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Temple Blessing
Temple Blessing
January 1

On January 1, 2011 at 1pm Heart of Wisdom had an opening blessing ceremony for our new Zen Temple.

View more photos of this and other Heart of Wisdom events

Christmas Reflections
December 31

As we move closer to the Blessing of Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple I am reminded
of the many, many blessing of our practice and of our Sangha. And how these many
blessings come from very ancient beginnings and roots.

From our more modern roots I am struck by the thought that the people who in the
1890's planned and built this church (our new property at 6401 NE 10th, Portland, OR),
actually built this church for the many, many generations to come. They built this church
for us. They couldn't have guessed that in 2010 our Zen Buddhist group would purchase it and begin converting it into a Zen Buddhist Temple.

We too are planning and building for a future that none of use can possibly know today.
Who knows what this building will hold in the next 100 years. As we establish this temple, it is for those known and unknown; for those born and yet to be born. May we do this with the intention of peace and in a spirit of welcoming to all.

In Oct. when we viewed the Temple building, I heard Chozen say these simple words
which I wrote down on a scrap of paper.

This is a space of rest and wisdom. Please honor it.

This scrap of paper got lost in the myriads of papers, fliers and announcements that
I have. It ended up in our recycling bin. I borrowed that yellow recycling bin to move
leaves at our new Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple. After emptying the bin a scrap of
paper dropped out and blew down the street. I ran after it, grabbed it, open the slip of
paper and I read..."This is a space of rest and wisdom. Please honor it."

Now on Christmas Day after a wonderful visit with family and friends I am reminded of
that simple and clear message. As we move and transition into our new home, may
we keep this message in our minds...this a space of rest and wisdom..... may we all
honor it.


Kodo Conover
Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple
Steering Committee, Chair

PS Much more information as to how you can get involved will soon be available.

Pagoda at Great Vow
December 5

The Peace Pagoda at Great Vow is well underway.

Holes have been drilled in each section, and the center pole has been created.

At the very bottom of the pagoda there is a urn holding prayers for peace and other sacred objects.

A cement foundation was poured - a challenging and exciting task!

Building Purchase
December 5
Dear Zen Community of Oregon Sangha and Friends: 
Sitting with “Not Knowing Mind”  throughout these past weeks as we negotiated the purchase of a building has not been easy. But we are now owners of the building and property at 6401 NE 10th Ave., Portland, Oregon!
Because of the generosity of our sangha and friends the very good news is that we were able to purchase the property outright for $205,000. 
The building, although declared sound by the building inspectors, needs quite a bit of work inside and out.  As   one member put it, “Zen Community of Oregon is now the happy owner of one ‘handyman’s special’ church.”
Phase One of Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple’s vision of a hearth, a bridge and an offering is complete.  We   now have a building where we can continue with this wonderful vision. 
Many people have contributed to this effort but today I would like to extend our deepest appreciation to our Teachers, Chozen and Hogen, who have inspired us to practice both individually and as a community, to  welcome everyone into the Sangha, and work together to offer the Dharma to the larger community. 
With gratitude,
Kodo Conover
Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple
Steering Committee, Chair
Specific Property Criteria
October 1

1. Location relative to Sangha: Located in the area where primary sangha population resides (though obviously not all). A reasonable search area to be bordered (roughly) by the Willamette River, Broadway/Fremont, 65th/Tabor, Woodstock. 2. Safety: People who attend need to feel safe in the neighborhood. 3. Zoning: Any property has to have the correct zoning for our purposes. Focus on churches. Cannot expect to get zoning changed after purchase. 4. Building code: If a building changes its previously designated use, then it may require prohibitively expensive updating to meet codes for the new use. 5. Size: PDC is ~ 4,500 sf. To accommodate projected growth, we will need to consider properties over 8,000 sf. 6. Parking. Any activity which regularly has many people coming to it must have approved parking areas, a function of the size of the building and the maximum number of people it is rated for. 7. Cost: A compromise between optimal location, zoning/code, size, state of repair, and terms of payment.

Vision for our new property
September 24

A Hearth, A Bridge and An Offering - A Vision for a ZCO home in Portland We envision a vibrant home for our Portland Sangha, a place of stillness in a busy urban environment where we practice the Buddha Dharma, offer Buddha’s teachings to the larger community and embody the qualities of unflagging optimism, compassion and courage. A Hearth: We seek to create a Sangha practice center that honors and supports the ten thousand facets of householder life. A Bridge: We seek to provide a bridge from our urban community to the deep well of practice at Great Vow Zen Monastery, mutually benefiting both. An Offering: We seek to reach out to the larger Portland community by putting the Bodhisattva Vow to work in the world, by benefitting all beings, and protecting and healing our earth treasure. Our hearth… …is a place of stillness in the busy world We will have sitting four or more days a week and host regular all day sits, or zazenkai, so that people in the city can benefit from longer sitting. We have many classrooms and a great space for a zendo that fit 50-75 people for zazen and 100-200 for other types of events. We are open to renting out our facility to other spiritual groups that need sitting space. We have a residential component where one or more ordained can serve as part of their training. Our center has ample parking for our many programs and to minimize the impact of daily programs on our neighbors. We have enough space to run concurrent programs. There is green space either on the grounds or nearby or we start a roof-top garden for altar flowers and vegetables. …supports the ten thousand facets of a lay life We hold monthly fusatsu ceremonies on the moons for the renewal of our vows and mark the changes of the seasons with family celebrations. We have a Sunday morning program that would include sitting, a talk or practice circle, and a community lunch. Our Sunday morning program includes a Dharma School, our own or one that we do jointly with our friends at Dharma Rain Zen Center. …is a place for Sangha practice Sangha members support weekend programs by regularly attending classes and workshops, strengthening our own personal practice which in turn strengthens the sangha. The sangha also supports weekend workshops by volunteering to open the doors, manage registration, cook simple meals for workshop attendees and clean up. The sangha takes care of the property volunteering for regular cleaning and maintenance of the space as their talents allow. The community also comes together for big projects like painting and small rehab work. Senior sangha members offer their talents as instructors for classes and facilitate regular practice discussions. Members with counseling backgrounds strengthen their own talents and offer them to others. …is where we put the bodhissatva vow to work in the world Jizos for Peace manifests here and finds its next mission. We join with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and sponsor a Portland area Chant For Peace. Our center sponsors refugees and provides respite for caregivers. At our hearth zen practice and artistic expression meet like two arrows in mid-air. We focus on those practices with zen lineage – calligraphy, flower arranging, painting – and as well as other expression of the artist heart – photography, sculpture, pottery, mandalas, sacred dance and chant. …offers classes steeped in the Dharma We offer the stream-entering classes Basics of Buddhism and Introduction to Zen Practice. In classes on the classical Buddhist sutras lay practitioners may benefit from reading and experiencing the authentic teachings. We offer an understanding of the great matter with the series of classes Preparing For Your Own Death. We examine how to live lightly on the earth with our class Just Enough: Buddhism, Debt and Money. We present the Buddhist perspective on ethical living with our classes on the precepts. We offer weekend workshops starting with a preview Friday evening talk followed by an all-day Saturday. Our workshops offer introductions to more in-depth workshops at the Great Vow Zen Monastery. We offer Non-Violent Communication for individuals and for couples. Our center offers the benefit of the traditional Zen arts through Kaz Tanahashi’s calligraphy workshops and full-day training in Chado, the Way of Tea. We offer the power of clarified intention through our Life Vow workshops. The benefits of practice come to life in workshops in Mindful Parenting, Conflict and Compassion at Work, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Buddhism and Addiction. For caregivers facing burnout, we offer restorative retreats, and for young people exploring the great breadth of life, retreats to offer reflection and guidance. For those with aspiration to heal the world we offer workshops and retreats on working for peace and healing the earth. We offer classes on Buddhist history in general and the history of Zen in particular to maintain the strength of our linage. We have a large and growing library of Buddhist books and teachings from other spiritual traditions. At our center, we host visiting Buddhist teachers to give talks and workshops in a place of Buddhist practice. We partner with local bookstores to host teachers on book tours or other practice tours. We have a small gift shop for practice supplies so that practitioners can buy Zen Works products – cushions, benches, Jizos – as wells as other altar and practice supplies and books. …and your ideas!

We're Growing
September 4

During the past 3 years the sangha has grown significantly, showing an increase in both membership and attendance at Thursday and Sunday meetings. Senior students have begun to take on leadership roles, increasing the depth of the community. The increase in membership size, the high attendance at events, and an enthusiastic core of senior students led many to suggest it was time for the Zen Community of Oregon to find a home in Portland. On March 2nd, 2009 the ZCO Board voted to move forward in manifesting the vision of a ZCO Portland center. On November 14th, 2010 the ZCO Board approved a motion to purchase a church in Portland, located at 6401 NE 10th Ave. The ZCO Board felt that purchasing this property was in line with our vision to found the Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple.

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