As part of Great Wave’s effort to provide opportunities to expand our practice sphere to the arts, it is offering this very special presentation on the Japanese art of the tea ceremony. The presentation will then be followed by a formal tea ceremony in the zendo. These events will take place on Sunday, September 16, 2012, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. Our instructor and tea host is Notre Dame University Teaching Professor Emeritus Sondra Byrnes, a student of Zen and a long-time practitioner of the tea ceremony.
The session will include the historical and philosophical background of the Japanese tea ceremony and its various styles, and an opportunity to ask questions.
Due the very special nature of this event, participation will be limited to 10 individuals, so please ensure that you complete our workshop registration form early. (Members of GWZS may register here). Also, we are looking for one or two volunteers to act as hanto, or tea servers. (Volunteer servers will also be served tea at the end of the ceremony.)
As part of Great Wave’s effort to provide opportunities to expand our practice sphere to the arts, it is offering a 3-hour introductory workshop in ikebana—the Japanese art of flower arranging. The workshop will take place on Saturday, September 15, 2012, from 9:30 – 12:30. Our instructor is Notre Dame University Teaching Professor Emeritus Sondra Byrnes, a long-time ikebana practitioner and student of Zen.
The session will include the historical and philosophical background of ikebana; demonstration of several ikebana styles, and hands-on experience. Participants will learn the principles; acquire an appreciation for this unique art form; develop basic skills; and create a take-home arrangement. Although studying ikebana is generally considered a lifelong endeavor, this workshop is designed to introduce concepts and skills that can be incorporated in Western style arrangements.
Participation is limited to 10 individuals, so please ensure that you complete our workshop registration form early. (Members of GWZS may register here). Also, please bring a pair of garden shears to the workshop. Other materials will be provided.
For many years, Great Wave has followed the tradition of lighting a long stick of incense prior to each period of zazen. As of this month, however, we have begun to burn only one stick per evening (or one stick per block of sitting periods during retreats). In the near future, we will also begin to use reduced-smoke and/or “smokeless” incense sticks exclusively. As well as being shorter than normal, these sticks contain a higher quantity of charcoal–which means they burn at a higher temperature and produce up to 70% less smoke.
During the night of June 14th, 2012, Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi, abbot of the Great Plains Zen Center, Myoshinji (Subtle Mind Temple), transmitted the Dharma to Great Wave’s resident priest, Gendo John Wolff. The private ceremony was witnessed by Anne Seisen Saunders, Roshi, of the Sweetwater Zen Center in National City, California. Below you willl find Susan Myoyu Andersen Roshi‘s article on the event as it appeared in the most recent newsletter of the Great Plains Zen Center.
On the evening of June 14, 2012, Gendo Sensei received Dharma transmission from Myoyu Roshi, authorizing him as a Zen Teacher and allowing him to perform jukai (giving the precepts), tokudo (ordination of a monk or nun), weddings, funerals and other functions of a full priest. In the Zen tradition, a practitioner must be given direct face-to-face transmission before he or she is allowed to become a teacher. This precious and powerful ceremony affirms and protects the depth, clarity and authenticity of our practice and assures that the title of Zen Teacher is not conferred casually or worse yet, self-appointed. The event of a new Dharma successor is a very significant milestone for Great Plains Zen Center. Seisen Roshi from Sweetwater Zen Center, located in National City, California witnessed the ceremony and was the Guest Precept Instructor. Gendo Sensei will now be eligible to become a member of the White Plum Asanga, an affinity group of Maezumi Roshi’s Dharma descendants.
Gendo Sensei has been studying Buddhism since 1977. He received jukai from Dennis Genpo Merzel, Roshi, in August of 1992 and has been studying with Myoyu Roshi since 2001. He leads the Great Wave Zen Sangha in Ludington, Michigan. Gendo teaches writing and literature courses at West Shore Community College. He has published numerous poems in a variety of magazines and in the anthology Beneath a Single Moon: The Legacy of Buddhism in American Poetry. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Driftwood Shrine: Zen Essays on American Poetry, a collection of Dharma talks based on the works of several American poets.
Gendo is married to Tandy Hoen Sturgeon, and the father of Ben, Jordan, and Jessamyn.