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News from Gather (February 2024)

This past Wednesday saw a large crowd coming together to joyfully celebrate the milestone of completing our first year together!  It’s difficult to convey to all of you how much the support and goodwill you have shared with us has enriched the lives of many. We began the day as

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News from the local Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community

Dear Sangha, The winter weather has quieted the atmosphere here at Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community, but like the spring shoots preparing for their return, we’re using this time wisely to develop new programs we’ll be offering in 2024.  Our hope is that these upcoming practice and learning opportunities (in

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Message from Joshin (February 2024)

Dear friends, We’ve been doing some cozy and heartwarming things this winter at Bread Loaf Mountain. Some of you already heard about Valentine’s Day Gather Anniversary and Peacemaker Quilt Party. I hope you’ll enjoy the write up below and the article that our local newspaper ran about the event. Many

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Quilts Soothe Children Dealing with Trauma

Quilts Soothe Children Dealing with Trauma February 8, 2024 By John Flowers A UKRAINIAN INFANT enjoys a quilt generated by volunteers involved in the Peacemaker Quilt Project. The project provides homemade quilts to children going through difficult times, ranging from war to foster care. Photo courtesy of Joshin Byrnes  

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Infinite Circle 2: Ministry

Outcomes and Competencies (in no particular order) Ministerial self-awareness and demeanor; understanding projections and leadership dynamics Understanding how one’s one story intersects with the stories of others; being aware of one’s biases, culture and power dynamic. Foundationally based in the Buddhist tradition, specifically in the Zen Peacemaker Three Tenets and

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We Vow to Realize Its True Meaning

The following is an excerpt from Joshin on the Street Retreat he did in Albuquerque. Dear Brothers and Sisters, This is just a gentle reminder to all of you to practice good self care in these days of transition out of street retreat and back into the realities of your daily

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Embrace of the Bodhisattva

To our modern ears the word “embrace” might seem a bit sentimental.  But I like that Dogen used it back in 1243 to talk about the four ways a Bodhisattva caringly engages with suffering in her midst.To embrace something means to encircle, surround, and to wrap your arms around. How

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True Belonging

Zen Master Dogen says that “Enlightenment is the intimacy of all things.” Every moment and everything is included in it. Of course, this means all the things and people that we love. Right now, I love summer in Vermont! The intimacy of all things also includes those who are out

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Just Paint Spring

“When you paint Spring, do not paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots – just paint Spring.” ― Dōgen The giant and ancient willow and dozens of wise old apple trees that bear witness to our practice here at Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community are bursting open with life. Taking it all in with a single

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Mountain Peak. At the Height of Winter. Lucid Serenity.

Soen Nakagawa, winter 1957 Dear Sangha, I write with the hope that you are enjoying the height of winter with what Soen calls in his haiku, “lucid serenity.” I’ve been enjoying reading his extraordinary works recently, which influenced so may western socially engaged Zen practitioners, including many in our own lineage. He

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