January 19, 2011

Two Zen ancestors: happy birthday

Today is the anniversary of the birth in 1686 of Hakuin, the great Rinzai master and common ancestor of all surviving Japanese Rinzai lineages.

Yesterday marked the anniversary of his death in 1769.

Today also marks the anniversary of the birth of Dogen, transmitter of the Chinese Caodong (Jpn: Soto) lineage to Japan.

A self-portrait of Hakuin, painted not long before his death...

January 17, 2011

Upcoming retreats and events

The 2011 schedule of sesshin, or intensive meditation retreats, has been published on Korinji's Events Calendar page. These events, jointly sponsored by Daiyuzenji Zen temple in Chicago and the Korinji Foundation, are precious opportunities to deepen our practice in community with friends and teachers.

The first sesshin of the year is coming up: March 24-27 in Lake Delavan, WI. We look forward to seeing you there! Please contact us for more information: info@korinji.org.

Also shown on the calendar: some exciting seminars which benefit Korinji's monastery fund, the tentative 2011 monastery work weekend schedule, and this year's Fall-a-thon fundraiser conducted by Shinjinkai.

A busy year coming up! We started 2010 up at Korinji in March with nothing more than a platform on a hillside; by the end of the year, we had an enclosed building. This year will see even more dramatic progress, as our building's exterior nears completion and major landscape features are finished.

If you've donated or helped out in the past, thank you...and please continue! If you've followed Korinji's progress but never visited the land or lent a hand, now's the time we need you...welcome! And if you're a Zen practitioner, or interested in Zen Buddhism, by all means come to one of the Zen groups in the Chicago area, come to sesshin, and come to our other events. This Zen practice is what it's all about, after all, and providing access to it is the goal of all our hard work. Please join us!

January 6, 2011

First snow, and the Chicago Zen Community

We're in those few precious winter months now when our primary activity is planning rather than building. I visited Korinji a few weeks ago just after a heavy snowfall: in contrast to the frenetic scenes of the summer and autumn, the land there was silent and frozen under two feet of white. Tracks of deer, coyotes and various smaller creatures were everywhere in evidence, while our own muddy construction trails were neatly covered.

In addition I was pleased to see that our new roof has passed its first test well, holding the snow for more than a week; no movement or leaks were seen, validating our choices of both designers and builders.

The first 2011 events have been added to the Korinji site's events calendar, with more soon on the way including the first extended training events at Korinji itself. We're happy also to announce a new website specifically for the Korinji-associated Zen practice groups in the Chicago area: The Chicago Zen Community.

For now, Happy New Year from all of us. We'll be back shortly with more news, and with the schedule of 2011 work weekends at Korinji.