Using the format of a listening circle, the sangha met on Saturday June 6 to share thoughts on the possibility of revising our customs to work more effectively for Westerns practicing in a city Zen centre. By consensus we decided not to change anything immediately, but to conduct further listening circles, closely examining one custom at a time for a month or so. Except during retreats, the discussions will take place each Saturday and Sunday at the start of refreshments and on the first Thursday each month (replacing the usual zazen evening). People would also be encouraged during refreshments to ask questions about practice and share their own experiences. Listening circles cultivate collective wisdom by allowing people to hear and learn from one another.
During the June 6 meeting, the sangha also agreed to remove the individual Lineage page from the website, altering other pages to address the connection with Rinzai-ji. Additionally, we agreed that in future the sangha itself would determine the relationship with our abbot or teacher, without the need for Rinzai-ji’s participation. Under the Society Act of BC this will require amending the Bylaws through a special resolution. Details of this are posted at the centre.
Myorei has chosen to start a new cycle of her spiritual journey. She leaves behind the vehicle of Zen to discover her own way of sharing her light. Myorei continues living at the Zen Centre with Eshin and will continue to practice but now without her Buddhist robes. All at the centre know she has given as much as she has received over the years. At today’s ceremony for returning the robes and the following gathering, we delighted in sharing our love and gratitude.
Myorei wrote on her FB page: Today, I gave back my nun robes to the Zen Centre of Vancouver. In effect, from now on, I am not a Buddhist nun anymore. In 1993 I took residency and in 2005 I received ordination, this means publicly declared my commitment to Zen practice and engagement to assist the Zen Centre. 22 years of dedicated training brought tremendous benefits. The medicine has been taken, I am healed and totally alive. It is time to go back to society, rise as a teacher sharing wisdom and love, assisting others on the spiritual journey. I have taken the decision not to do this as a Buddhist, in order to speak of the spiritual path and not only the Zen way. I continue residing and practicing at the Zen Centre who is my home in so many ways. Today is the happy first day of a new life. Between Earth and Sky I shall rise. Gratitude.