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Jukai 2014

Please welcome the following six new members of the Silent Thunder Order / Atlanta Soto Zen Center Sangha; they undertook Jukai Initiation after the annual Precepts Retreat on Sunday, July 13th.  Below listed are the initiates' name, zen name, and meaning:



Kevin Steven Shumaker Shinnyo "Ultimate Reality"
Ran J Edwards Ryusan "Dragon Mountain"
Thomas Pomgrantz Daishin "Magnanimous Mind"
Joshua Dylan Worden Doshin "Aspiring Mind"
Jaime P Villareal Roshin "Nurturing Mind"
Sara Nicole Stavile Kishin-ni "Joyful Mind"

Initiation (Jap. Jukai), is open to anyone who is sincerely interested in practicing Zen. This is a personal choice, not a formal stage of training, but is considered a prerequisite for undertaking further steps along the formalized Practice Path.

More pictures from the ceremony are available here;


Last Updated (Sunday, 20 July 2014 15:57)


August Dharma Byte: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Last Saturday, we held the fourth annual conference of the network of Zen centers and sitting groups affiliated with Atlanta, hosting attending Practice Leaders and local interested members, Disciples and Priests, and followed by our annual Precepts Ceremony (J. Jukai) for six new Initiates, formally declaring themselves Soto Zen Buddhists (photos will be posted online).

Others attended via Skype; the proceedings were recorded and will be made available for those of you who were unable to attend, or chose not to, for whatever reasons. As usual, we reviewed reports of where we are as an organization, and discussed where we are going, particularly with regard to the relationship between the Affiliates and the Practice Center. More to follow on any changes for 2015 and beyond, some of which promise to be dramatic.

Last Updated (Friday, 18 July 2014 21:09)



The following request was sent to me by one of our more senior members:

Gassho Sensei-san, Please write a bit about aging and practice... as I age my practice continues although I no longer chant much...but I would like to see what you have to say on the decline of some aspects of practice such as mindfulness, etc.... my practice of zazen helps with arthritis and tiredness which goes with both my illness and my aging... and my practice helps me relinquish what must be relinquished in age...

When anyone requests something specific, I recall a certain singer-songwriter who would always, in each performance, announce the request portion of the set; and then take suggestions from the audience. With each request, he would say he was sorry, he didn't know that one. This would go on until the audience finally got it.

Last Updated (Sunday, 20 July 2014 10:34)

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