Thank you to all who sat and will sit with our visiting Teacher, Rev. Koun Franz ... (The video is now being edited to remove the first 25 minutes of technical non-problems as we searched for Koun! )
It is an old tradition to have visiting Teachers come to other Sangha to offer a talk and lead Zazen. We are honored to have Koun here, and are grateful that such small glitches like sick children (thankfully now well) allowed us finally to have this time together.
A word about Koun ...
Koun Franz is a Sōtō Zen priest born in Helena, Montana. He has spent more than half of his adult life in Japan. He was ordained in 2001, then trained at Zuioji and Shogoji monasteries. From 2006 to 2010, he served as resident priest of the Anchorage Zen Community. Two years ago, Koun and his family moved back to Japan (Kumamoto), where he studies, trains, lectures, and does Buddhist-related translation work. I understand that he is soon moving to Canada. He is also a practitioner of sewing the Nyoho-e Kesa, as we are at Treeleaf. His always very interesting blog is ...
As you can read about in his latest blog post, Koun is a great champion of preserving the Ways and Traditions of monastic Practice, and has been very active in organizing an international Ango, a three month special Retreat period, at Shogoji Temple in Japan to host non-Japanese priests and teach them the traditional ways of Japanese Soto Zen. He hosted our Mongen at Shogoji for a week or so a couple of years ago. At the same time, Koun is a dad with small kids, and believes in the Practice of Daily Life too.
Today we sat for about 20 minutes, followed by a powerful talk by Koun, and then a Q&A.
Koun at first refused any donation for coming to join us today, but I have suggested to him that a donation for his new Zen Center in Canada would be appropriate. He suggested some Amazon gift certificates for books for their library. I hope you will "put something in the bowl" there as your heart guides you ... and I believe you can include a message or send them anonymously as you wish.
Please indicate the donation is for ...
We hope that Koun will be the first of many guest speakers and Zazen leaders to visit us. Already, my Dharma Brothers Brad Warner and Gustav Ericsson (who is also a Christian minister) have agreed to offer Zazen here this summer. I will try to schedule the next visit on Europe time!