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Clear Water Zen Center News

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Sangha Update From Lawson Sachter-Roshi

Lawson Sachter-senseiDear Sangha and Friends,

It’s no secret that for the past year The Clear Water Sangha has been going through a time of dharma soul-searching; one that seems to be bringing forth a significantly greater commitment by a number of members, and with that, a range of new programs. Of course, it’s great to see all this happening!

To add to this upswing, Ken and I have agreed that now would be a good time to have Jeff George begin to assume some additional leadership and teaching roles. We both have considerable confidence in him, and feel he’s at a point in his own training where he has much to offer. So to start this all off, on Sunday, June 18th, Jeff will be giving a short dharma talk, probably titled something like "Intuition, Practice and the Unconscious Self," and afterwards, for the first time, he’ll be offering daisan.

Adding a second person who can give daisan is a big step, though perhaps something that’s also somewhat overdue. Given Jeff’s professional background, and his many years of practice, he’s clearly in a position to offer additional depth and breadth to the training at the Center as a whole. So just to be clear, people should feel free to go to daisan with both Ken and Jeff, as well as dokusan with me. And in case there’s any question, Jeff will feel free to check in with Ken or with me in terms of teaching/training issues that might arise in daisan (unless he’s asked not to share something), and within that established context, full confidentiality will be maintained. (As we’re using the term here, confidentiality applies to any “personal” matters that may arise, but does not apply to relevant supervisory or safety issues.)

And as a further addition to the schedule, Jamie Friedrich is scheduled to be coming down from Windhorse over the weekend of July 14th to give a dharma talk, and to review chanting and other matters with the sangha.

So the upcoming schedule looks like this:

Sunday, June 18th – Jeff George will be giving a dharma talk and offering daisan;
July 15th and 16th – Jamie will be giving a dharma talk and reviewing a number of training issues;
July 29th and 30th – I’ll be coming down for a series of weekend programs.

Of course, more details to follow.

With gassho,

Lawson

Join Us For Friday Evening Open Meditation!

Beginning Friday, June 2, 2017 beginning at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM and each week following the Clear Water Zen Center will be open on Fridays from 7:00 to 8:00 PM for open meditation. We sit for three 20 minute periods of zazen, with a few minutes of kinhin in between. Everyone is welcome to sit as long as they’d like; 20 minutes, 40 minutes, or the full hour. We are not planning on offering instruction; just another opportunity for experienced members of our sangha to practice together. If you are new and haven’t meditated before, we would encourage you first to attend “Beginning Meditation Night” on Wednesday evenings or "Intro to Zen: History and Practice" on Sunday evenings.

Yard Work Day

On Saturday, May 20, 2017 beginning at 9:00 AM we will have our next Yard Work Day at the Center. Please join us for a few hours of fellowship, fun and work. We will be doing light yard work, raking, weeding and some trimming, so bring gloves, a rake, water and a hat for the sun. Bagels and donuts will be provided and this a great time to get to know the sangha. Please let us know, at bnpbrown@gmail.com, if you plan to come so that we have plenty of refreshments.

All Day Sitting - May 27, 2017, 8:00 AM

On Saturday, May 27, 2017 beginning at 8:00 AM will have our next All Day Sitting. Please let Ken at clearwaterzen@gmail.com know if you are interested in joining us so that he can plan the day. View the schedule for the All Day Sitting by clicking here.

Something New At The Center!

Beginning on Sunday, May 7, a new evening program - "Intro To Zen: History and Practice" - will be offered at the Center. A brief discussion of Zen history, our practice and our lineage, as well as a tour of the Center, will be followed by a period of zazen (zen meditation). The program is scheduled 7-8 pm. and newcomers are especially welcome. Those with established practices may access the zendo for self-directed sitting during that time. As with all CWZC programs, there is no charge (although donations are welcome) and reservations are not required. in.

Sesshin and All Day Sitting with our Teacher, Roshi Lawson Sachter

We are very happy to announce the next visit by our teacher, Roshi Lawson Sachter. It is a special visit in that he will be with us for 2 weekends (and the week in between) . So far we can plan for the following: Saturday, February 25th we will have an All Day Sitting – a final schedule for the day will be sent later, but we usually start at 8 am or 9 am and end at 4 pm. Sunday, the 26th, we will start our morning in our Zendo and then all who would like to, will go over to the UU building where Roshi will give a talk to their congregation. We will likely invite that congregation to visit our Center following their meeting. From Thursday, March 2nd through Sunday, March 5th, Roshi will lead a retreat (sesshin) at the Center. We are limited to 16 participants for sesshin, so let Ken know asap, at clearwaterzen@gmail.com, if you are interested in participating. View the schedule for the three-day sesshin by clicking here . The application for sesshin is available on our "Intensive Retreat (Sesshin)" page at http://www.clearwaterzencenter.org/sesshin.html The UU has given permission for us to use their classrooms as dorms, so it will be possible for us to stay at the Center the entire sesshin.

Yard Work Day

On Saturday, February 11th, beginning at 8:30 AM we will have our next Yard Work Day at the Center. Please join us for a few hours of light yard work and the opportunity to make new friends. Bring gloves, a rake and any pine bark mulch you can bring is appreciated. Refreshments will be provided and this a great time to get to know the sangha. Please let Bill Brown, at bnpbrown@gmail.com, know if you plan to come so that we have plenty of refreshments.

Special Announcement - Sat., Feb. 11th Chanting Clinic Cancelled!

Jamie Friedrich sends her deep apologies, but she had her family schedule wrong and won’t be coming to the area until Saturday evening so we will have to cancel her morning of training we scheduled for February 11th. She will be with us on the 12th and will be giving a Dharma talk “On Entering the Way” during that Sunday sitting. Apologies all around.

Sesshin and All Day Sitting with our Teacher, Roshi Lawson Sachter

We are very happy to announce the next visit by our teacher, Roshi Lawson Sachter. It is a special visit in that he will be with us for 2 weekends (and the week in between) . So far we can plan for the following: Saturday, February 25th we will have an All Day Sitting – a final schedule for the day will be sent later, but we usually start at 8 am or 9 am and end at 4 pm. Sunday, the 26th, we will start our morning in our Zendo and then all who would like to, will go over to the UU building where Roshi will give a talk to their congregation. We will likely invite that congregation to visit our Center following their meeting. From Thursday, March 2nd through Sunday, March 5th, Roshi will lead a retreat (sesshin) at the Center. We are limited to 16 participants for sesshin, so let Ken know asap, at clearwaterzen@gmail.com, if you are interested in participating. The schedule and application for sesshin are available on our "Intensive Retreat (Sesshin)" page at http://www.clearwaterzencenter.org/sesshin.html The UU has given permission for us to use their classrooms as dorms, so it will be possible for us to stay at the Center the entire sesshin.

Join Us For Our Annual Board Meeting and Pot-luck Dinner

January 8th, 2017 will be an important Sunday at the Center. Our bylaws require us to hold an Open Board Meeting annually so that all members and those participating in the Center’s activities can be aware of the current Board members, the Board’s activities, and, most importantly, provide input to the Board about your desires for the future of the CWZC

The schedule would be as follows: we will start as always at 9:30 and sit only one round (an extended round) of 45 minutes, with a bell at 20 minutes to allow those who want to to stretch or change posture. We would then go to the back area of the Center and have our meeting that usually lasts about an hour to an hour-and-a-half (ending about noon). At that point for those who can stay we would have a pot luck lunch and some social time. Please consider joining us – so put the date on your calendars.

 

Join Us For a Weekend With Senior Student Matt Sweger - November 5 & 6, 2016

Senior student Matt Sweger will be here the weekend of November 5th and 6th (Saturday and Sunday). On Saturday, November 5th, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM we will have an All Day Sitting, followed by a Pot-luck Dinner, at the Center. All are invited to the dinner! Even if you don't come to sit that day you can arrive about 4:30 to join us. If possible, bring a vegetarian dish, but join us even if you can't bring a dish as we always have plenty of food. On Sunday (the 6th) we will have our regular 3 rounds of zazen with Matt giving a Dharma talk during the second round. Following the 3rd round we will have a circle discussion led by Matt for those who can stay. We will aim at ending about 12:30.

If you can, send an email to clearwaterzen@gmail.com to let us know if you can join us Saturday (for planning purposes), but come even if it's a last minute decision. Part time participation is fine. For a schedule of the Saturday All Day Sitting click here .

Yard Work Day

On Saturday, October 8, 2016 beginning at 8:30 AM we will have our next Yard Work Day at the Center. Please join us for a few hours of fellowship, fun and work. There are a lot of weeds from the summer that need picking, so bring gloves, a rake and a pickup if you have one. Refreshments will be provided and this a great time to get to know the sangha. Please let us know if you plan to come so that we have plenty of refreshments.

All Day Sitting - August 20, 2016, 8:00 AM

On Saturday, August 20, 2016 beginning at 8:00 AM will have our next All Day Sitting. Please let Ken at clearwaterzen@gmail.com know if you are interested in joining us so that he can plan the day.

Weekend With Roshi Lawson Sachter - September 16, 17 & 18, 2016

Our teacher, Roshi Lawson Sachter, will be with us in September for the weekend of the 17th and we will have sittings on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of that weekend. View the schedule for the weekend by clicking here . Please let Ken at clearwaterzen@gmail.com know if you are interested in joining us so that he can plan the day.

A Day of Celebration

By Dorothy Smiljanich

Ken and Lawson-senseiOn March 16, 2013, the Clear Water Sangha honored Ken Rosen for his long dedication to the dharma and for his years of service to our Zen group. In a special ceremony that included chanting, circumambulations and expressions of gratitude, Roshi Lawson Sachter formally installed Ken as Head of Zendo and as Dharma Preceptor for the Clear Water Sangha. The first title acknowledges Ken’s leadership position in terms of guiding the Center itself, while the second recognizes his on-going authority to work directly with sangha members on issues related to their practice.

Marking the occasion, we presented Ken with a congratulatory card signed by all, along with a tea cup that came from Eiheiji, the temple originally founded by Zen Master Dogen in Japan. It was my honor to offer this cup to Ken; on behalf of the sangha I presented it with the following words: "Thank you for your dedication to our center, for your profound teaching of the dharma, and for your unfailing kindness to us all. We are blessed to have you among us." Placing our hands palm-to-palm, we all bowed. 

Sensie pouring teaLawson Roshi then poured tea into the upheld cup and Ken drank from it. After drinking the tea, he spoke of his deep appreciation for all the support he has received over the years, and his strong feelings for this fine and growing sangha. The ceremony took place in the main zendo before the Buddha altar. Attending were over 30 members of the sangha, as well as Ken's wife Paula, daughter-in-law Jen, and his grandson. As a follow-up note, Lawson sent us this: 

As we all know, without Ken’s years of work on behalf of the Clear Water Sangha, this practice group would not exist. His decades of dharma training, and his many years of experience working as a psychotherapist, have given him a perspective and professionalism that have benefited us all. He has offered up his warmth, guidance and leadership to the sangha for almost 15 years, and has helped to organize and lead over 30 sesshins. 

So it was truly a pleasure that so many of us could join together over this past weekend to acknowledge and honor this dedication, and for me to be able to officially install him as both Head of the Zendo and Dharma Preceptor of the Clear Water Sangha. As for the future, I would encourage people to take even more advantage of the dharma talks, daisan, and life-practice advice that Ken has to offer.

 

Check back here for info on special events, workshops, retreats and other events. If you would like more information, email us at clearwaterzen@gmail.com or call us at: (941) 723-9327.

 

 

Clear Water Zen Center, 2476 Nursery Rd, Clearwater, FL 33764. Phone: (941) 723-9327