 25th

Please PDF download download the registration form and submit with payment.

Entire Ango
July 26 – August 25
$1,500 (members)/ $1,875 (non-members)

Dai Sesshin
July 26 – August 4
$735 (members)/ $820 (non-members)

Precepts Week
August 6 – August 11
$545 (members)/ $610 (non-members)

Precepts Study and Jukai Ceremony
$900

Zen Study Zen Arts
August 13 – August 16
$375 (members)/ $445 (non-members)
Zen and the Art of Clay with Myoko Terestman Sensei

Beginner’s Mind Sesshin
August 16 – August 18
$325
For those new to practice, this weekend introduces the joys of silence, insight and community in a more easeful schedule.  It is an ideal way to learn about Zen.

Shusho Sesshin
August 20 – August 25
$675 (members)/ $745 (non-members)

 

Please download Roshi’s Ango letter, the letter from the Shuso, and the commitment form:
Roshi’s Summer Ango Letter
Letter from Shuso
2013 Summer Ango Commitment Form
PDF downloadDotoku(Expressions) – translation by Kazuaki Tanahashi

Winter Ango 2013

Jan. 1, 2013 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

December 26, 2012 – March 24, 2013

Ango means “peaceful dwelling.” It is a time when the sangha comes together for a period of intensified practice and commitment.

The Village Zendo’s winter ango began on December 26th and will continue through March 24th. Please join us in zazen, study and joyful attention to our day-to-day life.

Here is what you’ll need to enter our winter ango:

Should you have any questions, please contact Oshin at oshinjennings@gmail.com. Thank you for your practice.

Village Zendo Matching Grant

Dec. 11, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Please remember the Village Zendo in your charitable contributions. Each and every donation makes a difference.  And from now through January 31st, 2014 your contribution goes even further thanks to a generous $20,000 matching grant from one of our donors.

Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity and giving as generously as you can.  Your donation helps ensure the financial strength and stability of the Village Zendo now and in the years to come.

Judy Clark Event in Katonah, November 1st

Oct. 16, 2012 - Posted in: Calendar - No Comments

Thursday, November 1

Clemency for Judy Clark — Event in Katonah

Katonah Memorial House, 71 Bedford Road, Katonah

7:30 pm

A special event to raise awareness about Judy Clark will be held at the Katonah Memorial House. Speakers include Tom Robbins (author of the New York Times magazine article on Judy), Rabbi Arik Wolf (Chabad of Bedford), Sara Bennett (Judy’s long-time lawyer) and others from the Katonah-Bedford Hills area who know Judy. 

Sara invites members of the VZ to attend or to help by spreading the word—especially to people in Westchester and local clergy. Ask your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to come. 

If you would like to volunteer to help with the event, please contact coordinator Doreen Semel at roketeer1@aol.com.

Read more about the case for clemency for Judith Clark. (Word document.)

Summer 2012 Ango: video by Yuuka

Sep. 6, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Elena Yuuka TaJo has made this lovely video collage of this summer’s retreat:

New Precepts Page

Apr. 4, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

With Bokushu’s help we’ve posted a new precepts page and PDF unifying the 16 Precepts and commentaries by Bodhidharma, Dogen, and the Zen Peacemakers.

Registration Is Open for 2012 Summer Ango

Apr. 3, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

The registration form is now available for summer ango. Please fill it out and make out a check for your deposit, and drop them off at the Zendo or mail to Village Zendo, 588 Broadway, Suite 1108, NY NY 10012.

PDF download Summer Ango 2012 Registration Form

The Ango Commitment Form will be online later. Questions?: summerangoregistrar@villagezendo.org

Work For Dharma 2012

Mar. 10, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Work For Dharma Day: March 20, 2012

Dear Sangha Members and Friends of the Village Zendo,

“Seventy-two labors brought us this food . . .” Each time we chant the meal gatha we remind ourselves of the labor of beings throughout the world that makes it possible for us to nourish ourselves and sustain our lives.

The same interdependence applies to our sitting practice. The zazen that sustains us is made possible by the efforts of innumerable beings–the hands that sew the cushions, the teachings of Buddhas and ancestors that light the way, the warm hearts and sincere effort of our fellow practitioners. And in a very direct way, our practice space is made possible by the generosity of the members and friends of the Village Zendo.

More than 25 years ago we found our first practice space through the generosity of Enkyo Roshi and Joshin Sensei when they opened their home to a small, dedicated group of practitioners. As the sangha grew, so did the need for support not just by a few of us but by the whole community. This year, as we look back on nearly a decade spent in practice spaces at 588 Broadway, the support of the community matters more than ever. Our lease will expire in 2013 and, as all of us know, rents in lower Manhattan go in only one direction. Our ability to maintain our practice space depends on each one of us.

That’s why we ask you to respond generously to Work for Dharma Day, the Village Zendo’s spring fundraising appeal. Work for Dharma Day is an opportunity for each of us, no matter our occupation or walk of life, to nourish the life of the Zendo and the practice of its sangha. To participate in Work for Dharma Day, simply pledge to donate all or a portion of the income you earn on Tuesday, March 20, the first day of spring, to the Village Zendo. No amount is too small or too large. We all participate equally. We each contribute to the innumerable labors that make it possible to sustain a thriving spiritual community in the heart of New York City.

A pledge form and envelope are enclosed or, if you prefer, you can donate online at JustGive. On behalf of Enkyo Roshi, Joshin Sensei and the entire Village Zendo teaching staff, we thank you for the generosity that will sustain the Village Zendo sangha now and for many years to come.

In gassho,

Randall Ryotan Eiger, Sensei

Sinclair Shinryu Thomson, Sensei