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Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha: 11 Years of Thanksgiving

Our Sangha is 11 years old this month. Aging is hard to believe that we are this old and young at the same time. You may wish to consult Master Dogen about “Uji.”

This Saturday we held a celebration of Yoshin Amy Wilson’s vows. After ten months of training, she took Jukai, becoming an initiate of Soto Zen Buddhism. Yoshin has been attending our Sangha for almost two years and is a vital member of our fellowship (see the wonderful picture of the Sangha above).

It was July 4, 2010, that I arrived in Falmouth from Atlanta, establishing and holding the first meeting of the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha in November. Over the years we have shared the Dharma with hundreds of people. .

A moment is always thankful to be shared. This interconnectivity is Buddharma, as Shakyamuni Buddha said to Ananda, the Sangha relationship is a coupling or intimate heart-to-heart opportunities for sharing. Sometimes I don’t see this, rather I am deluded in priorities, of my insistence. The moment teaches us impermanence, connectivity, and continuity.

The First Congregational Church of Falmouth is the new home for our zendo. The three hundred year old Church is community-centric and has been most welcome to our Sangha. We held a Zazenkai on the 20th prior to our Jukai ceremony for Yoshin. We had to be out of the Church at a certain time, as a memorial service for a congregate was to take place next. Two groups and two different ceremonies of life. Yet, I believe everyone and our two groups had the same prayer: Please and Thank You. In a way, to breathe-in is “please,” and breathing out is “thank you" as we each unfolded the next moment.

Gratitude is a remarkable feeling of compassion, loving-kindness, joy, and equanimity, what we call the four immeasurables to off-set greed, hate, and delusion in life. Through our vows we follow the years that arise and often we sense impermanence. But we may also have an increased understanding of interconnectedness. It is at the crossroads of the two that we pause in appreciation of our path of the Middle Way knowing Mount Wutai is straight ahead…

Please join us in person or on Zoom November 23, 2021, as we explore sharing the Dharma of thanksgiving...

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