From 1939-2017, is 78 years. This one thin slice of time in Buddhist history of 2500 years, is essential to all of us affiliated with the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha. The time frame is the arrival to America of Rev. Zengaku Matsuoka-roshi's and his influence on us-so far. In around 1961 O'Roshi had a student named Micheal Elliston, now my guiding teacher, and yours. Taiun Micheal Elliston-roshi is now Hojo (abbot) of the Silent Thunder Order and the Atlanta Soto Zen Center (40th Anniversary this year) which together comprise the Silent Thunder Order Network (STON) made up of 22 Affiliate Sanghas in the United States (19) and Canada (3).
From 2003-2010, I was a member of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center receiving Jukai and Zaike Tokudo from Hojo and serving two years on the ASZC Board of Directors. In 2008 Hojo ask me to work with him on a concept. At that time there we six (6) siting groups/Sanghas that had a loose affiliation with ASZC. Maintaining this outreach from Atlanta was proving problematic as Hojo coordinated visits while helping Practice Leaders deal with their own growth challenges! Our project was the prototype of what is now Mokurai or The Silent Thunder Order.
Today, through seven years of operations under STO, we have a more robust training program, increase general and ordained membership, and Affiliate Sanghas at various stages of maturity. There is a effective Board of Directors whose members are a cross section of all Affiliate Sanghas helping address a Network that has grown three-fold in seven years.
I help convey the teachings of Buddha as I understand them to you in a variety of ways as best I can and we together teach each other the Dharma-always, and we unfold our wondrous Sangha through all of this under the long-eyes of Taiun Elliston-roshi. Even this small legacy, 2010-2017, is a extension of all who have come before us, back to Hojo and O-Roshi, Dogen, Bodhidharma, to Gautama Buddha. We should all strive to remember and to wear this well...