Although we have awakened to original nature, beginningless habit energies are extremely difficult to remove suddenly. Hindrances are formidable and habits are deeply ingrained. So how could you neglect gradual cultivation simply because of one moment of awakening? After awakening you must be constantly on your guard. If deluded thoughts suddenly appear, do not follow after them. Then and only then will your practice reach completion.
Zen Master Chinul, "Facing the Heat"
We returned to Las Vegas to the wonderful space that is the Zen Center of Las Vegas (Dae Myong Son Won) at the invitation of Rev. Thom Kwanjok Pastor, JDPSN. The transformation that I have witnessed to this location over the past twelve months is phenomenal. Ten Thousand Eight Hundred bows to Jim Standford who is truly a great Bodhisattva.
We were all blessed, including the local Sangha, to attend an amazing Dharma Talk by Zen Master Hae Kwang (Stan Lombardo) and Judy Roitman, JDPSN on Thursday evening. They shared Zen Master Seung Sahn's Dharma with precision and insight.
Our group practiced hard and we all shared in a Precepts Ceremony and a Special Panel discussion by our four Psychology Professionals on Zen and Psychology in the twenty first century.
Rev. Jishou Sears became a Senior Dharma Teacher, Rev. Jigen Billings took seventy four precepts and became a Bodhisattva Priest following his Graduation from the Five Mountain Seminary with a Masters in Buddhist Studies. Additionally, Rev. Chongan Denton became a Dharma Priest and both Bonjok Hoff and Bonyon Neal became Novice Priests.
We are a small and growing Sangha, and many of our members were not able to make this retreat, as time continues we will hopefully have more opportunities to share together in the future.
My congratulations to all who have committed to service in the Dharma, and my honest appreciation for everyone's dedication.