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Bridging: Matsuoka-Roshi

We are fortunate that person for whom our Silent Thunder Order was founded, is seen as a bridge-builder. During a pilgrimage to Japan in 2015, members of our Order met with leaders of Sotoshu, the national organization of Soto Zen. They pronounced that Matsuoka-roshi may have been the first of their members to start a soto zen temple in American for non Japanese-Americans.

Throughout the history of Buddhism and Zen only a few have have been bridge-builders, Shakyamuni Buddha, Bodhidharma, Huineng, and Dogen Zenji come to mind. To place O'Roshi in this category needs some explanation. Having made the decision to come to America in 1939, O'Roshi was sent to an Interment Camp after the outbreak of WWII. Following the war he moved to Chicago and founded the Chicago Zen Temple that continues to carry his legacy. Throughout the 1940, 1950 and 1960 he worked for the American Chamber of Commerce and other international organizations to bridge the divide between the people of American and Japan.

Our Order takes four principles from him that are included in our strategic planning: Patience, Balance, Harmony and Sharing. Similar to his principle of "360-Zen," I wrote about last week, they tell a story of Right Effort. Patience from 1945 through 1960 was central to working through the fear and hatred of the other. O'Roshi was a master of the martial arts and was well aware of balance as a requirement following effort and awareness. Then harmony through sharing of the Dharma. Looking at the commonality of people in everyday life. Sensei, Taiun-roshi, often talks about O'Roshi saying..." remember never give up... fall down seven get-up eight."

What are we bridging in our life? Let's talk about this Tuesday night...


Bussorai and the 8th Anniversary of the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha will be celebrated at our regular Tuesday night service 12/4/18.

Bring a Friend or Ten...

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