News - Great Vow

Ordination of Kisei and Soten
Ordination of Kisei and Soten
December 12

On Sunday December 8th, at the completion of a vital Rohatsu Sesshin,  Amy Kisei Costenbader and Danney Soten Lynch, before a Sangha gathering of seventy people including their parents , recieved Tokudo, Novice Priest's ordination. L to R  Kisei Costenbader and Soten Lynch

L to R Kisei Costenbader and Soten Lynch

In addition to the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts, the ordainee's took the following Life Vows:

I vow to walk the path of the Buddha, living an ethical life and becoming enlightened.

I vow to study the Dharma; working to understand the true nature of everyone and everything I encounter.

I vow to help the Sangha, practicing generosity with all my resources.

I vow to undertake a life of simplicity, living with few personal possesions.

I vow to undertake a life of service, working to nurture people's deepest aspirations.

I vow to undertake a life of stability, honoring my comittments by being patient, tolerant, and steadfast in practice and relationships.

For Five Years: 

I vow to follow my teacher's direct guidance.

I vow to live at and support Great Vow Zen Monastery.

I vow to serve Zen Community of Oregon, Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple and other local communities.

Thank you Kisei and Soten for your inspiring comittments!


Picture of Great Vow and guest OrdainedZCO and guest Ordained group

Shoki's Shusso Hossen
Shoki's Shusso Hossen
November 26

On Sunday November 24th, Brad Shoki Cleary's Shusso Hossen ceremony was held in celebration of his year of service as the Shusso for the monastery (Head of Zendo).

Shoki gave a talk on the first six lines of Affriming Faith in Mind and then fielded questions from the Sangha to draw out his wisdom.

Thank you Shoki for your generous contribution to the monastery and ZCO!

Sanghakai Graduation
Sanghakai Graduation
November 13

On Sunday November 10th a graduation ceremony was held honoring the completion of the third cycle of Sanghakai training.  Sanghakai is a 3-year program for senior ZCO students designed to cultivate different aspects of Sangha service and leadership. The 2013 graduates are (wearing blue rakusu, pictured from top left to bottom right) Janine Seitetsu Larsen, Kari Kishin Lindahl, Nina Eimyo Meladandri, Laura Jomon Martin, Patrick Bansho Green, Ryushin Creedon and Ed Gensho Welsh.  Not in the photograph is graduate Anne Senryu Pechovnik.

Mushin's Sangha Transmission
Mushin's Sangha Transmission
July 31

We're delighted to announce that Abby Mushin Terris received Sangha Transmission from Chozen and Hogen Bays on July 27th and is fully empowered as a lay teacher. She received the transmission name "Ho-en", or "Dharma Garden", which is also the name of her zendo.


This transmission acknowledges Mushin’s decades of sustained practice and maturity in Dharma. The term “Sangha Transmission” refers to the role of the sangha in recognizing and co-creating a person as a Zen teacher.  Mushin has led a warm and vital sangha sitting group in Corvallis since 1992.


Mushin has studied with several teachers including Robert Aitken Roshi, Genki Takabayashi Roshi, Joan Rieck Roshi as well as twenty years of practice with Chozen Bays, Roshi and Zen Community of Oregon.



Mushin's sangha, the Corvallis Zen Circle, sewed her a new brown rakusu with donated and dyed scraps of fabric. This was in honor of a tradition dating back to the time of the Buddha, when robes were made of donated and discarded pieces of cloth dyed with saffron and turmeric.


On July 28th, during the Sunday program at Great Vow, Mushin's transmission was publicly celebrated and she gave a talk and fielded questions.



Summer Residents and Construction
Summer Residents and Construction
July 18

The July Summer residents are a lively and dedicated batch from all over North America. 

Pre-lunch FacePre-lunch Face

Serious Zen Student FaceSerious Zen Student Face

Sanzen/Tea House

The Sanzen/Tea House, placed in the bamboo grove outside the Resident's Dorm, is coming along splendidly. Shoki Cleary, pictured above, is the designer and chief carpenter.

Thanks to all who have and will contribute!


Shrine of Vows

Bill Dainen Kelley Assembling the Shrine of Vows piece by piece.


The Shrine of Vows, tucked away behind the field, will be a place to make, honor and seal our deep intentions in life. There will be an altar where symbols of our vows can be placed.

Stay posted for more details on this lovely addition to the Monastery.

Daitetsu Departing
Daitetsu Departing
July 2

After thirteen years of full-time residential training, Daitetsu Hull will be leaving ZCO. He has given two talks about his departure, and they can be viewed here. -


Silver Dragon Sesshin
Silver Dragon Sesshin
June 2

From May 29 to June 2 Great Vow held its first Silver Dragon sesshin. This sesshin was co-led by Zen Teacher Hogen Bays, and Dharma Holder Abby Mushin Terris. All the participants in the sesshin have been on this planet for at least sixty rotations around the sun. The only exception to that was the Shuso, who participates in all sesshin. The sesshin had a relaxed schedule, with enough space for participants to rest when needed. It also included group walking meditation, and group body practice (both optional). The response from the participants was positive, and it is likely we'll hold a Silver Dragon sesshin in 2014.




Five Precepts Ceremony
Five Precepts Ceremony
May 26

On Sunday May 26 Dana K. received the Five Precepts from Daitetsu Hull. Dana arrived last summer by bicylce, on a long-distance trip that began in Wisconsin. 


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