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Buddhadharma : Fall 2008
MAhAsAnGhA news 87 fall 2 00 8 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly The chan Meditation center, founded by Master Sheng Yen (seated, center, in the CMC group photo above), celebrated 30 years in America in May. A daylong sa- lute, dubbed “Rising Compas- sion,” gave the community a chance to gather and reflect on its humble beginnings and its growth over the years. What began as a handful of local students in Queens has since grown into a multicultural community that of- fers meditation classes, religious services, and outreach activities that include a weekly TV broad- cast to the tri-state area. Influ- ential American artist robert rauschenberg (a detail of his work Retroactive I is featured be- low) died on May 12 at the age of 82. Rauschenberg attended Black Mountain College in 1948, where composer John Cage, in the midst of his “falling-in-love” stage with Buddhism, was on the fac- ulty. The two forged a lifelong friendship, and Rauschenberg himself, says art critic Kay Lar- son, had an “electrifying encoun- ter with D.T. Suzuki in the early ’50s.” Summarizing his own cre- ative process, Rauschenberg said that he “worked in the gap be- tween art and life.”Joshu Sazaki Roshi’s Mount Baldy Zen center in San Bernardino County, Cali- fornia, was the scene of a wild-fire on May 20. It took hundreds of firefighters to get the upper hand on the early morning blaze, which encompassed almost 420 acres and quickly spread into Los An- geles County. Fortunately, Mount Baldy did not suffer property damage and no one was injured. At Tara Mandala, Lama Tsul- trim’s land retreat center in south- western Colorado, executive di- rectors Pieter Oosthuizen and Charlotte Rotterdam are leaving their positions to become trustees. The search is on for the next ex- ecutive director who will lead the continuing development at Tara Mandala, including the comple- tion of a new temple and finishing work on residence and commu- nity buildings. In May, Joan Halifax’s Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe received a bonus finan- cial gift from benefactors John Kluge and Tussi Kluge, who had pledged $1 million to establish an endowment for the Zen center’s succession planning. At a commu- nity luncheon in their honor, the Kluges spontaneously decid- ed to double their gift to Joan Halifax and the sangha, for a total of $2 million. In July, actress, writer, and political activist JAne FondA (above, with Upaya Zen Center founder and abbot JoAn hAliFAX) visited Upaya to participate in a special session on power and spirituality at its annual ecumenical gathering of women. The program brings together women leaders, teachers, and artists to explore how to live a life that includes service, spiritual practice, and creativity. In her ongoing commitment to fulfill that vision, Halifax recently accepted an invitation to join the board of former British prime minister Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation, which promotes “respect and understanding between the major religions” and “encourages interfaith initiatives to tackle global poverty and conflict.” CoURTESYCHANMEDITATIoNCENTERTERITHoMSoNRANDAllBEATESTolTE ➤ (Left to right) Joan Halifax, John Kluge (seated) and Tussi Kluge (standing).