NOVEMBER 2009, Vol. 1 No.10

Beginning this Sunday November 1st we will use the following schedule for our Sunday services:

8:30-Intro to Zen (for all first-timers)
10:45-Dharma Talk
Noon-End of Day

And don't forget we return to Eastern Standard Time this weekend.

November arrives bringing colder air and fewer leaves on the trees. The banner image above reminds us that even this is impermanent as warmer weather will come in just a few more months. Later this month we will celebrate one of the most important events in our Sangha, the jukai. This event culminates weeks of sewing of a rakasu or miniature Buddha's robe by several of our Sangha members guided by our teacher, Rev. Kyoki Roberts, and senior priest, Rev. Jisen Coghlan. Upon completion of their work, the Sangha members will give the small robes (or rakusu) to Kyoki for completion by adding calligraphy, a Buddhist name, and her official stamps on the underside. As these members receive the finished rakusu they also take the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts vowing among other things to continue practicing the Way.

Please join us for this special ceremony, which will be followed by a pot-luck lunch.

(Banner photo credit: Sangha member Tony Roscoe photographed this Sukhothai-style walking Buddha on the grounds of the Lyon Arboretum of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.)
Zen Practice
Weekly Zazen Schedule
Location Schedules
Zen Poetry

Beginning a Zen practice can be really difficult. We recommend you meet with either Rev. Jisen Coghlan (mcoghlan@consolidated.net) or Rev. Kyoki Roberts, (kyoki@deepspringzen.org) for practice instruction. They are usually available Tuesday - Saturday 9:00am-4:00pm.
Please arrive 10-15 minutes before starting time.

  • Deep Spring Temple: 124 Willow Ridge Road Sewickley, PA 15143 (map)
  • Mattress Factory: 505 Jacksonia Way Pittsburgh, PA 15212 (directions)
  • Zen Friends: 4836 Ellsworth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (map)
  • World Peace Ceremony: Sunday, November 1; 9:00am-noon
    • Celebrated on the first Sunday of every month, this ceremony helps us rededicate our practice to bringing about a more peaceful world. An open discussion of Zen practice follows the ceremony.
  • Precept Renewal (Ryaku Fusatsu): Tuesday, November 3; 6:00-7:00pm
    • This evening of the full moon ceremony offers practitioners an opportunity to renew their commitment to the sixteen Bodhisattva precepts. All are welcome to attend!
    • Read more about Ryaku Fusatsu here.
  • Intro to Zen: Thursday, November 12; 6:00-8:00pm
    • These two-hour introductory workshops are a combination of gentle sitting, lecture, question and answer, and walking meditation. They also provides instruction on the forms of Soto Zen practice (bowing, entering the zendo, chanting), how to sit comfortably (should you use a cushion, a chair or a bench?), and suggestions for reading material in a variety of areas.
    • Suggested donation to register: $15 Donate
  • ZCP Closed: Wednesday - Friday, November 25 - 27
    • We are closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
  • Rohatsu Sesshin: Tuesday - Monday, December 1 - 7
    • Join us for this traditional 7-day retreat commemorating the enlightenment of the Buddha. We will be returning to our home temple in Omaha again this year to practice with Kyoki's teacher, Nonin Chowaney. Some of us fly and some of us drive. (Driving takes about 16 hours.) Nonin allows people to sit any part of the sesshin one would like. Kyoki will be driving out, leaving the 29th of November and returning on the 9th of December. Please let her know if you wish to participate and if you will drive or fly by calling the temple or emailing her at kyoki@deepspringzen.org. While we are gone, Deep Spring Temple remains open and follows our normal schedule.
  • Wednesday evening zazen; 6:00pm-7:15pm. Friends Meeting House (map).

  • Tuesday morning zazen; 7:00am-7:40pm. Mattress Factory (map).


By Sangha Member Mimi Jong
October 27, 2006

Getting to Know Zero

What is Zero?

When it is not plus or minus, it is Zero.
When it is not yin or yang, it is Zero.
When it is not male or female, it is Zero.
When it is not this or that, it is Zero.

Ah, Zero is something we can't define.

Is Zero emptiness?
Is Zero in the gap, like
Between breaths,
Between each moment?

Let's zero-in Zero:
But there is nothing to zero-in!
This starts to sound like a koan:
What is MU?!

Ah, Zero is potential.
Zero can be anything,
Zero can be everything!
If I get to know Zero,
I get to know potential!

Now, what is potential?
Is potential between thoughts?

Oops, I am back to where I started!
I guess this is Zero!
  • Please check out the latest edition of Prairie Wind Online, the quarterly newsletter offered by Abbot Rev. Nonin Chowaney.
  • To make a tax-deductible contribution to the Zen Center of Pittsburgh, please click the 'Make a Donation' button. We are deeply grateful for your generosity.
Make a Donation