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As many of you know, the Zen Centre will be making a move July 1!
Enpuku-ji is finally coming to life in a different way than we imagined when we started talking about Enpuku-ji and the purchase of a building five years ago. Finally, it became clear that we would not be able to raise the funds to purchase a building and so we set out on a more modest path to locate a rental property in our neighbourhood. We have found a new home, just two blocks up St-Dominique from 30, Vallières – a lovely three-bedroom two-storey house with a garden and parking. It is owned by a person with a very generous spirit who is enthusiastic about the Zen Centre moving in. The new zendo space, very spacious and bright, will be a great setting for daily practice and an adaptable one for holding Zen ceremonies.
The next weeks will be busy with preparations for the move on July 1 and the official Enpuku-ji temple-opening in September.
We are planning an expanded schedule for the coming year at Enpuku-ji. As well as the usual schedule of zazen, zazenkai and sesshin, it will include a monthly Sunday morning short sitting, monthly English and French beginner’s instruction sessions, a Zen Kitchen Basics course, community meals, training for the support positions of jikijitsu and shoji in the zendo, and an evening series on Zen Practice Fundamentals.
Enpuku-ji Help and Support
We will need everyone’s help to build a strong Enpuku-ji community.
In the short-term, we will need help with interior and exterior painting in June and then with the actual move from Centre Zen to Enpuku-ji at the end of June. The small garden will need some attention and a caring hand to arrange the bedroom, kitchen and zendo spaces will be appreciated. Come or call to consult the growing task and wish lists.
In the long-term, we will need your continuing support as an Enpuku-ji member, both in terms of monthly contributions and your presence in the zendo. It is possible to arrange automatic monthly contributions or single donations at the Zen Centre’s CanadaHelps page.
It has been a tremendous contribution on the part of Jikan Leonard Cohen to have had the opportunity to offer Zen practice at 30, Vallières for the past fourteen years, and we all will miss this wonderful house facing on to the Portuguese Park.
We are moving from a donated space to a rental house. We are looking for residents for Enpuku-ji to continue to build a strong Zen community. In past years, at Centre Zen, we have had resident practitioners who have experienced the quiet but busy and disciplined life at an urban Zen centre. At Enpuku-ji, there will be the opportunity to be either a resident practitioner with practice obligations or a resident who may or may not practice. If you have an interest in becoming a resident or know of someone who would appreciate and value this experience, please contact Myokyo.
Words from Ekai
Hi! Myokyo has allowed me to add a few words about being a member of the Zen Centre. I came to Montreal in 1976 after emigrating from the States, and worked for 30 years as a professional librarian for the Université de Montréal, before retiring in 2006. Being of English, French and Italian origins, among others, Montreal immediately felt like family to me. I met my French-speaking partner here. After twenty-five years of considering myself a Buddhist, I finally decided to look for a place to practice, and wound up at the Centre five years ago. My partner and I signed up for a family membership. Although we meditate several times a week at home, I only manage to come once or twice a week for zazen, and my partner only accompanies me two or three times a year. I have been to only two zazenkais.
So I am not a daily visitor to the Centre, I am not an intense practitioner who makes all the retreats, my partner hardly comes at all, and yet we are both members who contribute monthly. Why? Because we want the Centre to continue to BE THERE. We want to support its special tranquility in the middle of this noisy, stressful city, both as a zendo and as a community.
The Centre, both in the contact I have with it and in the knowledge that it is there, encourages me in my practice of Zen. Myokyo’s strong presence motivates me.
The Centre also serves as a community for me, a Sangha in Buddhist terms, where I meet other practitioners and friends of the Centre at various events: potluck suppers, lecture series on Zen culture, group instruction on the basics of practice, and, of course, the Montreal Zen Poetry Festival. There are also the Buddhist ceremonies (I love Hanamatsuri to which I bring friends), and family ceremonies. My partner and I had our religious marriage ceremony at the Centre.
Now that the Centre is moving to a beautiful new rented facility and officially reopening as Enpuku-ji, I encourage you to consider a monthly membership to help it maintain its presence and continuity.