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FSZS: Newsletter and Dharma Notes

Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha (FSZS)


Welcome to the new look of FSZS communication

1. Our website is online:

the website has many features, you can connect to our Facebook, STO website, and the ASZC website. Plus, all of the basic information of purpose, services and schedules are clearly noted on the Site. Look under Most Recent and Archived Newsletters to see my weekly posts. You can also go to the Soto Zen Buddhist Association website and see video and listen to music. There is also a place for you to send me questions and comments and I look forward to hearing from you.

2. I will continue to Email the Newsletter to you. It will take you to the website look under Newsletter and Dharma Notes!

3. I will be merging our mailing list with the STO mailing list this month

4. Note the new Email address for me is

5. Please tell others about the website and our Sangha.

The Four Noble Truths

I have said pain is sensory overload. But pain is not suffering in the context presented by Shakyamuni Buddha. Nothing in our temporal existence stays the same-impermanence. By attempting to ignore, run from, hold on to or fight impermanence produces a feeling of uneasiness. First this disease/uneasiness, or Dukkha in Pali, is truly experienced by all humans. Second it is also true we can look into the conditions and variables that influence our uneasiness. This is a diagnostic step wherein cause and effect is identified, duality questioned, and extremes unbalance us. Our ability to see clearly here affords insight into how the dis-ease arises in the interplay of body, speech and mind. Here we can also see that we are not alone in experiencing Dukkha. Third if there are conditions it is also true there are choices as to how we act, speak and think (analyze cause and effect) moment by moment that create Dukkha. Fourth given the awareness of these three truths, it is true that we can take specific steps proven to lessen Dukkha or uneasiness/suffering we experience.

This diagnosis of the human-condition shows the interdependent co-arising of each of us as we all exist in some level of Dukkha. Suffering as the crucible of commonality means we can know what we feel and intuit how others may feel moment by moment. If we are ignorant of these truths, we are bound to feel suffering and become more likely to cause it as well. Being aware of all of this affords the opportunity to break the cycle of causing and experiencing Dukkha. How? Practice. What? Prescriptive actions that illuminate preventing and/or intervening steps of noble actions (non-dukkha generating behavior) moment by moment.

Here we have the Dharma Gate or the true-teaching of the Buddha. We all are in life (s.samsara) together and thereby have the opportunity to affect our life and the life of others through the way we think, the things we say, and the actions we take. This is the wonder of life-we can do something about suffering. This "Something" is a set of volitional steps that free us from the cycle of attaching and craving that foster and perpetuate suffering. These steps for practicing (living) our life whereby ignorance of not understanding suffering, is transformed through prajnaparamita or wisdom unfolding as we follow the "Noble Eight-Fold Path."


1. February 21 is BRING A FRIEND OR TEN TO ZEN NIGHT. Please invite your friends to come see what we are all about...

2. Each January-March, we return to the basics, that is discuss the life and teachings of the historical Buddha as the foundation of our Soto Zen practice. This will include the Five Turnings of the Dharma Wheel, The Three/Four Seals, The Four Noble Truths and Noble Eight-Fold Path. This is a good opportunity for new comers to explore these teachings. Please ask friends to join you and us as we do so!

3. Many bows to all who participated in Founders Month. We raised $500 for STO through donations, book sales, and our monthly Dana. As you know, one-third of what we receive in donations goes to support the work of Taiun-Roshi and our Order. Also visit the STO website: and look for us on YouTube and Facebook under Silent Thunder Order

Like String for Beads, is a compilation of my Dharma talks, notes, poems and Facebook comments realize to of practice. Special thanks to Enjitsu Chris Charyk for pulling the project together! There will be copies available every Tuesday night, or let me know if you want me to mail you a copy.

The book is $25 for the first copy and $15 for extra copies while they last…

4. Visit our new library named for Diane “Yugen” Tucker. The cart was a donation to the Sangha by Kyoshin Elin Kinney as Dana for her Jukai on November 5, 2016…many bows! The books will be added over the next few weeks and Kyoshin-ni has agreed to be our Librarian. A donation of $1 is recommend to check out books and magazines for up to three weeks. It really is a cute cart drop-by and see it soon. Oh, we wheel it out each Tuesdays and for zazenkai and sesshin, or if you would like to see if we have a book you want, get in touch with Elin <>.

5. Meditation is held each TUESDAY at 10:00AM at the Falmouth Senior Center.

6. Our Zendo is open at 6:30PM (good time for newcomers to get aquatinted) at the UUFF, 840 Sandwich Road, for our weekly service which starts at 7:00PM.

7. Many Bows to all who attended the BBB (Buddhism Book Bunch) meeting at Koin-ni’s home. We discussed D.T. Suzuki’s book: An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, which a seminal work in presenting Zen to the West in 1934.

FEBRUARY IS MOVIE MONTH in the BBB: See Website under Newsletters for details

Silent Thunder Order (STO) ACTIVITIES: See website


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