Mountain Cloud Newsletter, September 24, 2014

360xdried-chamisa2Our regular weekly newsletters and the entire archive will be available on the website in the near future. Please visit us again and/or look for an announcement on our Home Page or check posts in the Category: General News & Announcements.

Below are some excerpts from our latest Newsletter, Sep 24, 2014. Please signup for our newsletter by scrolling to the bottom of this page (see the box Subscribe below) OR scroll to the bottom of any other page on this site (see Subscribe/Connect)

Newsletter September 24, 2014 

Greetings to all,

All is well at Mountain Cloud. Flowers are blooming intensely in the tail end of a long and wonderfully wet summer.  As the poet said:

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
                                 (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Happy Fall to everyone. The year has turned once again. May we all practice hard for the liberation of all beings.


Please review our Calendar for Special Events & Retreats and our Weekly


• Chado New Mexico: One of our friends in Japan wanted to let us know that there will be a chance to experience Japanese Tea Ceremony on Friday, October 17th. Please click here for more details.

• Dharma Voices for Animals: In light of the upcoming vegan workshop, some of you animal lovers might enjoy checking out this website for Dharma Voices for Animals.

• Three Treasures Prison Project Update: Each Thursday Pancho will be in Cabin 4 from 4–6pm sorting through papers connected with his work in the State Penitentiary here in Santa Fe. He would welcome any company. If you’d like to drop in and offer some help with the filing, and at the same time find out more about what he is doing in the prison, please feel free to just go ahead and join him in Cabin 4.


We could really use some help in two areas: various kinds of jobs around the zen center, and new members of the zendo team. Please contact us if you might be interested in knowing more about either.


We have various ongoing costs in running Mountain Cloud. Please consider making a donation to help it keep flourishing. As we are a non-profit organization, any gift is tax-deductible.


Once again, some random thoughts on practice:

Life is wasted on the living (to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw). Hence Zen practice. Hence our practice.

The most valuable sit is the one we least want to do. After which we can truly tell ourselves: well done.

For those doing Mu practice: we are falling into the loam of Mu, where our self can split open, die and bring forth the true life. Don’t lose heart. Or do lose heart. That’s fine too. And give your broken heart to Mu.

The purpose of this training is to help us first to have a glimpse of reality, of the truth; and then slowly, painstakingly to help us shift our center of gravity so that we tip over from faith in the dream of what we thought was reality, to the infinite fact of reality becoming our center of gravity. It can happen. It does happen. That’s why Zen still exists. As long as there are lineages devoted to passing on the core Dharma of Zen, who use the koans as instruments of reality, Zen may continue for a little bit longer.

All this, every moment as it is, is the land of the unborn. Birth is the land of no-birth; dying is the land of no-death. This land is infinite in space, infinite in time, and infinite in potential and possibility. But what else is it?

And what does “spiritual” mean? I don’t know. For me perhaps it means recognizing that the way I have seen the world, my place in it, my sense of who I am, have all been wrong.  And then recognizing that again.


Image: From Mountain Cloud Zen Center Image Catalog

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