Thank you to everyone who helped to remodel and reset the Zendo. The remodeling lasted 60 days but the outcome is, well, as you can see, beautiful! ASZC will have a "grand-reopening" celebration soon so be on the lookout for an announcement with the details! Retreats are planned for February and March. Please plan to attend one or all!
Bows of gratitude to Silent Thunder Order's Founder Soyu Matsuoka-Roshi for his efforts to bring Soto Zen to the West! Please join us in celebrating Matsuoka Roshi's life and legacy.
Todai-ji Temple, Nara, Japan
• The Matusoka Roshi Video Documentary Project is seeking funds to complete the documentary on Matsuoka-Roshi's life and his efforts to bring Zen to America. Please click here to help us reach our $10,000 goal and to see the latest Indiegogo fund raising effort and new video footage from the STO Pilgrimage to Japan.
• Please listen to the biographical talk about Matsuoka-Roshi given by Zenku Jerry Smyers at ASZC during Winter Ango in February 2010. Click the following link to the audio recording. http://drivetimezen.org/category/zenku-talks/
• STO Affiliates and STO Supporting Members, please make a special onetime donation and an ongoing pledge of Dana to STO in honor of Matsuoka's efforts bringing Zen to the West. Click here to make your donation. Please enjoy the following video on the history of our STO Lineage created in 2011. https://youtu.be/qOiIAtg8aWA
Mission Montain Zen Center
Please help us continue to support Matsuoka-Roshi's legacy of bringing and sustaining Zen in the West. What he started in 1939 when he first arrived in the US continues today through Silent Thunder Order training center.
Matsuoka-Roshi's lineage is represented by 16 Zen Centers throughout North America. ASZC is the training center for Silent Thunder Order lead by STO Abbot Taiun Michael Elliston (click here for Sensei's bio). STO Associate Abbot of Operations Zenku Jerry Smyers leads Mission Mountain Zen Center (shown above) in northwest Montana. STO Associate Abbot of Training Tesshin Jim Smith leads Atlantic Soto Zen Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Click here for a complete listing of Affiliates.
• Purchase Matsuoka-Roshi's collected talks: The Kyosaku and Mokurai.
Click here for ordering information.
• Practice Zazen
And support your local affiliate with your presence. See the above affiliate list for the affiliate closest to you.
• Participate in a Poetry Reading (Atlanta area only) & Fundraiser
I climb long steps to Eiheiji,
bow in the Buddha hall
sit zazen in your shrine
question your ashes.
"How did you see eternity
from this treed-in temple?
When did you awaken from
this dream of dreams?
Where did you meet quantum physics
in thirteenth century Japan?
Do mountains really walk?"
"Shhhh," you whisper,
Kuya. Cross you legs,
ROHATSU – Celebrating Buddha's Awakening
As we approach the end of the 38th year of the founding of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, established in 1977, we enjoy a spirit of celebration. At year's end, most societies, however "primitive," observe some sort of ritual recognition of the passing of the old year; as well as the potential represented by the new.
In the Christian tradition, the birthday of Jesus Christ is celebrated in December. But in Buddhism, it is Siddhartha Gotama's Awakening, instead. Then, in the spring, Buddha's birthday is celebrated, as is the resurrection and ascension of Christ into heaven, believed by the faithful to have happened after his crucifixion, 2000 + years ago. Notably, both of these seminal events — of Christ's passion, and of Buddha's enlightenment — occurred when each was in his mid-thirties.
But Buddha lived to an old age, of some 80 years, and died of natural causes, or, as one legend has it, of tainted pork. Which poses a challenge to those who think, or believe, that Buddha and his followers were vegetarian. We have to be somewhat circumspect as to these kinds of details, some 2500 years later.
It may appear, on face value, that the celebrations and observances around these events, from the recorded story of different religions, represents the same kind of dynamic for adherents of the various traditions. But comparing and contrasting attitudes, and the activities they inspire, may illustrate the difference.