Windhorse Zen Community

Windhorse 2022 Fall Initiative

As part of our Windhorse 2022 Fall Initiative we wanted to let the sangha know that the trustees have created a brand new Non-Profit Educational Branch of Windhorse. The basic thrust of this educational branch is to create a more secular format for our programs, as a means of sharing resources and support to a wider audience, especially in these charged and divisive times.

As a quick overview, the three divisions of this new branch will be: Wellness, Sustainability, and Diversity. More information about upcoming programs will go out in the next few months, but the first program we’re offering is titled “Awakening from Whiteness,” led by Lani Banner and Steve Scholten.

As many of you are likely aware, Lani has a long history of working in the field of education, and has created and led many professional-level diversity programs. She and Steve have put considerable heart and time into creating what appears to be a first class, practice-based experience for those interested in deepening their understanding of this vital topic. For more information, please click the “Learn More” button below.

Memorial Zazenkai -- Autumn Reflections

November: A time of inward-turning as the darkness increases–when the great teaching of Death and Dying vividly plays itself out all around us. Leaves flying and falling and covering the ground; dark, bare branches appearing; the gorgeous colors of early autumn now shifting into a more somber palette of brown and grey and olive green — it’s all so obvious. And no more brightly colored wildflowers for altar arrangements. Brings to mind those words of Dogen:   
                  Flowers fall despite our love for them,
    Weeds spring up despite our aversion.
 
This is a deeper, quieter time when the membrane between the living and the dead seems thinner, more permeable.  No wonder that at this time of year people all over the world engage in ceremonies and celebrations to remember and honor family and friends who have died. Here at Windhorse we recently held a Memorial zazenkai, a day of silent practice—online or in-person, with an invitation to submit photos of loved ones who have passed, both humans and animals, to place on our memorial altar table.

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Great is the matter of birth and death
Life slips quickly by
Time waits for no one
Wake up! Wake up!
Don’t waste a moment!

– Zen Master Bassui