July 5, 2013

Busy times!

Things have been busier than usual.  But before we update you on what's been going on:  an URGENT CALL for volunteers...

The next Korinji samu weekend is July 13-14.  This year and last we've not required large work crews, but this time we need many bodies!  Our job is simple:  to move all the tools and materials out of, and from underneath, our building so that insulation and interior buildout can be completed.

So, not hard work really.  But without sufficient hands, it will be impossible to complete!  Please come out, even if only for a day...RSVP to info@korinji.org.

KORINJI:  We're moving now into the home stretch with our zendo construction.  Contracts have been concluded to finish interior buildout (insulation and walls) in September.  This means that we're on track to dedicate this, our first structure, in the fall.  Though it feels as if we've been working for many years, it's actually only four since we first began to clear the building site.  This a remarkable accomplishment, especially when we consider that it's been funded entirely through grassroots fundraising.

Also, "dedication" has a deeper meaning.  Though we have much more work to do, from that moment onward we can say that Korinji exists as a monastery...officially and concretely, not just as an idea.  It also means that our commitment to do intensive Zen practice becomes rooted in the land there:  the dedication ceremony is the moment, for some of us, that we express our willingness to spend the remainder of our life's energy and effort in that place.

We'll soon announce a date, and hope to see our volunteers and donors there.

During Hosokawa Roshi's recent visit to Chicago we took him to Korinji to see the progress made since his last visit.  He kindly gave a great deal of invaluable advice regarding our future development, arrangement of the grounds, the monastic daily and yearly schedule and so on. 

CHICAGO:  Speaking of Hosokawa Roshi, this past weekend we concluded a number of events during which he taught and lectured to our community.  His public lecture on Thursday, entitled "Flax Three Pounds:  the Zen View", used that famous koan to very directly point out the core realization of Zen.  Additional teaching time over the following days was given to our students, and took the form of open question/answer sessions.  In a session for teachers, Roshi talked at length regarding the roles of priests and Zen teachers, and about the practical meaning of the crucial yet "untransmissable" advanced practice after koan training, describing this as the chasm to which students eventually come...but which not all have the motivation or capacity to jump over.  A truly inspiring discussion.

We look forward to welcoming Hosokawa Roshi back soon, and thanks to everyone who helped organize these events and make them run smoothly.

Again, please focus on Korinji:  July 13-14.  We appreciate your support and work as always...