As you know, Great Wave has been on hiatus for quite some time. This is partly the result (ironically enough) of being “homeless,” and it is partly because I have had to put my attention on a number of other things for several months. In all this time, however, I have never stopped thinking about how to re-establish our practice center and return to sitting. I appreciate hearing from those of you who also have been thinking about our future.
At this point, it is important for all of us to reconnoiter and do some visioning about where we go from here. I therefore want to strongly encourage everyone who receives this message—that is, all members of the Great Wave Zen Sangha, as well as newer people who have expressed an interest in learning about Zen practice—to attend an important all-Sangha Council meeting on November 16th from 7:00 – 8:30 PM. (Login at greatwave.org and go to our events calendar page for directions to our meeting location.) Even if you are only tentatively connected to Great Wave, and even if all you have done is make an initial contact, your participation in this meeting is truly important.
Coming together to practice as a sangha, which includes meetings like the one on November 16, is one of three indispensable elements of our practice. Those three elements are Treasures: The Three Treasures of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. In a time when daily “busyness” and the internet obscure how little genuine contact we have with one another, it is especially important to be proactive in ensuring the survival of the Sangha Treasure. Without Sangha, there is no Buddha and there is no Dharma.
I humbly beg you, therefore, to do everything in your power to set aside the evening of November 16th for this most important occasion. There will be time for old acquaintances to reunite and for new people to be introduced. There will also be time to share recent news about our lives and to generally enjoy some social time together. But the focus of this meeting will be to discuss the re-establishment of regular Zen practice at Great Wave—to see to it that the Great Wave continues to roll on!
I’ve given the matter of our future a tremendous amount of thought over the past year and will come with a few ideas to share about possible next steps. If you have ideas too, please share them. Even if all you want to do is to come and listen and perhaps just respond to what you hear, that’s fine too. Everyone matters in this process, and the effort you put forward to be there on November 16th is an effort that does more than reward us as individuals or fulfill Great Wave’s potential. It carries on beyond our lives in this time and space and makes the Buddhadharma an enduring gift. Many remote temples in China and Japan were once begun by just a handful of dedicated people. And many of those temples have survived for centuries, making it possible for the Buddha’s teaching to reach many thousands of people. Don’t you want the same thing to happen here? It’s possible!
So please look into your heart, and see what is most important, most precious, most worthy of your time and make a decision to come to the meeting on November 16th. I look forward to seeing you all!