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.
Randall Ryotan Eiger, Sensei
Sinclair Shinryu Thomson, Sensei
Feb. 27, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off
Welcome to the VZ Arts web page!
VZ Arts aims to embody the name of our zendo “Dotoku-ji” (True Expression Temple) through the practice of various art forms, including visual art, music, film and theatre. VZ Arts aspires to unite the artists of our sangha; to plan special events such as concerts, art openings, poetry readings and art study groups; and to create a unique community arts space guided by the themes of our Zen Buddhist practice.
All of our events are planned and produced by Village Zendo sangha members and are directed towards the interests of our Zen community. If you have an idea for an event that would benefit our group, then please contact VZArts@gmail.com.
- Tsukumai in concert Friday October 25th, 8pm with Sumie Kaneko – Koto, shamisen and vocal Nobuko Miyazaki – Flute and Shinobue
- Villagers and Trumpet 3: An intimate evening of innovative music Co-Curated by FONT (Festival of New Trumpet Music) and Sangha Member Ryuko Shragge Featuring: RPE duo and The Douglas Detrick Quartet.
- Dharma Flicks: The Vanishing City
- Villagers and Trumpet 2: An intimate evening of innovative music Co-Curated by FONT (Festival of New Trumpet Music) and Sangha Member Ryuko Shragge Featuring two amazing trumpet duos: (7pm) Josh Deutsch, trumpet and Nico Soffiato, guitar (8pm) Natsuki Tamura, trumpet and David Miller, drums
- Village Zendo Drumming Group (every third Sunday of the month) led by Fugan Dineen
- Concert of Middle Eastern, Turkish and Indian music with Fugan Dineen and Beth Bahai Cohen
- Villagers and Trumpet: An intimate evening of innovative music Co-Curated by FONT (Festival of New Trumpet Music) and Sangha Member Ryuko Shragge
|David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir VZ Arts welcomed the internationally-acclaimed musician and artist for a rare two-day visit which included a haunting concert and an intimate all-day workshop. David Hykes’s deep choral chants and environments were most recently featured in Terrence Malick’s 2011 film “Tree of Life”. (read more)|
|VZ Arts was honored to host Sensei Kaz Tanahashi,the renowned calligrapher, translator, and peacemaker, for a wonderful weekend of art and dharma. His visit included a live art-making benefit evening with a book signing, a full day workshop, and a dharma talk. (read more)|
|VZ Arts hosted “An Evening of Music of the Heart” with Amir Vahab, one of New York’s most celebrated and distinguished composers/vocalists of Persian sacred and folk music. Amir and his ensemble performed songs with lyrics selected from the poetry of the great Sufi Masters Rumi and Hafez, as well as folkloric songs from different parts of Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan. (read more)|
|VZ Arts hosted Sweetcakes Enso, a traveling art exhibit started by the Empty Hand Zen Center in New Rochelle, NY. Artists from many different sanghas were invited to join the show, which traveled and went on display at Zen centers and Buddhist communities all over the country. The Village Zendo hosted the show’s third stop, and included a lively panel discussion that featured artists Max Gimblett, Emma Tapley, Rodney Alan Greenblat, Robyn Ellenbogen and art historian/curator Catherine Spaeth. (read more)|
|The Village Zendo Arts Festival included sangha visual artists, writers, poets and musicians all embodying our directive of “true expression”. This two-day event started with an art opening of drawings, paintings, photography and sculpture, followed by an open mic poetry reading. The following day the zendo was open as an art gallery, finishing in the evening with a night-club atmosphere featuring world-class jazz musician and sangha member Jeremy Tokuyu Manasia and his trio, plus surprise guests. Featured artist included: A. Jesse Jiryu Davis, Emma Seiki Tapley, Jaime Denko Apraez, Julie Myoko Terestman, Musho Rodney Alan Greenblat, R. Liam Oshin Jennings, Ross Bleckner, Sam Clayton and Timothy KanSho Reynolds (read more)|
|Poet, professor, performer, and cultural activist Anne Waldman read at the Zendo, as part of the Village Zendo Benefit Reading Series. The series featured many important and emerging professional poets and writers. VZ Arts is planning more poet and writer visits in the future. The Zendo is one of the greatest spaces in New York City to hear poets and writers read their work in a refined and intimate atmosphere. (read more)|
|For the winter holidays the Village Zendo was transformed into the “Hello Zen” Holiday Market. Sangha members and friends came together for a festive holiday market fundraiser filled with crafts and great food. VZ Arts is planning future marketplace events. If you are a crafter or artisan and are making items that would be appropriate for our spirtual community, please contact Musho.|
|Grand Master Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin has honored the Village Zendo with intimate solo recitals on the Japanese Shakuhachi flute. He is a Zen teacher and infuses his masterful traditional playing with fresh down-to-earth insight. He plays, it is said, with “a mother’s heart” — an attitude of selflessness and nurturing. (read more)|
For programing please contact: VZarts@gmail.com
Jan. 14, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off
Photo: Nan Goldin
Please join us in supporting Judy Clark’s appeal for clemency.
After serving 30 years in prison we believe Judy Clark deserves freedom and the opportunity to rejoin society. Behind bars, Judy entered the belly of the whale, as she put it, and through the difficult work of deep atonement and self reflection found herself; she is no longer the same person who committed the crime all those years ago. Instead, Judy has become a model of wise and compassionate action in the world.
We believe her release will not only benefit Judy herself but society as a whole. Her release will also exemplify the values of rehabilitation, transformation, and forgiveness – characteristics of a just, wise, and compassionate world. The Village Zendo’s March 2012 event at Judson Memorial Church was a big success with over 145 attendees. Over 100 letters clemency letters were written and we raised about $1000 for her legal fund. Go to her website at judithclark.org for much more information, including her writing, and links to a NY Sunday Times article by Tom Robbins and a Guardian article by Eve Ensler.
We encourage everyone to write a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to grant clemency to Judy, and we’ve provided three model letters for those who would prefer to use one of those. Please send a copy of your letter to Governor Cuomo to Judy’s lawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan. 13, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off
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 25th. 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:
- Ango Commitment Form, to be completed and returned to the zendo or discussed with a Village Zendo teacher
- Letter on Ango and our Study Text, the Lotus Sutra, from Enkyo Roshi
- Letter from our Practice Leader or Shuso, Lisa Soshin Dufour
Should you have any questions, please contact Soshin at email@example.com. Thank you for your practice.
Jan. 11, 2012 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off
This wonderful book is $18 including tax and shipping.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order.
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.
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 VillageZendoOccupyWallemail@example.com.
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:
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:
Jul. 9, 2011 - Posted in: Blog - Comments Off
Last 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.
Thank you, in appreciation,
Citta Nepal and Limi Valley
Citta 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.