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Buddhadharma : Fall 2005
buddhadharma| 91 |fall 2005 Panchen Lama. The winning drawings, paintings, and poems will be announced on International Children’s Day, November 20. They will be made into a card, addressed to Mr. Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary General, calling for a UN repre- sentative to meet with the Panchen Lama. ■ GamPo aBBEy in Nova Scotia held a ceremony in May to honor graduates of its first Shedra, or monastic college, program. Senior teacher Gelong Lodrö Sangpo handed out certif- icates to Gelongma Lodrö Palmo, Getsül Karma Jinpa, and Jerry Chapman in the abbey’s main shrine room. “This is a rite of passage for the graduates and is similar to the completion of the three-year retreat,” says Lodrö Sangpo. The next Shedra program begins this fall and will take two and a half years to complete. The program includes courses on the Hinayana, Yoga- cara, and Madhyamaka schools, among other areas of study, and is open to both the monastic and the lay communities. Instructors include Ani Pema Chödrön, Lodrö Sangpo, and Dr. Karl Brunnhölzl. ■ On June 3, the San Francisco Zen Center community celebrated the 90th birthday of member lou haRtman. Over 120 people attended the party, including a large contin- gent of senior members. Many shared stories and otherwise expressed their appreciation for the important contributions that Mr. Hartman has made to the center during the last 30-plus years. ■ The first latino dhaRma REtREat in the U.S. will be held at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from December 14 to 18. This historic gathering, conducted completely in Spanish, will provide an oppor- tunity for Latino Buddhist practi- tioners from different traditions to meet, practice together, and support each other. Head teach- ers for the retreat include José Luis Reissig, Julia Sagebien, Sandra González, Daniel Terragno, Shotai de la Rosa, Ani Thubten Saldon, and Hilda Gutiérrez Baldoquín. ■ Spirit Rock Meditation Center celebrated jack koRnfiEld’s 60th birthday with a benefit cele- bration on July 20. The event fea- tured Joseph Goldstein and a number of other well-known teachers, including Sharon Salzberg, Sylvia Boorstein, James Baraz, Anna Douglas, Wes Nisker, and Jai Uttal. Donations were collected at the event, which ben- efited Spirit Rock’s scholarship fund. ■ Snow Lion Publications recently launched the nitaRtha institutE sERiEs. The books in the series will be written by the Nitartha Institute’s teachers, translated by its translators, or based on teachings given at the Institute. The books are drawn from different topics and texts in the Institute’s curriculum and will be used in various Buddhist edu- cational facilities, including in Naropa University’s MA in Religious Studies program. ■ doRis doERRiE, director of Enlightenment Guaranteed and michaEl wEnGER, dean of Buddhist Studies at San Francisco Zen Center, filmed a documen- tary entitled The Empty Screen at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in August. The duo collaborated with ten retreatants to explore beginner’s mind and the love of film, keeping in mind Suzuki Roshi’s comment that the most daiEn BEnnaGE takEs hER sEat P atricia Dai-En Bennage was installed as abbess of Mt. Equity Zen Monastery in Pennsdale, Pennsylvania, on May 21 and 22. A resident of Japan for 23 years, Bennage first trained with rinzai Master Omori Sogen roshi. She received Soto Zen priest precepts, transmission, Zuise, and went on to complete a dozen years of full-time monastic training. Bennage also finished the senior-most training in the Shike or roshi program, with certification in 1990. Mt. Equity hosted a Mountain Seat ceremony to recognize Bennage’s appointment as abbess. It takes two to four years to prepare for the cer- emony, during which time the potential abbot or abbess must exhibit the capacity to fundraise, renovate, rebuild, organize, manage, and administer a center. Thirty-six Soto Zen priests, both women and men, from Japan, germany, and the U.S. carried out the complex duties involved in the two-day ceremony. Aoyama Shundo roshi, abbess of the women’s monastery in Nagoya, Japan, and Bennage’s teacher of eight years, officiated as Seido, or head priest. Bennage wore the funzoe robe, a robe of tatters, for the event. Made of discarded material, the robe has nine strips and 27 panels made of four layers of silk. “I picked up the silk from a defunct kimono shop when I was on an alms round 24 years ago in Japan,” says Bennage. Material cut in the shapes of mountains was applied and special stitch- ing was added to strengthen the robe. “The greatest pleasure of the ceremony,” says Bennage, “came from being together with both East and West – the priests, my family, the nuns I had trained with who encouraged me during my beginning years, and my colleagues here in the United States. We will continue to try and fashion this Buddha way to the blue-jean mind.” important element in film is the empty screen. ■ Press in California have been following the story of an attempted takeover of the oakland camBodian Buddhist sociEty’s temple by the International Community of Khmer Buddhist Monks Center, a group based in Lowell, Mass- achusetts. The takeover attempt has led to lawsuits, restraining orders, and allegations of harass- ment and abuse. Problems began when the Oakland Cambodian Buddhist Society’s directors trans- ferred ownership of the temple and its community funds to the International Community of Khmer Buddhist Monks. The directors claim that the action, which was done without the per- mission of the temple’s abbot, rICHrITSUENrEIllyKEITHSIlVATIMOTHyO’CONNOr-FrASErDANIElCOllIN