Author Archive for A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

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?:

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

$20,000 matching grant through January 31st, 2012

Dec. 11, 2011 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

The Village Zendo is fortunate that two donors have offered a matching grant: $20,000 on the basis of $1 for every $2 donated by others in support of the zendo, from now through January 31. If the terms of the match are fully met, then the zendo will have raised $60,000 through this gift. Please help us sustain our Zen Center and the community that makes it possible for you and all of us to transform our world.

Village Zendo and Occupy Wall St: Join the discussion group

Dec. 3, 2011 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Kaizen has started an “Occupy Wall” discussion group to talk about Village Zendo and the Occupy movement, join by visiting the Yahoo group or emailing

Occupy Wall

Winter Ango study text and letter from Roshi now online

Nov. 26, 2011 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

This winter, we will study the Lotus Sutra. You can read Roshi’s letter and follow links to download the Lotus Sutra here:

Year End Retreat: Shuso Letter and Ango Commitment Form Now Online

Nov. 23, 2011 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

The Winter 2011 Ango Commitment Form and a letter from our winter shuso, Soshin, are now online:

Winter 2011 Year-End Retreat Page

Summer Ango text online now – Roshi’s talks on the Heart Sutra

Jul. 20, 2011 - Posted in: Uncategorized - Comments Off

Our summer ango study text is now available – The Heart Sutra, and a series of talks by Roshi:

PDF download Summer Ango 2011 Study Text – The Heart Sutra

More information about study week

Our exciting new education project with Citta in the Limi Valley, Nepal

Jul. 9, 2011 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

Dear friends,

Citta education projectLast fall, while walking through the mountains bordering Tibet, I was struck by the faces of the children I met. They were so poor and yet they showed the playfulness and curiosity of children everywhere. And also, behind those faces, in their eyes, there was a pleading, lost quality. It is so hard to see that in ones so young. Already lost.

Until I walked into the little village of Halji in the Limi Valley. The children in that town seemed quite different – more centered, more disciplined, healthier even. It was apparent in their bodies and faces, a sense of self-respect. I asked why this village was so distinct? Only a half -day walk away the children seemed so forlorn! In this one tiny village the town’s leaders had managed to build a two-room school and wrangled a teacher from the Nepalese government. The children, both boys and girls, had been able to go to school for two years until the government payments stopped and the teacher had to leave. Without teachers or supplies, they were trying to continue, to gather the children together to learn.

I resolved to find a way to serve these children, and those in nearby villages by helping the local leaders to provide for supplies and teacher salaries. Although there were a few contacts, it was not clear how to implement this project until Michael Daube of CITTA stepped into the picture.

I have known Michael for many years and have followed the work of CITTA in India, Nepal, and Mexico. This year, while travelling with Joan Halifax and her medical team, I visited his wonderful clinic in the same area of Nepal as the Limi Valley. When I asked him about the possibility of helping with this rather modest project of schooling for the children, he agreed to investigate and came back with a detailed plan. Since CITTA is already staffed locally, we can begin quickly and with confidence.

Please donate to this cause.

Thank you, in appreciation,

Citta Nepal and Limi Valley

Michael Daube and Enkyo RoshiCitta is a non-profit dedicated to supporting remote regions in the world suffering from poverty and lack of infrastructure. Through our experiences, we’ve found that through healthcare, education and economic development we can nurture better stability and opportunities to so many families in these communities.
With its ancient culture and the Himalayas as a backdrop, landlocked Nepal has a romantic image. It is nonetheless one of the world’s poorest countries and is struggling to overcome the legacy of a 10-year Maoist insurrection. According to the UN, around 40% of Nepalese live in poverty. Humla District, which lies in the far northwest of Nepal, is by far the country’s poorest and most remote region. The district has no roads or wheels and there isn’t enough food to support its population. Basic supplies need to be transported by air, which many times doubles the cost.

In 2004, Citta Nepal opened a hospital to help provide basic healthcare to the region. The hospital was fortunate enough to receive a grant last year to increase its size and ability to provide care. As the new facility opened, Roshi Joan Halifax and Roshi Enkyo O’Hara traveled to the hospital with a team of medical professionals and others on their journey to make a sacred kora of Mount Kailash. The medical team spent 2 days at Citta Nepal’s hospital, caring for almost 1000 patients!This was truly an auspicious way to christen such a facility.

With healthcare safely planted in the region, it was no surprise what was to come. As Roshi’s group journeyed to Kailash, they passed through the remote Limi Valley on the border of Tibet, a precious and wonderful pocket of Humla, which still preserves the ancient Lama culture of Tibet. What Limi lacks is support for their children’s education. Due to this issue, many of the Limi youth are forced to leave their families and communities in search of education in Kathmandu or India. Roshi came into contact with these villagers and felt she would be interested in supporting education for the children of Limi Valley. I felt this was a natural progression of our care for the district and a wonderful opportunity for Citta Nepal.

Michael Daube Executive Director, Citta
To see and find out more about Citta and the Limi Valley go to the Citta website at and Michael’s blog

Click here to see student pictures and profile from the Citta school

Scholarship Fund

Jul. 8, 2011 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off

The Village Zendo announces a financial assistance program for dharma study. Read about it on our scholarship fund page:

Details about the Village Zendo Scholarship Fund