Updates

Upcoming events

Weekly Message. April 16, 2024

Dear Friends, 


What a wonderful sesshin over the past weekend!  Thanks to all who participated—the energy built through collective practice is such an inspiration and gift--an energy that lingers long after the last bell.   
And, thanks to Lawson Roshi for his guiding and supportive presence, deep and moving Teishos, and availability for extended Dokusans.  We will welcome Roshi back for another mini-sesshin in the Fall.  I hope you can join us then.  

Two important announcements to make:  

First, due to a scheduling conflict a change in this month’s Book Club date.  The new date is Thursday, April 25th, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm.
Second, after a careful review of available options and consideration for the overall good of the Clear Water Zen Center, the Board of Directors has decided to switch to a new donations software platform called Zeffy.  Zeffy offers many of the features of our current platform, Network for Good, but at no cost to the organization.  We use this kind of software to engage the sangha with weekly emails, manage pledges, and keep track of our membership.  Network for Good was recently acquired by a larger entity, Bonterra, and costs for using the platform have escalated, making it untenable for a small organization like ours to continue.  So, the switch to Zeffy, which is free, was an easy decision.  

In the coming weeks, an additional announcement will be made about what steps you need to take to use Zeffy and close your Network for Good account.  Thanks to Anna and Brendan for exploring our options and recommending this to the Board.  

Finally, deep thanks for your practice and continued support of our Center.  The Center could not exist without your ongoing physical, emotional, and financial support. Thank you.  


With gassho,
Jeff

Book Club. April 25, 2024

6:30pm-8:30pm: Book Club. "The Work of this Moment" by Toni Packer

Past events

Three Day Intensive. April 11-14, 2024

Mini Sesshin with Roshi Lawson Sachter. Please let me know by filling out this form or via email if you plan to attend or have any questions.

Clear Water Zen Center has three-day intensive meditation several times a year

It is a great opportunity for beginners and experienced practitioners to deepen their practice. You are welcome to participate in the whole weekend or parts; we just ask that you let us know in advance so we can get the correct food quantities.

Suggested donations are $30 for Thursday, $50 for Friday or Saturday, or $120 for the whole program. $100 for members.

Buddha outdoor statue

Three Day Intensive. Retreat schedule

Mini Sesshin with Roshi Lawson Sachter. Please let us know by filling out this form or via email if you plan to attend or have any questions.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

6:30pm-8:30pm: Opening tea ceremony and zazen


Friday, April 12, 2024

6:30am-8:15am: Block one: Zazen and chanting

8:30am-10:00am: Block two: Zazen and work period  

10:00am-10:15am: break

10:15am-11:45am:  Block three: Zazen and Teisho 

11:45am-12:45pm:  Lunch and Rest

12:45am-2:45pm:  Block four:  Zazen and dokusan (dokusan begins at 1:00pm)

2:45pm-3:15pm: Yoga and Rest

3:15pm-5:00pm:  Block five:  Zazen and dokusan (dokusan begins at 3:30pm)


Saturday, April 13, 2024

6:30am-8:15am:  Block one:  Zazen and chanting

8:15am-8:30am: break

8: 30am-10:00am: Block two:  Zazen and work period

10:00am-10:15am: break

10:15-11:45am:  Block three: Zazen and Teisho

11:45am-12:45pm: Lunch and Rest

12:45pm-2:45pm: Block four:  Zazen and dokusan (dokusan begins at 1:00pm)

2:45pm-3:15pm:  Yoga and Rest

3:15pm-5:00pm:  Block five:  Zazen and dokusan (dokusan begins at 3:30pm)

5:00pm-5:30pm: Circle

5:30pm: Pizza social


Sunday, April 14, 2024

9:30am-11:30am: Zazen and closing 

12n-1pm  Board meeting

Book Club. March 28, 2024

6:30pm-8:30pm: Book Club. "The Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693" by Bankei, Norman Waddell

Zazenkai (all-day sitting). March 23, 2024

Saturday, March 23rd, we will have a Zazenkai. Please let me know via email if you plan to attend or have any questions: drjeffgeorge@gmail.com

"A zazenkai (座禅会), literally meaning "to come together for meditation," is a Zen Buddhist retreat that is usually less intensive and of shorter duration than sesshin."

Sometimes, Zazenkai is also called Silence Meditation Retreat or All Day Sitting.
These are opportunities to deepen your practice and bond with sangha members.
Part-time participation is fine. Feel free to email us with any questions or concerns you'd like to talk about.

Example of Schedule for the zazenkai:

6:30 AM - 8:30 AM Zazen and Chanting
8:30 AM - 10:30 AM Zazen
10:30 AM - 10:50 AM Work period
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Lunch and rest period
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Zazen, Dharma talk
2:00 PM - 2:25 PM Rest period
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM Zazen and Daisan
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM Zazen and Daisan (not every Zazenkai)

GUIDELINES FOR ZAZENKAI


Hope to see you soon!

Zoom workshop. Saturday February 24, 1:30-5:00 PM

Our sister sangha, Windhorse Zen Community, offers the opportunity to learn about Foundations of Practice. 

Roshi Sunya Kjolhede and Roshi Lawson Sachter, both Dharma heirs of Roshi Kapleau, co-direct Windhorse Zen Community, located near Asheville, North Carolina. 

As their website says, "Newcomers and longtime meditators are welcome."

Registration ends on February 19.

Book Club. February 22, 2024

6:30pm-8:30pm: Book Club. "Memories, Dreams, Reflections" by Carl G. Jung

Sunday February 4, 2024. “Entering the Path” Dharma Talk

This Sunday, we will be doing something new.  For the first time, we will join with our sister sangha, the Windhorse Community in Asheville, for a joint Dharma Talk called “Entering the Path.” Jeff George will be sharing the experiences that brought him to Zen Buddhism.

Please follow the general Sunday seating guidance to attend in person at the Clear Water Zen Center. To join via Zoom, please use the link provided by the Windhorse Zen Community.

Zazenkai (all-day sitting). January 27, 2024

Saturday, January 27th, 6:30am-4:00pm

Zazenkai (all-day sitting), please let me know by filling out this form or via email if you plan to attend.

"A zazenkai (座禅会), literally meaning "to come together for meditation" is a Zen Buddhist retreat that is usually less intensive and of shorter duration than sesshin." Wikipedia

The day will include chanting, a Dharma talk, rest periods, lunch period and the opportunity to meet with Jeff George in daisan, a private, confidential meeting between teacher and student to further your practice.  Please bring your own lunch, water, tea and juice will be provided. The suggested donation is $30 for non-members, $25 for members, but we stress please never let financial considerations limit your participation.

Dear Friends,

 

People come to Zen practice for many reasons: stress relief, truth-seeking, curiosity, refuge, healing--all legitimate reasons to show up. Whatever your reason for beginning practice, the opportunity to explore and grow is without end. We need to trust ourselves to find our path and follow it through.

Carl Jung wrote, “Theoretically, no limits can be set to the field of consciousness, since it is capable of indefinite extension. Empirically, however, it always finds its limit when it comes up against the unknown.”

 

Zen practice is about engaging the unknown; experiencing that which is beyond our repetitive thinking and entrenched patterns of responding in the world. It is also about fellowship, community, ethics and meaningful living. Zen is much more than stress relief, but it works for that too. In any case, I hope you can join us soon, perhaps for Zazenkai this Saturday from 6:30am-4:00pm?

 

Be well,

 

Jeff

Book Club. January 18, 2024

6:30pm-8:30pm: Book Club. We’re reading “Through Forests of Every Color” by Joan Sutherland

“One way to tell the difference between dead and living words is to ask whether the words are drowning out the most important thing in any moment or giving it a voice. Awakening isn’t dependent on words, but neither is it independent of them, which makes words the same as everything else. This world, its speech and its silence, is the field of our awakening.”

"This world, this very moment, is the field of our awakening. It’s closer than close. We don’t have to wait for anything or anyone to realize for ourselves this great truth. How inspiring and encouraging, and as fine a reason as any for our practice. It just takes engagement."

Annual Open Board Meeting and Potluck Luncheon. January 14, 2024

January 14th, 2024, 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 stretch or change posture. We would then go to the back area of the Center and have our meeting, which 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 potluck luncheon and some social time. Please consider joining us – so put the date on your calendars.

Dear Friends,

 

Thanks to all who attended and contributed to our Open Board meeting and potluck last Sunday--it was wonderful to have a full zendo, which, as Ken Rosen used to say, is “true happiness.”

 

Our sangha is a treasure indeed.

 

Whether we are skating effortlessly in our lives or climbing a hard section of our path, having fellow travelers along the way is such a gift. Sitting together in the zendo, sharing tea or working in the yard builds bonds that sustain us in good times and bad. In the end, each segment of the journey brings its challenges and gifts, so have companions on the path makes the trip richer beyond words.

 

Thank you.


This Sunday we will sit for three rounds and have a dharma talk during the second round and daisan during the third round. Hope to see you soon.

Be well,

 

Jeff

Student zen bell

Book Club. December 21, 2023

Thursday, December 21st 6:30pm-8:30pm Book Club end of year celebration with tea tasting and pizza.

December 21st , the Winter Solstice or “the day the sun stands still” is auspicious for many reasons: the shortest day of the year, the low point of the Sun in our hemisphere, the end of the “darkening period” and the beginning of the “lightening period” made possible by the sun’s re-assent relative to the Earth’s equator. In many spiritual traditions, this time can bring new beginnings as it coincides with the New Year celebrations right around the corner. It is also a hopeful time. The earth endlessly turns on its axis and the sun still burns bright; maintaining their delicate balance, without each other there would be no life. Such a mystery. What a gift.

We will mark the Solstice with a tea tasting and pizza party to celebrate, among other things, the first year of our book club.

Tea pot with blue tea

Zazenkai (all-day sitting). December 2, 2023

"A zazenkai (座禅会), literally meaning "to come together for meditation" is a Zen Buddhist retreat that is usually less intensive and of shorter duration than sesshin." wikipedia

Book Club. November 16, 2023

Book club at 6:30. We will continue discussing Philip Kapleau's book "The Wheel Of Life And Death". You are welcome whether you have read the book or not.

Three Day Intensive, October 12-15, 2023

Join us at the Clear Water Zen Center For three day intensive meditation with Roshi Lawson Sachter. We will begin three rounds of sitting Thursday evening at 6:30 pm with a tea ceremony and finish at 8:30 pm. Friday and Saturday will be all day from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm where will sit in Zazen, have chanting practice, a work period, Teisho ( a Dharma talk by a Roshi), Dokusan (individual instruction) along with rest periods and lunch which will be provided by the center. Sunday will be our usual program from 9:30 am til 11:30 am and we’ll finish with a closing circle.

Please arrive at the center 15 minutes early on each day and try to avoid wearing eye catching clothing (bright colors, big logos e.t.c). You do not need to worry about keeping track of time or maintaining the schedule, all of that will be taken care of. It is a great opportunity to deepen practice for beginners and experienced practitioners. You are welcome to participate in the whole weekend or parts, we just ask that you let us know in advance so we get the food quantities correct.

Suggested donations are $30 for Thursday, $50 for Friday or Saturday or $120 for the whole weekend. $100 for members.

Please e-mail info@clearwaterzencenter.org to R.S.V.P

We look forward to your practice,

Clear Water Zen Center

Dear Friends,

 

Deep thanks to all who attended last weekend’s mini-sesshin.  What an amazing experience. 

 

The energy of the group built steadily from the opening tea ceremony through the early morning chanting and rounds of zazen, into late morning teishos and afternoon dokusans.  It is remarkable what we can experience individually on the mat and collectively as a group.  A deep bow to all. 

 

Thanks also to Lawson Roshi for his energy, insight and caring presence throughout the weekend.  Our time with a true Zen teacher is a great gift and reflects the spirit of Zen practice handing down over the centuries from the time of the Buddha’s great awakening.  For those who couldn’t attend this time, we plan on a Spring sesshin sometime next year.  Hope you can join us then. 


With gassho,

 

Jeff

Buddha outdoor statue

March 25, 2022

According to trip101, the Clear Water Zen Center is one of the 10 Best Meditation Retreats In Florida, USA.

The word retreat - withdraw is not the best to describe sesshin, which means “touching the heart/mind,” but we appreciate being mentioned. Our zen center is living proof that no Buddhist Temple is needed to build a strong practice and wonderful sangha. 

The meditation group was started in the 1980s by Ken Rosen. We met from 1985 to 1999 at Jim Cameron's place, The Bodhi Tree. Then we met at a member's home from 2000 to 2008 and moved to our present location on December 1, 2008.

Open Board Meeting & Three-day Retreat. January 20, 2022

Dear friends,

Our annual open board meeting (usually held the first Sunday of the New Year) had to be postponed, but it now has been re-scheduled and is set for Sunday, Feb. 6, after the regular sitting. We hope we will be able to enjoy the traditional potluck luncheon that day too.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that Omicron cases will continue to fall and gathering together will be a low risk event.  

That consideration also applies to our current intention to have a three-day retreat the weekend of Feb. 25-27.  We hope Roshi Lawson Sachter will come to our center and lead the retreat in person, but know he will participate virtually at least.  Details will follow as they evolve. 

At any rate, in these uncertain times, this can remain unchanged: our commitment to our practice and to the three treasures, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.

In gassho,

Jeff

Celebrating Bodhi Day and Upcoming Sesshin. December 8, 2021

Dear friends,

In this busy season, perhaps we should pause to note that today, Dec. 8, is celebrated in our Mahayana tradition as the customarily observed date of the historical Buddha’s enlightenment.  “Wonder of wonders, all beings are Buddha!” he is said to have exclaimed at the moment of his awakening. 
We are the truth we seek!  Could today be the day of our own deep awakening?  Why not…

On a more mundane note, here are two other calendar dates that might be of interest:

• The annual Open Board Meeting will be held Jan. 9, 2022 after the regular sitting. Traditionally the meeting has included a delicious potluck luncheon and much spirited socializing and we hope to follow that tradition.

• A three-day sesshin has been scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24, through Sunday, Feb. 27.  We hope that Roshi Lawson Sachter will be here in person to lead it. But if not, we will plan to arrange a Zoom link for his online participation.

I hope you are well, enjoying the season and will join our Sunday service or evening sits.

You see, we are full of hope.

In gassho,
Jeff George 

Moving into December and The Oxherding Pictures. December 2, 2021

Dear friends,

So here we all are at the very beginning of the very last month – and thus the very end – of this very challenging year. And I have some happy news to share:

As some of you already know, a longtime member of our sangha and cherished friend of our center most generously donated to us an exquisite series of 10 original drawings depicting the Oxherding story. They are at a shop now being professionally framed.

In “The Three Pillars of Zen,” Roshi Philip Kapleau gives a chapter-long explanation of their meaningful significance. His first sentence begins: “Among the various formulations of the levels of realization in Zen, none is more widely known than the Oxherding Pictures…”

The rest of the chapter is devoted to commentary on them. You might want to have a look.

At any rate, this artwork will be a treasure in our center and I am hoping we will have it displayed in our community room by the end of December.

Meanwhile, I hope to see you Sunday and, as it is the first Sunday of the month, we will chant during the second round and sit for the two other rounds, then have a board meeting afterward.

In gassho,
Jeff

Update From Jeff & A Special Remembrance. October 14, 2021

Dear Friends,

Dorothy wrote this beautiful message honoring Ken’s passing, which I’d like to share with you:

“Three years ago this month, we lost our beloved teacher Ken Rosen. And so the first Sunday of this month, a moment of Noble Silence was observed to honor his memory and the Memorial Prayer was chanted for him during the service.

Had it not been for Ken’s unfailing wisdom, strength and compassion – persevering through the years when we had no home of our own, holding us together and teaching us even when he struggled with his own health issues – we would not now have our center. He taught us a great deal about courage and commitment in the face of challenge and uncertainty and that has helped us through these difficult times.

And now, perhaps like you, even when I cannot be at the center in person, I carry its peace with me and delight in knowing that the front door is open, the cushions are plumped, the five-minute bell rings, the han is played, the sangha gathers, the bells are struck, the work goes on.

 Ken would, I think, be proud.”

Thanks to Dorothy for her wonderful way with words and of course to Ken for his indomitable spirit!

Hope to see you on Sunday, and as Ken was fond of saying “please be well!”

With gassho,

Jeff

Jeff George’s Update On The Sesshin and Yardwork Day. October 1, 2021

Dear friends,

I am happy to report that for our sesshin this past weekend we had a small,
but dedicated group. We were six people sitting on Thursday, five on
Friday, eight on Saturday and nine on Sunday.  And we had lots of time for
sitting and for Dokusan.

Roshi Zoomed in for Teisho on Friday and Saturday. In addition, on Sunday
we listened to Sunya Roshi’s Teisho, which was really fine.

I am also happy to report that the Center is clean and neat on the inside.

But outside? Not so much. We really need a strong turn out at the yard work
day on October 23rd. It’s a bit – maybe even more than “a bit” – overgrown
out there.

Overall, things are good. And I hope you can make it this Sunday.

With gassho,

Jeff

Sesshin Schedule & Teisho Zoom Link. September 22, 2021

Dear friends,

We’re excited to have sesshin again at the Clear Water center this weekend!  The schedule is posted below along with the Zoom link for Lawson Roshi’s teisho for those interested in online participation.

Hope to see you all soon!

With gassho,

Jeff

Sesshin schedule

Thursday, September 23rd

6:30pm-8:30pm: Opening tea ceremony and zazen

8:30p-close: Open practice
 

Friday, September 24th and Saturday, September 25th

8:30am-10:30am:  Zazen and Teisho (talk begins at 9:15am. EST)

10:30am-11:00am  Work Period

11:00-12noon  Lunch and Rest

12noon-2:00pm:  Zazen and chanting

2:00pm-2:30pm  Yoga and Rest

2:30pm-4:30pm:  Zazen and dokusan (dokusan begins at 2:45pm, EST)

4:30pm-close:  Open practice
 

Sunday, September 26th

9:30am-11:30am: Zazen and Teisho (time depends on Windhorse schedule)

11:30am-12:30pm: Closing circle


Zoom invitation for Teisho:

Topic: Sesshin Teisho
Time: Sep 24, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
        Every day, 2 occurrence(s)
        Sep 24, 2021 09:00 AM
        Sep 25, 2021 09:00 AM

Special Sesshin Announcement From Lawson Roshi. September 18, 2021

Dear Sangha,  

I’m deeply sorry about not being able to come down to be with all of you in person, and also sorry that we won’t be able to hold our follow-up ceremony for Jeff’s ordination for a while longer. Hopefully these safety measures won’t be necessary in the months to come, and we’ll be able to come together, perhaps even maskless, once again. I am, however, looking forward to our three-day retreat, and to reconnecting through Zoom.  

And in terms of this sesshin, and most likely on into the future, I’d like to propose something new in terms of Jeff’s training. For those who aren’t aware, throughout the pandemic he and I have continued to work on koans and other training issues on a weekly basis, and to explore a range of teaching issues as well. At this point my feeling is that it would be very helpful for Jeff to be able to sit in on the dokusans that I’m conducting, as a silent partner in the process so to speak. Jeff has already joined me in a number of the group dokusans I’ve conducted with the sangha, and this would be a natural next step. It seems to me this would be the best way for him to see something of how I work in a one-on-one context, and perhaps incorporate some of those things into his own style. Anything that came up would be treated with the same level of confidentiality we always abide by.

As a sidenote, Roshi Kapleau got much of his own training by sitting in on dokusans with Yasutani Roshi as a translator. It clearly helped him to become the fine teacher he was. Also, much of my own psychotherapy training has involved viewing video tapes of actual sessions, and processing them with others. Over the years I’ve seen hundreds of hours of tapes, all of which has been an essential component of all my work; in a therapeutic setting people allow their sessions to be shared because they come to understand how helpful it can be to others. 

The truth is that for some time now I’ve been thinking about making audio recordings of dokusans for teaching purposes, and have even considered the possibility of videotaping them. I’m not quite there yet, but possibly soon… (Obviously any kind of recordings could only be done with written permission; I’m not suggesting that for this sesshin.) 

But for now I’d like to ask those attending this sesshin to let me know how you feel either way, in other words if you’re ok with Jeff sitting in or not ? Also, for those not attending this sesshin I’d like you to consider the possibility for the future. So you know, you can change your mind about Jeff’s being there at any time, and if for some reason things are coming up that feel too threatening or personal to share, you can easily say that too.  

As you might imagine, the larger purpose of this suggestion is to help foster more of a collaborative teaching style for the Clearwater sangha, and to give Jeff an increasingly active teaching role as we move ahead.

With gassho,

Lawson

Sesshin and Virtual Teishos From Roshi Lawson. September 17, 2021

Dear friends,

        The CWZC board met this past Sunday and here are some updates:

        During our upcoming sesshin (Sept. 23-26), Roshi will be “zooming in” for Teisho at 9:15 a.m. on Friday amd Saturday, and for  Dokusan on both Friday and Saturday afternoons.  What a great opportunity to sit locally and still be taught and inspired from hundreds of miles away! 

        Thursday evening, September 23rd, will begin with a traditional tea ceremony at 6:30pm and then sitting for two rounds of zazen.  Friday and Saturday’s schedule will start at 8:30am and feature lots of sitting in addition to chanting, Teisho and Dokusan.  Participants who bring food are requested to be sure it is vegetarian.

       
In further business, the board noted that we have two more years on our lease and I took an informal poll of the board members who were there and they were all willing to continue to serve. I am grateful for their support, as well as the support of everyone in our Sangha, and I hope to see you this Sunday.

We will be holding a Yard Work Day with Justin on  October 23rd 9am. 

With gassho,

Jeff

Weekly Update. August 8, 2021

Dear friends,

I hope this note finds you well and enjoying the summer. The zen center board met this past Sunday and I want to share some highlights:

* First and foremost, the board offered unanimous kudos to Garry Potts, who is our Webmaster, for the incredibly fine work he is doing on the updating and re-designing of our social media platforms. We are deeply appreciative of his Herculean efforts on our behalf.

*  Second, the board voted unanimously to move ahead with plans for the already announced three-day sesshin Sept. 23-26 and, if Roshi is unable to join us in person, we will strive to arrange his presence with us online.

* Third, we are trying to follow the most recent CDC advice regarding masking (in light of the Delta Variant) and so we encourage everyone to wear a mask inside whether vaccinated or not.

* Finally, just a reminder that we are planning an All-Day sit on Saturday, August 21.

And as this Sunday is the second Sunday of the month , we will be having a dharma talk during the second round of sitting. Daisan (private meeting to discuss practice) will be available during the third round if requested.  

In gassho,

Jeff

Weekly Update. August 1, 2021

Dear friends,

This past Sunday – for the first time in more than a year – every cushion, bench and chair in the main zendo was occupied when we sat down for the first round. We were regulars, relative newcomers and some folks we had not seen in quite a long time. One or two had to leave early, but we started out full and, as I have quoted Ken before in saying, “Happiness is a full zendo.”

By the way, we did have plenty of room in the small zendo, so never hesitate to come because you worry about a lack of room. There will always be room.

Looking ahead: on Saturday, August 21, we will have an All-Day Sit. We will start at 8:30 a.m. (earlier than usual) and close at 4:30 or so. If you would like to attend, please let me know. The suggested donation  is $20 for members, $25 for non-members and you should bring your own lunch.  Also, Lawson Roshi is scheduled to visit September 23-26th for a three-day intensive retreat, so please mark your calendars!  

I hope to see you soon. 

In the meantime, if you can come to the Center on a Friday night, August 20th (7pm-8pm), the all day sitting on Saturday, August 21st (8:30am-4:30pm) and our regular Sunday morning sitting (9:30a-11:30a) on August 22nd, you will have had a pretty nice weekend retreat!

In gassho,
Jeff

All-day Meditation Retreat (Zazenkai) on August 21, 2021

Join us on Saturday, August 21st, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm for Zazenkai (all-day Zen meditation sitting).  The day will include chanting, a Dharma talk, rest periods, lunch period and the opportunity to meet with Jeff George in daisan, a private, confidential meeting between teacher and student to further your practice.  Please bring your own lunch, water, tea and juice will be provided. The suggested donation is $25 for non-members, $20 for members, but we stress please never let financial considerations limit your participation.

Please RSVP to Jeff George.

Welcome Back! Current Schedule and Guidelines. May 16, 2021

On Sunday, May 16th, we took down our “Shoes Off, Masks On” sign on the front door of our Center and happily replaced it with one that says “Welcome Back.”

In light of the most recent CDC guidelines, the Center’s Board voted to open up fully for in-person attendance. The numbers attending are no longer limited to 10; the cushions in the zendo are no longer socially distanced; and if you have been fully vaccinated, you will not need to wear a mask in the center. If you have not been vaccinated, please wear a mask if you choose to attend. And if you feel more comfortable wearing a mask for any reason, vaccinated or not, please do.

All that being said, we won’t be zooming our Sunday services any more. Hope to see you one day soon – when you are ready. We are!

Gratitude. December 16, 2020

No admission fees. No required membership dues. No monthly interest payments. Just authentic zen practice in the Roshi Philip Kapleau tradition – that’s who we are.

And no pandemic – even a year-long one – has changed that.

But it has reduced in-person attendance and that has reduced donations to our Dana box and that has left us this year with an unprecedented income deficit of $2,942.57 to be precise.

If you could help retire that deficit with a year-end gift, we would be grateful (we are a 501-C 3 charitable organization and your gift may be tax deductible.

But we are grateful anyway – grateful for your practice, grateful for this center and grateful for the priceless three treasures – the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Here’s to a happy new year!

In gassho,

Jeff George
For the CWZC Board and Officers

Dharma Talk by Jeff George. April 12, 2020

Dharma Talk by Jeff George. April 5, 2020

Virtual Sittings and Links to Home Meditation Timing Videos. 2020

The recent turn of events has left many of us wondering how to best continue our practice at home. To help with that we are offering live-streamed “virtual” sittings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7pm-8pm and on Sunday from 9:30am-11:30am. If you would like to participate in these sittings, please send Jeff your email address, at info@clearwaterzencenter.org, so he can send you an invitation via Zoom. When the meeting time is scheduled to start, simply click on the link provided in the email and you will enter the virtual Zendo. As a further reminder, these are virtual sittings only – the Center is closed so please do NOT come to the Center in person.

We have also created a set of meditation timing videos which are posted on youtube and available to the Sangha. These videos try to simulate the meditation sittings in the Clear Water Zen Center’s zendo as well as make time keeping more convenient while practicing at home. Below are links to 20 minute and 35 minute meditation timing videos for your use in your daily practice. If you find them helpful they can be bookmarked on your computer or cell phone for daily use.

Take care and be well!

A Message From Roshi Lawson & Jeff George. 2020

Dear Friends,

First of all, we’re hoping everyone is finding their way through this astonishing time – unfortunately, it appears that things will be getting still more challenging before they get better, and so strengthening our community bonds will be more important than ever.

So, in the midst of our more personal adaptations, we also want to focus our attention on ways of supporting each other as a sangha and of keeping the practice strong. This letter is intended to be just a first step in that process, and we’re confident that a more balanced and sustained model will be evolving in the weeks to come.

Many of us are wondering about how best to practice in this time of “social distancing” and heightened risk of contagion. Naturally, we want to connect and lean on our Sangha for support. On the other hand, the natural tendency to turn towards one another (in person at least), heightens the risk for spreading disease right now, so we need to strike a balance. While both Windhorse and the Clear Water Center have suspended sitting as a group at our Centers, we will continue sitting at home and offering support online and through live video links. Please note the following:

Windhorse will be offering Teisho and Q&A sessions through their website as Roshi Lawson and Roshi Sunya increase their online presence. Please go to www.windhorsezen.org for the latest schedule of services. The Clear Water Zen Center will offer programs of “sitting at home” following the usual Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7pm-8pm and Sundays from 9:30am-11:30am. We will make every effort to have a Board member sitting either at the Center or at home during these times so you know there is at least one person sitting with you in spirit as you sit at home. Jeff will also offer Daisan on an appointment basis (please email Jeff to arrange a time) and he will post dharma talks periodically on the website.

As other opportunities for practice present themselves we will take advantage of them, but in the meantime let’s rally together for the good of our sangha and for the larger community.

With gassho,

Jeff and Lawson

A Letter To The Clear Water Sangha From Roshi Lawson Sachter For The Oct. 5th & 6th Memorial Weekend For Ken Rosen. October 2019

Dear Sangha,

I wish I could be here with you during this weekend, and join in honoring Ken’s remarkable legacy. As you all know, he was a dear, dear friend and long-time fellow traveler on this remarkable dharma path.

With Ken, I was always inspired by the depth of his personal commitment, and by the great kindnesses he showed me, and so many others. I know the deep joy he took in the connections he fostered, both personally and professionally, and the difference he made in so many people’s lives. He was simply a wonderful and caring human being, and I’m sure he would have felt a deep satisfaction in seeing how the Center has carried on, and grown, in this year since his death.

Ken’s own work of course grew out of the dedication of so many before him, and particularly from his bond with Roshi Philip Kapleau. I’m sure it would be Ken’s deepest wish that we all do our best to let this unified spiritual energy carry us forward, and for each of us to bring-to-life this fundamental, compassionate spirit of the Dharma – on the mat, and in the world!

What’s certain is that these times call for strong people, dedicated people who are willing to stand true, and take risks. This practice of ours unquestionably offers us the foundation and insight that can lead to the deepest kind of change.

With hands palm-to-palm,

Lawson

A Note From Roshi Lawson Sachter. October, 2019

Dear Clear Water Sangha,

It gives me great pleasure to announce that on Sunday, October 27, 2019, Jeff George will take the first step in becoming a lay-ordained Buddhist priest.

Our intent is for this initial ceremony to mark the beginning of a three-year commitment. The first year will be a novitiate period; then, if all goes well, we will hold a second ceremony in 2020 to mark the extended commitment of the final two years. After this initial year, and also after the full three-year period, Jeff will have the choice of either bringing his commitment to a close, or extending it further.

As you might imagine, much thought and discussion has gone into this decision. The intention here is to help form a bridge – between the bond and commitment that exists with his family, and his on-going resolve to uphold the spirit of dharma practice in all areas of his life. The significance of each of these ceremonies is that they will formally acknowledge a further deepening of Jeff’s commitment to his own practice, to the Florida sangha, and to the Dharma as a whole.

Of note here is that many traditional ordinations, particularly monastic ones, mark a severing of a person’s ties with one’s family and the world. This three-year lay ordination, however, is intended to affirm the bonds with family and friends, the community and the world, and to work with all of them as avenues of deepening practice. Throughout this time, of course, Jeff will continue in his role as Preceptor of the Clear Water Sangha while continuing his teacher training with me.

My hope is that Jeff’s formal commitment to this work will also inspire others in their individual practice, as well as in their willingness to support both Jeff and the sangha in the collective practice here in Clearwater. This event will, of course, be open to everyone: we’re very much hoping you will join us for the ceremony itself, as well as for a small celebration afterwards. More details will be forthcoming.

With gassho,
Lawson

Meditation Retreat All Day Sitting, Saturday, June 22, 2019

Our next Meditation Retreat All Day Sitting is on Saturday, the 22nd of June. As you know these are opportunities to deepen your practice and bond with sangha members. Part time participation is fine, just let Jeff George know when you plan to arrive and leave. Feel free to email us if you have any questions or concerns you want to discuss.

Schedule & Guidelines for the All Day Sitting:

9:30am-11:30am: Zazen and Chanting
11:30am-11:50am: Work period
12:00noon-1:00pm: Lunch and rest period
1:00pm-2:30pm: Zazen, Dharma talk and Daisan
2:30pm-2:55pm: Rest period
3:00pm-4:30pm: Zazen and Daisan

GUIDELINES FOR All DAY SITTING

• We try hard to start on time – please arrive a few minutes before the starting time of 9:00am.
• If you want to participate part time, please contact Jeff George, and we will set a schedule that will least impact the group.
• You are invited to sleep at the Center on Friday night (especially if you live a distance from the Center) – let Jeff know if you are interested.
• You are also invited to stay overnight at the Center on Saturday if you want to join the group for our regular Sunday sitting – let Jeff know.
• BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH – we will provide liquids (teas and juice).
• We recommend a donation to the Center of $15 for members and $20 for non-members. More, or less, is fine. Never let financial issues stop you from practicing with us.
• Because there is a work period with assigned tasks, it is very helpful if you let Jeff George know you are planning to attend.

Hope to see you soon!

Open House. June 9, 2019

We will be hosting an Open House on June 9 at the Zen Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm (after our regular 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday service). If you, your friends or your family members would like to have a look around the center, please plan to stop by. CWZC leader Jeff George will give a short talk at noon on the history of zen, our tradition and our lineage. Hope to see you there!

Meditation Retreat All Day Sitting. December 1, 2018

Our next Meditation Retreat All Day Sitting is on Saturday, the 1st of December. As you know these are opportunities to deepen your practice. Part time participation is fine, just let Jeff George know when you plan to arrive and leave, at info@clearwaterzencenter.com. Feel free to email us if you have any questions or concerns you want to discuss.

Schedule for the All Day Sitting (subject to revisions):

8:00am: Arrive at Zendo (See Jeff for work period assignment)
8:30am-10:30am: Zazen, Kinhin and Chanting
10:30am-10:50am: Work period
10:55am-11:25pm: Lunch and rest period
11:30pm-1:30pm: Zazen, Kinhin and Dharma talk
1:30pm-1:55pm: Rest period
2:00pm-4:00pm: Zazen, Kinhin and Daisan

Hope to see you soon!

Article by Roshi Lawson Sachter in Winter 2018 Tricyle Magazine, “The Mind’s Dragons”

Our teacher, Lawson Sachter-roshi and his wife, Sunya Kjolhede-roshi, are authors of an article published this month in tricycle magazine. It is a beautiful article about the connections between psychodynamics and Zen practice. Lawson-roshi is the sprititual director of the Clear Water Zen Center and is also a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Asheville, NC. For the past twenty-five years he has worked with short-term dynamic psychotherapy techniques, and has worked as a therapist with a wide range of clients, including many who practice meditation. Much of his personal and professional work has centered on the integration of Eastern and Western approaches to intrapsychic change. Lawson and Sunya are co-Abbots of the Windhorse Zen Community in Alexander, North Carolina.

Dragon and bird statue

Wonderful Turnout For the Oct. 26th to 28th Weekend Zen Meditation Retreat and Memorial Service For Ken Rosen. 2018

Many thanks to those who attended the Oct. 26th to 28th weekend Zen meditation retreat led by Roshi Lawson Sachter of Windhorse Zen Community. On Sunday over one-hundred friends, family and Sangha members joined in a memorial service for Ken Rosen, founder of the Clear Water Zen Center. Lawson-roshi led the group in celebrating their good fortune to have known Ken.

Roshi Lawson Sachter leads members of the Clear Water Zen Sangha in a light-hearted moment while gathering for a group photo during a break from zazen on Saturday, October 27th

Memorial Service For Ken Rosen, Sunday, Oct. 28th, 2018

Letter of Rememberance of Ken Rosen From Roshi Lawson Sachter. 2018

Dear Clear Water Sangha,

I would like to echo the fine tribute to Ken, sent out by Jeff George and the board. As many of you are aware, we’ve known for a number of years that Ken was facing some serious health issues. Even so, the suddenness of his passing caught most of us off-guard. I learned of his death a few hours after he died, late Saturday night–the first night of our October seven-day sesshin. Not an easy night after that, but at the same time such a powerful beginning to the week of zazen.

Not surprisingly, a number of the people in sesshin also knew Ken, some had even attended a few of the many Possum Creek sesshin. And so that first morning of sesshin we focused our energies on him – I gave a short talk, and then we held a full memorial service. The final part, the return of merit intoned by Sunya, went as follows:

Faith in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha brings True Liberation –
We now return the merit of this memorial service to:
– Ken Rosen –
May his Dharma work continue!
May Buddhas and Bodhisattvas guide him along the Way
And may he and all beings realize Buddhahood!

Besides being a long-time student, Ken was a close brother in the dharma, and a dear, dear friend. His infinite kindness and dedication touched the hearts of so many of us, and I know that his wish would be that the inspiration of his life and practice would continue on through the lives of each one of us.

After our sesshin is over I’ll be working with Jeff and others to plan a program honoring Ken’s deep commitment to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. There will be a chance for all of us to share remembrances, and to honor all that Ken has done over so many years for the Clear Water Sangha. Details will be posted, and our hope is that as many of you as possible will be able to attend.

In sorrow, and
With profound gratitude,


Lawson

Ken Rosen and Roshi Lawson

Clear Water Zen Center Mourns the Passing of Founder Ken Rosen. 2018

Dear Friends,

I write with a heavy heart today to inform you of the passing of our beloved leader, Ken Rosen. Although he had been struggling with some health issues in recent years, his death Saturday, October 6th, – peacefully at home and with his family around him – was unexpected. At yesterday’s morning’s sitting, we dedicated the Memorial Service chanting to him and we were honored to have his family join us in the Zendo. Anyone who heard Ken’s recent dharma talk on the Prajna Paramita Hridaya, which he had memorized during a hospital stay, perhaps found special comfort in the words:

“None are born or die.
Nor are they stained or pure,
Nor do they wax or wane.”

I know I do not need to tell anyone how central Ken was to our center and how sorely he will be missed. But we hope that you will join us at this sensitive time in strengthening our commitment to the Clear Water Zen Center and to the perpetuation of the Dharma that Ken Rosen shared with us for so many years and mirrored for us in his wise and compassionate life. He was truly a joy and his life a blessing.

When Roshi Lawson joins us the weekend of Oct. 26-28, we will find a further way to celebrate Ken’s extraordinary life and we hope you will join in. We hope to announce the details shortly.

Jeff George,
For the Board,
Clear Water Zen Center

Ken Rosen

All Day Sitting Meditation Retreat -September 22nd, 2018

Saturday, September 22nd we will have an all-day meditation retreat. You may view the schedule and guidelines for the day by clicking here; the day will include zazen (of course), a Dharma Talk and Daisan. Please let Ken Rosen, our Dharma Preceptor, know if you are attending, either all-day or part-time.

Weekend With Roshi Lawson Sachter -October 27th & 28th, 2018

Our teacher, Roshi Lawson Sachter, will be with us for the weekend of October 27th & 28th, so please mark your calendar for that weekend. Everyone is welcome, even if part-time, so plan to join us for the opportunity to work with our Teacher!

Schedule For Roshi Lawson’s Visit:

Friday, October 26th:
6:00pm: Arrive at Zendo (assist with set-up, if possible)
6:30pm-8:30pm: Zazan, Kinhin and Dokusan
9:00pm: Yaza sitting (optional)
(“Yaza” is unstructured time to sit in the Zendo as long as you like.)

Saturday, October 27th:
9:00am: Arrive at Zendo (See Jeff for work period assignment)
9:30am-11:30am: Zazen, Kinhin and Chanting
New student group Dokusan during the third round of sitting
11:30am-11:50am: Work period
11:55am-12:25pm: Lunch and rest period
12:30pm-2:30pm: Zazen, Kinhin and Teisho
2:30pm-2:55pm: Rest period
3:00pm-5:00pm: Zazen, Kinhin and Dokusan
5:30pm: Yaza sitting (optional)

Sunday, October 28th:
9:00am: Arrive at Zendo (assist with set-up, if possible)
9:30am-10:20am: Zazen and Kinhin
10:20am: Walk over to the UU Sanctuary
10:30am-11:30am: UU Service: “Day of Remembrance for Loved Ones Lost.”
11:30am-12:15am: Memorial Service for Ken Rosen
Those who wish to say something brief about Ken are encouraged to do so
12:30pm: Informal reception at Clear Water Zen Center (light refreshments provided)
(Attention Board Members: A Board meeting with Roshi will follow the close of the reception on Sunday.)

Weekend With Roshi Lawson Sachter – May 19 & 20, 2018

Our teacher, Roshi Lawson Sachter, will be with us for the weekend of May 19th & 20th and we will have sittings on Saturday, and Sunday of that weekend. View the schedule and guidelines for the weekend by clicking here. Please let Ken at info@clearwaterzencenter.org know if you are interested in joining us so that he can plan the days.

Special Friday Open Meditation Observance of Bodhi Day – December 8th, 2017

Friday, December 8th at 7:00 pm will be a special sitting in honor of Bodhi Day. Bodhi Day, or Rohatsu, commemorates the day that Buddha experienced enlightenment. Our regular Friday Open Zazen will include the usual sittings and a short talk by Ken about Buddha’s enlightenment and the Rohatsu meditation retreats observed by Zen Buddhists throughout the world.

Weekend With Roshi Lawson Sachter – November 10th, 11th & 12th, 2017

Our teacher, Roshi Lawson Sachter, will be with us in November for the weekend of the 11th – 12th and we will have sittings on Saturday, and Sunday of that weekend. View the schedule and guidelines for the weekend by clicking here. Please let Ken at info@clearwaterzencenter.org know if you are interested in joining us so that he can plan the days.

Meditation Retreat All Day Sitting, Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Our next Meditation Retreat All Day Sitting is on Saturday, the 21st. As you know these are opportunities to deepen your practice. Part time participation is fine, just let Ken know when you plan to arrive and leave, at info@clearwaterzencenter.org. Feel free to email us if you have any questions or concerns you want to discuss.

View the Schedule and Guidelines for the All Day Sitting by clicking here.

Intro to Zen History & Practice Concludes October 1st, 2017

Sunday evening’s “Intro to Zen: History and Practice” will conclude Sunday, Oct 1. Check our schedule online for our other meditation sittings on Mondays and Fridays at 7:00 pm and our Beginning Meditation & Meetup Group evening on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm.

Center Closing for Hurricane Irma on September 7, 2017

In the interests of safety and security in preparation for Hurricane Irma, the Center will close after Beginning Meditation, Wednesday September 6. Notice will be sent when the Center re-opens. Stay safe!

Roshi Lawson’s July 29th & 30th Visit. 2017

Our teacher Roshi Lawson will be with us the weekend of July 29th and 30th. Saturday will be an All Day Sitting and vegetarian pot luck dinner and Sunday will be a somewhat extended sitting based on the usual Sunday schedule. This weekend is a great opportunity to meet and work with our teacher. Part-time attendance is fine, just let Ken Rosen, at info@clearwaterzencenter.org, know when you are coming.

Chanting and Zendo Practices Training – Saturday, July 15th and Sunday Dharma talk, July 16th. 2017

Jamie Friedrich will be joining us Saturday and Sunday July 15th and 16th for a Saturday chanting and zendo practices clinic and to give a Dharma talk at our Sunday Formal Meditation Practice.


Jamie will lead a training morning from 9:00 to 1:00 on Saturday July 15th. She will offer instruction on the chanting instruments, overall chanting, the playing of the han, the clapper and inkhin bell, overall timing, proper prostrations, general zendo etiquette, and formal meals (as time permits). There will be periods of zazen throughout the morning. Bring a vegitarian lunch for the meal on Saturday – soup, juice and tea will be provided by the Clear Water Zen Center.

On Sunday, July 16th, at our regular Formal Zen Meditation sitting, Jamie will give a Dharma talk on “Honest Life Practice” about how a sense of engagement with radical self-honesty can ground and guide our sitting practice, and also how we express practice in our day-to-day life.

View the Schedule for the day by clicking here.
 

Jamie’s sitting practice began at 24, arising out of an undeniable, life-long draw to deep inquiry. After practicing with the Clear Water Zen sangha for some time, she moved to Windhorse Zen Community to engage in residential Zen training with Roshi Lawson Sachter. In her life-practice, consistent, disciplined sitting including frequent retreat ground a strong engagement in the world through environmental activism, community service and sharing practice basics.

Jamie Friedrich

Sangha Update From Lawson Sachter-Roshi. 2017

Dear 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! May 2017

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

All Day Sitting – May 27, 2017

On Saturday, May 27, 2017 beginning at 8:00 AM will have our next All Day Sitting. Please let Ken via email know if you are interested in joining us so that he can plan the day.

Something New At The Center! May 7, 2017

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.

Sesshin and All Day Sitting with our Teacher, Roshi Lawson Sachter. 2017

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,via email, if you are interested in participating. 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 2017

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.

All Day Sitting – August 20, 2016

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

A Day of Celebration. March 16, 2013

On 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. 

Lawson 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.

By Dorothy Smiljanich

Ken Rosen and Roshi Lawson