Temple Manager's News and Notes

Blooms in Snow
Blooms in Snow
February 13

Dear Sangha:


Even in the snow, flowers continue to bloom and our practice continues to unfold.


We started off 2014 with a successful food drive for the Backpack Lunch program.  The ZCO Board has agreed that this will be an annual event with ZCO donating $300. every year to buy additional food.  Here is a letter of appreciation that I thought you might enjoy.  Thank you for your donations to this project.


Greetings Kodo and Josh,


We were overcome with all the wonderful, wonderful food donations. What a great help they were to us in mounting the Backpack/King event. What a difference the food makes in the lives of the children that together we are helping.


The King Event, as well as all your food donations, was a marvelous success. About 250 people packed 2600 lunches that will be distributed this month and next to the schoolchildren at risk of hunger that our program serves -- 70 of the 167 children are at Woodlawn School.


Thank you for making the event possible and special thanks to you Josh for helping us with the arrangements for the food donation pickup. 


Portland is very fortunate to have the Heart of Wisdom Zen Community in its midst.

My best, Marilyn Mauch, Backpack Lunch Program



Another thing on my mind as we launch 2014 are our WORKSHOPS and CLASSES at Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple.  We have planned a number of events throughout the year and we can use your help.


The reason we offer these workshops is three-fold:

  1. It is a way for us to present relevant teachings to our community and the larger community such as a Zen Buddhist approach to money, death, work, communications, the arts. etc. We also offer basic teachings and instructions along with some great guest teachers (Kaz Tanahashi for example).
  2. It allows our community leaders, teachers, and practitioners to cultivate and present their areas of interest and expertise....for the benefit of the Temple and community.
  3. It is one way that we raise money for Heart of Wisdom operations.


So, how can you help?


  1. Attend classes and workshop (members get a discount) maybe try something new....Chanting, Parinirvana Vigil and Poetry are all coming up.
  2. Distribute the information...either by posting a flier, talking about the workshops or classes, or posting them on your social media.
  3. Volunteer to help.  Please contact Nan Whitaker-Emrich <nan5910@gmail.com> if you have some interest and time to help.


Our Workshop and Classes along with our regular sitting times are our offerings to each other and to the larger community.  We need your participation to make it successful.


Bansho and Jomon lead a workshop in Buddhism and Money



With appreciation to this path of practice and our sangha,




Temple Manager

Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple



Sangha Jewel 2013
Sangha Jewel 2013
January 7

Heart of Wisdom Manager’s Notes:


Reviewing 2013, I am struck by how much our sangha has matured, steadily facing what came our way throughout the year. 


I am profoundly moved by the sangha, our community which has come together to help each other, encourage each other, support each other.


A Sangha that came together to beautify our downstairs area.  To make our space welcoming both environmentally and people wise.


A Sangha that supported and encouraged Leadership training as the graduation of the most recent Sanghakai group became Community Zen Leaders.


A Sangha that sat with a member for many months through the end of her life and dealing with terminal cancer.


A Sangha that extends the many hands of Kannon to those who  needed extra assistance during major surgeries, cancer treatments, and significant moves.


A Sangha where the Sangha Harmony Committee’s leadership and careful consideration provided support and allowed all to be heard as several key members of our sangha moved on. With their skill our community was able to process these changes, learn and remain strong.


A Sangha that has established an intention to help the larger local community with our annual food drive for the Back Pack lunch program and the sock monkey program.


A Sangha that provided the labor necessary to complete our outside projects including digging ditches, hauling dirt, rock and compost, and weeding, mowing and planting.


A Sangha that is satisfied with its efforts but looks forward to what is next.


A Sangha that has taken on major new offerings...a Sunday morning program with child care program; a residential training program along with the work of establishing and beautifying a home while adding weekday morning sitting times at Heart of Wisdom


A Sangha that continues to value deep practice and maintaining the bridge to Great Vow.


A Sangha that deeply appreciates our Teachers and their many ways of guiding our spiritual practice.


A Sangha that is welcoming to anyone who comes through the doors offering a place of peace and refuge.


And a Sangha that can work, practice and play together...enjoying each other, helping and supporting each other....as we practice and realize the Buddha Way together.


Here we are at the beginning of another year...2014....and the quote by the Han comes to mind:


“Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Take heed. Do not squander your life.”


May our Sangha continue to provide such a rich place for us to live and grow.

With great appreciation,


Kodo Conover
Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple
Temple Manager Etc.

A Groundswell of Founders
A Groundswell of Founders
September 10


Dear Friends:

Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple is not yet three years old.  We have come a long ways but we still have further to go...and we could use your help.

We have an open ended matching grant for any money donated to Heart of Wisdom up to Sept. 14, 2013 which is our Annual Founders’ Dinner.

This grant is designed for those of you who cannot come to the dinner although any and all donations will be matched.

The potential of many people giving a modest amount of money is powerful and to me especially inspiring.  Just think...if 500 people gave $20 that would be $10,000 then with the match that would double to $20,000!!!  No huge amount of money from someone with deep pockets just the energy and groundswell of many people coming together to help an important project.

What will we do with this money?  Continue to open our doors with more sitting times, allow the Dharma to flow through classes, workshops and seminars....and provide a quiet beautiful space within our busy city and in our busy lives.

This past month we opened Trillium House, a residential training house; they are now offering week day morning meditation at Heart of Wisdom. We added a Sunday morning program with a fledgling children’s program.  We have Loving Kindness Practice on the full moon along with our regular sittings on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings.  We are beginning to be part of the neighborhood and local school.

I am inspired by the generosity of the many people who love Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple and Great Vow Zen Monastery.  So, your help is important and necessary whatever you can give is significant.  Together we make our community no matter how far reaching it may be...and it may reach all around the world!!!

You can donate on line


Or at Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple, 6401 NE 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97211

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

With gratitude,


Kodo Conover
Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple
Temple Manager

More Installations
More Installations
July 29

Our new altar table, was designed and built by Ben Shook of Ben Shook Studios and was generously funded by members of the sangha.


Below is our bike shelter with roof to be added.  Built as an Eagle Scout project by Chris Poole; funded and supported by Fred and Heather Poole and Zac Reisner.


Grab bars in the bathroom expertly installed by Matthew Michaels.


Our place of practice is enhanced by all of these new additions. Our gratitude to all the hands and hearts involved in the unfolding of Heart of Wisdom, a place of refuge and peace.


With graditude,


Installations Around the Temple
Installations Around the Temple
July 29

We have had a number of new installations in and around Heart of Wisdom as of late. They are all an expressions of form and function. Please enjoy these new additions of utility and art.


This is a Garden Peace Pole created by De Anne Seiryu Lightfoot of Longview featuring the Four Brahma Viharas....compassion, loving kindness, equanimity and sympathetic joy....also known as the Four Immeasurables and the Four Friends.  David Ridenour, Boyang and Nan did an outstanding installing this work of art next to our rain garden.

Whole and Completed
Whole and Completed
June 10

The buildings and the grounds protect the Dharma
And bring peace to all.
The sangha in the ten directions will increase
In wisdom and compassion.
How this all comes to us
Is a gift we should not miss.

The Heart of Wisdom downstairs remodel project is virtually completed!  There are a few details still to do but I want to thank everyone who has helped and supported this project.....Doug Onkatsu Kagel , Bansho Green, Marcia Roi and her friend Cathy, Matthew Williams, Mitch Lang, Rebecca Schaeffer, Melanie Skyler and her mother Diane, Eimyo, Darah Shonen, Ray and Loraine, Bret Bender, David Elston, Sojin Kip.


We brought in a few people to help us out and they did a fantastic job...thanks to 

Wayne Haack and his partner Tony Mandella and the good work from Samuel Pechovnik.


Our downstairs has taken on a warm and friendly atmosphere and is now more in accord with the rest of our Temple.  


The garden is such a place of beauty, please make some time to stop by and enjoy our wonderful surroundings.  If you would like to work in the garden please contact Nan nan5910@gmail.com.



Eimyo and Doug helped organize and facilitated our first Temple Service Day.  This was a full day of zazen and work practice with a focus on weeding the garden and parking strips then deep cleaning the zendo and downstairs.  The Temple sparkled inside and out after their hard work.  Thanks to Rollie Gisan, Sojin, Manny, Jill, Fuho, Darah, Onkatsu, and Eimyo.


Our library is up and running...an announcement is forth coming from our librarian Arlene Holmes.


Working together in service to the Temple allows the sangha to experience a different type of community.  One with the purpose to serve others and provide a place of refuge for anyone in search of peace.


To find out how you can participate, please watch for announcements on the list service or contact Bansho Green bansho.green@gmail.com or me (Kodo).


With gratitude,


Kodo kodo.conover@gmail.com

Heart of Wisdom Temple Manager


Painting Heart of Wisdom
Painting Heart of Wisdom
April 15


April 2013


Just as spring escalates in Portland, Heart of Wisdom abounds with new events, sitting times and remodeling. 

-- We have a new practice house within a few blocks of the Temple with Ryushin and Kishin at the helm. 

-- Sunday morning practice has started with Fuho, Gensho and Jogen taking the lead. 

-- New member teas, mindfulness groups and new people stepping up to take on service positions all add to the present excitement at Heart of Wisdom.

On the building side of things we are painting, carpeting and putting up new baseboards and trim in the downstairs area.  Chozen suggested that we continue with our idea to make the Temple beautiful and I believe that the results will speaks for themselves.  Carpet will be laid on April 25.


We have also commissioned Ben Shook of Ben Shook Studios to build us a beautiful and fitting altar table for the zendo. The plan calls for the table to be constructed of black walnut and look as if it is floating.  Ben and his partner will also be carving an image of Avalokitesvara (Kuan Yen, Kannon) on a new door to the waiting room at the top of the stairs. We have had very generously contributed and are only $300. short to pay for this whole project.  If you would like to make a donation to this altar/door fund please contact me. 


As for the painting project.  Doug lead the uncovering of the downstairs pillars and beams along with help from Marsha, Mathew, Mitch and Bansho. The same people continued on with painting joined by Rebecca, Lorraine and Ray.


Our work practice at our recent Spring Zazenkai helped get the garden in shape as Nan and Allen continue to tend and make our outside property beautiful.


Our library is just about ready to open thanks to Arlene.  It is in the Jizo Room.


The bike rack shelter is almost completed thanks to Chris and Fred Pool, the Boy Scouts and Zac Reisner.


I am very inspired and encouraged by the energy and interest of the Sangha.  Recently I talked with people at Woodlawn School our local grade school.  This is one of the poorest schools in Portland and they are very interested in partnering with us.  They have a number of suggestions:


 -- help with more back pack lunches, 

 -- hygiene supplies collections

 -- help with their community garden

 -- help withTeacher Appreciation Breakfast on May 8


If you are interested in any of these outreach project or any projects around Heart of Wisdom, please contact me (I can help you find your way to many hours of satisfying service :} ...or a few hours if that is what you have to spare.)


That is all for now.  Enjoy our new bloomings.


With gratitude,




Temple Manager

Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple




Winter Sweet
Winter Sweet
February 5

Message from the Temple Manager


Greeting Everyone:


February 2013...winter, cool and cloudy, slight wind, rain likely...we are in the middle of winter in the Pacific Northwest.  A few plants are in bloom.  Have you seen them?  The winter jasmine, witch hazel, winter sweet, a few camellias.  We wonder what will bloom and unfold in the next few months.  Watching nature is much like watching our practice and community at Heart of Wisdom.


There are some exciting changes and additions getting ready to bloom.  A Sunday morning program which will include child care is beginning to show color.  Fuho, Jogen and others will soon have official information very soon.


We want to make the downstairs more comfortable for the Sunday program and for the whole sangha so carpet, sound proofing, painting and general fix up is beginning to bud. Doug and I are germinating downstairs remodel project.


The Service Committee which came out of the HoW Leadership Meeting has met and is diligently working on a system for us to more fully care for all aspects of Heart of Wisdom.  It is a large committee with Bansho, Ryushin, Fuho, Jomon and Cibyl all involved.  As we continue to cultivate a culture of service as an integral part of practice, you will hear more as this group springs forth.


While we shape the Temple, the Temple shapes us.  As we continue to practice and grow together...we will see what unfolds.  Everyone is invited to participate in a wide variety of practice and service experiences at Heart of Wisdom...and at Great Vow.  We are building a very strong and living bridge between Heart of Wisdom and Great Vow.  Please join us.


This is just a short introduction of what is unfolding at Heart of Wisdom in the Heart of Winter.


Bike Shelter -  Fred and Chris Pool, Zac

Programming - Nan

Cooks - Kotetsu and Cibyl

Registration - Mitch

Temple cleaning - Allen

Garden and Grounds -- Nan and Allen

Membership - Doug

Communications - Seiko

Temple Council (Governing HoW) - Kodo, Eimyo, Ryushin, Nan, Darah, and Hogen


Take a look around and see what is blooming in you.


With Gratitude,



Heart of Wisdom Temple Manager






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