Newsletter October 16, 2014

Dear Friends,

We had a short, sweet and strong sesshin recently at the center, and are now moving into Fall in earnest. It’s been cold and wet and rather British in Santa Fe lately. Puddles and mud. Very nice, and the aspens shining up on the mountains.


This month we won’t have a zazenkai on October 25th. Instead, we’ll hold our next zazenkai on November 9th, from 9am to 4pm

With love to everyone. …


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.

• 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. Of urgent need, is someone to volunteer to take the trash and/or recycling.


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.


This week, another poem, this time by the British poet A.E.Housman, who was a brilliant “redactor”– meaning the day scholarly art of creating authoritative annotated editions of classical texts. In spite of career setbacks he became an eminent professor of classics at University College London, and also Cambridge, but what made him famous was a book of poems that seemed to blow through him out of nowhere in the mid 1890s.

He didn’t consider himself a poet, yet these poems in many cases “arrived fully-formed,” he later said. The book they formed, A Shropshire Lad, celebrates a rural England that was rapidly being lost to railways and industrialization, and memorializes it in poems of great beauty, vigor and nostalgia. Many mourn the deaths of young men off in distant imperial wars. It remains one of the most loved (and highest selling) poetry books of all time..

This famous poem, not titled, just numbered, from A Shropshire Lad (1896) has interesting Dharma-like insights… Maybe we can bring to mind the word “ku” meaning “empty sky” that is used several times in the Heart Sutra. All forms may be made of empty sky, but still—we have to act. As Yamada Koun Roshi said, this world may all be a dream, but we must still work to make it a happy dream.

Please enjoy and savor it.

With love,


FROM far, from eve and morning
And yon twelve-winded sky,
The stuff of life to knit me
Blew hither: here am I.

Now—for a breath I tarry;  5
Nor yet disperse apart—
Take my hand quick and tell me,
What have you in your heart.

Speak now, and I will answer;  10
How shall I help you, say;
Ere to the wind’s twelve quarters
I take my endless way.
                              A. E. Housman (1859–1936)

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NOTE: Our 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.

Above are some excerpts from our latest Newsletter, Oct 16, 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).

Image: Santa Fe Fall Colors, by Cherie Manifest, used here with her permission.

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