As a new year begins we both look back at 2017 and look forward to the new year. During this past year, we were fortunate to have three guest speakers: Will Holcomb from Shinzo Zen Meditation Center in University City, Rev. Shoken Winecoff from Ryumonji Zen Monastery in Dorcester, Iowa, and Rev. Josho Phelan from the Chapel Hill Zen Center. We are very thankful that they took the time to offer their teachings to us.
This past year, Daigaku gave talks at Webster University, University of Missouri at St. Louis (UMSL), Shinzo Zen Meditation Center, the Japan Culture Day held at the Missouri History Museum, at the Mindfulness Day event held by the Buddhist Council, as well as at Zen centers in Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. And of course he continues to inspire, educate, and motivate us with Dharma talks three times a month at the Confluence Zen Center.
Daigaku attends the regular meetings of the Buddhist Council and is on the Board of Interfaith Partnership so that we can be a part of the larger religious community in greater St. Louis. This allows us to participate in their activities as well as to continue learning about other religions and cultures.
We have signed another two year lease at our present location. We have received another grant from the Still Water Foundation for which we are very grateful. We are a small community and are still working towards self-sustainability. And with your continued support we will. Thank You!
We continue to offer our volunteer services to the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in both setting up and taking down decorations and one of our members helped with reciting Japanese children’s stories. Very entertaining for adults as well!
In 2017, we had professional Board Training so that our board members could learn how we could be a more effective Board and thereby meet the needs of our Sangha.
We are pleased with the results of a Feng Shui consultation which a member of the Sangha offered to pay for us. The Zendo has a new arrangement which is more open and many other pleasing changes have been made as well. If you haven’t been by to see it, please do!
The garage sale in the fall was a successful endeavor. We have received many books and bookcases from our members so our library is growing. As a member you can check out books.
Daigaku and members continue to work hard on the garden. A new beautiful ‘wabi sabi’ wall was built on the side of the Center by two CZC members and a dedicated neighbor.
Daigaku continued to offer his classes: ‘Introduction to Zen Meditation’ in the spring and fall and two Study groups on ‘The Essence of Zen.’
Many came and participated in Rohatsu Sesshin including three people from out of state.
We look forward to all that 2018 has to hold. We are grateful for all of you who have come to sit zazen, come to a class or a talk, and we hope to see you in 2018.