One of the visions for Tahoma Zen Monastery is that it will have a columbarium so that sangha members as well as the worldwide sangha who are so interested can be interned on the Monastery grounds. The columbarium will be surrounded by a garden with aspects of both the Pacific Northwest and Japan. This garden is the first phase of the project and work began on it in earnest this summer thanks, to the generous contributions of long time sangha member Jusen Bland. There has been both professional workers involved in clearing and grading the land and much sangha labor during the September 2019 Training month preparing the site for a dedication ceremony. On September 17th we held a dedication and blessing of the garden.
Remembering the ceremony in our newsletter, sesshin leader, Gensho Florence wrote the following words:
A wet day for a garden blessing. The sky gods sent rain to the earth gods as Roshi led a blessing for the new garden donated by Jusen. We setup a temporary tent and altar so we could appreciate the rainy day.
Roshi offered rice and salt to the earth, gave a poem of thanks and acknowledgement-
Namu Jizō Jusen-en.
Doing good deeds in the ten directions, we pay back our debt to the Buddha.
Especially in this place the ten thousand spirits sleep in peace,
All persons and all the heavens return to one root.
-and together we chanted The Heart Sutra.
A beautiful selection of maples and camillas are waiting to be planted in October. They’ll fill the space directly in front of the altar above with the columbarium in the space at the back near the trees.
If you would like to contribute to the Columbarium project at Tahoma please visit our Donations page. If you would like to volunteer to help with the garden please contact us.
Written by Gensho Florence. photos by Gensho Florence, Jiyu Romm and Sozui.