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Buddhadharma : Spring 2009
mAHASANGHA NeWS 85 spring 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly is priced at $150 plus shipping. All profits go to organizations supporting Tibetan culture. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Jacob Dalton, a specialist in Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhist tantra, has accepted an assistant professorship at the University of California, Berkeley. Dalton will hold a joint appointment in the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the department of South and Southeast Asian Studies. The junior-level appointment will allow UC Berkeley to continue to expand its Tibetan Buddhism program under the provisions of a $1 million endowment from the Khyentse Foundation. The gift will create a new annual lecture series in Tibetan Buddhism and support long- and short-term visits by specialists in the field. Pioneering Zen architect Paul Discoe visited San Francisco’s Greens Restaurant in October to talk about his new book, Zen Architecture: The Building Process as Practice. Discoe, who was ordained by Suzuki Roshi, is a longtime student of traditional Japanese woodworking techniques. His current interest is in designing modular prefabricated housing systems and furniture that promote Thai monks from Sisaket province have taken the idea of recycling one step further by using more than one million glass beer bottles, joined with cement, to construct Wat pa Maha Cedi Kawe, a temple located about 400 miles northeast of Bangkok, close to the Cambodian border. The monks used Heineken (green) and Chang (brown) beer bottles to construct intricate pat- terns throughout the building. It’s not the first beer-bottle building, but prob- ably one of the most beautiful. Being addressed as Roshi is certainly a change!” says Shingeshitsu Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi, who was conferred that title by Eido Tai Shimano Roshi on October 12 at the zen Center of Syracuse. “The title is cause for a daily renewal of my vow,” she continues. “At the same time, there is no rank, no title—there is just this dharma, incomparably profound and minutely subtle.” Shinge Roshi, as Roko Sherry Chayat is now known, is the abbot of the zen Center of Syracuse and has been studying with Eido Roshi since 1967. Ten years ago she received dharma transmission from him, but in the Rinzai tradition, the title “roshi” is not conferred along with that transmis- sion. Instead, it is followed by a period of intense, advanced practice, which Shinge Roshi describes as being unlike anything that has come before. Once the teacher feels that the maturity of the dharma heir’s insight has ripened, the teacher writes a cal- ligraphy called shitsugo, literally “room-name,” and presents it to the student during an entrustment ceremony. “A public announcement is made and from that point on,” says Shinge Roshi, “the title roshi is used.” Shinge Roshi is the only woman dharma heir in Eido Roshi’s line, and she is the only person of either gender who has been honored with an entrust- ment ceremony in the Rinzai school in America. “There was such a sense of utter rightness,” says Shinge Roshi about the day of her ceremony. “I felt a deep and quiet gratitude to have practiced with my teacher for more than forty years, to have been entrusted with the great responsibility of trans- mitting this precious practice, and to have been blessed with an extraordinary sangha.” eNTrUSTING A NeW roSHI By Andrea Miller BShingeshitsu Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi, who was conferred that title by Eido Tai Shimano Roshi on October 12 at the zen Center of Syracuse. “The title is cause for a daily renewal of my vow,” she continues. “At the same time, there is no rank, no title—there eNTrUSTING A NeW roSHI In December, Hollywood screen- writer stanley Weiser (Oliver Stone’s W and Wall Street, and Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story), pictured here on the set of W with director Oliver stone, was invited to talk about how meditation practice has influenced his career at the Westside Shambhala Meditation Group in Santa Monica. ➤ SIDNEYRAYBALDWIN©2008GURUGONE.COMRYUSHINMICHAELSOBEL