I wanted to write one more time to those of you who participated in the Zen Fundamentals course this spring to let you know that Great Wave will now be sponsoring a new affiliate sitting group at Kyoseikan Dojo in Grand Rapids.
Postulant priest Kevin Muzo Holohan will provide informal leadership for this new group. Meetings will take place on Wednesdays, from 5:30 – 6:45 PM, starting on June 19.
Another delightful outcome of the Zen Fundamentals course is that our Cadillac, Michigan, participants have begun to arrange for a half-day Introduction to Zen workshop, tentatively scheduled to take place on July 7, from 1:00 – 5:00 PM, at the First Congregational Church in Cadillac. Here too we are hoping that an affiliate sitting group will take shape and continue meeting on a weekly basis.
Volunteer efforts to create and sustain affiliate sitting groups like those at Kyoseikan and in Cadillac go a long way toward helping Great Wave Zen Sangha fulfill its mission to perpetuate the Buddha-dharma. I’m grateful to all of you for helping to make these things possible.
Of course, it is also important for all of us to sustain the organization through regular dana. Dana is the first of the six Buddhist paramitas (or “perfections”), a practice of generosity, or giving, that helps us see through our self-clinging. When dana is directed toward a Zen center such as Great Wave Zen Sangha, then the sangha has the means to offer practice opportunities to everyone who wants them, including those who cannot afford even nominal workshop, retreat, or course fees.
Dana also helps us support our practice by enabling us to purchase necessary office supplies such as paper, printer cartridges, staples, folders, and so on.
And dana is, of course, what enables us to purchase cushions and other meditation and practice supplies that we need to support our practice. I hope, therefore, that those of you who are chartering and participating in new sitting groups in Grand Rapids and Cadillac will consider becoming members of Great Wave Zen Sangha.
Great Wave currently allows for different membership levels—two are most applicable here: for those of you who have requested (or wish to) that I be your teacher, pledging dana at the “Practicing Members” level is appropriate (and allows for significant discounts on retreat and workshop fees); for others who hope to be coming to one of the new affiliate sitting groups, the appropriate membership level would be “Affiliate Member.”
If you are a student, or are on disability income, or otherwise find regular dana financially difficult, you may want to opt to become a member of GWZS at the “Friendship” level. (Note: No one will be turned away from GWZS practice opportunities because of a lack of ability to pay.)
Thank you so much for your practice.