July 26, 2011

Heat and progress

The recent heat wave didn't spare Korinji: stagnant, humid air settled into our little valley, seeming to magnify and hold the sun's heat...just in time for our summer construction week!

The professional crew led by construction chief Jim Mills and project manager Greg Dekker spent last week completing the framing, soffit/fascia and window installation. Our cupola is no longer a purely ornamental feature: with 16 windows in place, it's become an enormous skylight admitting illumination sufficient to make electric lighting completely unnecessary during the day.

Likewise, the large windows on both the ravine and uphill sides of the building now afford breathtaking views of the surrounding foliage. Because the ravine side windows are level with the canopies of downhill trees, the sensation arises that one is floating high in the air. This has led to the new zendo nickname of "the treehouse".

Particularly beautiful is the tongue-in-groove cedar above the future front door. When the double entrance doors are installed along with the cedar decking, this will be a truly magnificent spot.

There's still much to be done this year: next up is the siding, and with that Korinji's first building will be finished on the exterior at least. Insulation and interior buildout will continue throughout the winter and into the spring...but at this point we can confirm that we're on schedule and even several thousand dollars under budget.

Tremendous thanks to "Monster Crew", the insanely talented and hardworking gang who braved the extreme heat and once again came through for us (seen here enjoying a celebratory end-of-week dinner).

We now take a break to focus on two sesshin in August (Wisconsin and Germany) but the next work weekend at Korinji is set for Sept. 17-18. Mark your calendars! Along with the building construction there are always exciting work projects around the grounds as well, and your energy continues to be needed up at Korinji.

July 22, 2011

Sept. 3-4 seminar: The Energy and Healing Practices of Zen

"The Energy and Healing Practices of Zen", a seminar instructing Korinji's Internal Training curriculum, will be offered in Chicago on Saturday and Sunday, September 3-4. This is the second of two seminars on this topic offered this year, teaching the major practices of the curriculum. Those who missed the first seminar will have the opportunity to make-up the foundational instruction during this second event.

The seminar is taught by Meido Roshi, and all proceeds benefit Korinji. Please see the seminar flyer for registration information, here. For more information on the curriculum itself, see the Internal Training page on Korinji's website here.

July 6, 2011

New practice group: Naperville, IL

A new practice group in the western Chicago suburb of Naperville has been officially formed as a branch of the Rinzai Zen Community, Korinji's network of Zen practice groups and practitioners. The Naperville group currently meets Saturday mornings and Meido Roshi will be visiting there once monthly.

Please see www.chicagozencommunity.org for more information on this new group as well as the six others in the Chicago area. Groups outside the Chicago area are also forming and will be announced shortly...the Korinji site maintains a full listing of the practice groups of the Rinzai Zen Community here which is updated regularly.