February, 2017 Newsletter

From the Teacher
I recently visited the World’s Religions class at Webster Groves High School. At a certain point, I was speaking about the Zen teaching of “doing one thing at a time completely.” Noticing that some of the students were not focused on what I was saying, I asked them, “What would you rather be doing now?” One girl immediately raised her hand and said, “Eating.” (No one else raised their hand so I’m not sure if she was speaking for everyone else…)

Eating ranks right near the top of important matters for human beings. Breathing and drinking water are also important but surely we take these for granted. Yet, eating, while essential to life, is also one of our favorite activities.

In Dogen Zenji’s “The Dharma of Taking Food”, a section in his Pure Standards for the Zen Community, he writes, “Just let the Dharma be the same as food, and let food be the same as the Dharma. For this reason, if all things are Dharma-nature, then food is also Dharma-nature.”

Dogen Zenji put great emphasis not only on the way food is prepared but also on the way it is eaten. This is reflected in the “Meal Verses” which we chant before eating at our one-day sittings, which we generally hold once a month at the Confluence Zen Center. The “Meal Verses” present a concise overview of the Buddhist teaching.

Lately, I’ve written a couple of essays on the “Meal Verses” which are posted on our website. If you have the time, please take a look.

– Daigaku Rummé

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Confluence Zen Center has elected a new board:

Rev. Daigaku Rummé
President – Meiku Michael Gaillard
Vice President – Jeffrey Maret, our newest member
Recording Secretary – Elaine Pontious, not pictured
Corresponding Secretary – Katsurin Kathleen Rummé
Treasurer – Kathy Albers

Thanks to these and to all of our volunteers who give their time and effort to keep Confluence Zen Center STL running smoothly.

A big Thank You to Shuri Sheryll Coulter, as she steps down as President of the CZC Board, for her dedication, expertise, and guidance.

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The newest member of Confluence Zen Center’s Board is Jeffrey Maret. Jeffrey is a cultural anthropologist currently teaching at several universities in the St. Louis area. He resided in the western suburbs of Tokyo for 18 years. While in Japan he taught at Waseda University and conducted research focused on Japanese public education, children with special needs, citizens movements and the cultural psychology of self.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SATURDAY, MARCH 11TH
Buddhist Council presents Socially-Engaged Buddhism
“Paradigm Shift: From Karma to Nirvana”
1:30pm -4:00 pm
Fo Guang Shan St.Louis Buddhist Center
3109 Smiley Road, Bridgeton, MO

SUNDAY, MARCH 12TH
One Day Sitting (Sesshin)
@ Confluence Zen Center
8:00 am- 4:30 pm
Click here for details
Please e-mail or call to register:
confluencezen@gmail.com
314-669-4465

MONDAY, MARCH 13TH
Beginner’s night at Confluence Zen Center from 6:30 pm till 7:45 pm.

THURSDAY, MARCH 23RD
Ryaku Fusatsu (Full Moon Repentance Ceremony)
7:00 – 8:00 pm.
Twenty minutes of zazen followed by the ceremony
Click here for more details