Bodhi Manda Zen Center

An American Rinzai Zen Buddhist Center in Jemez Springs, New Mexico

Afterthought: healing the past, envisioning the future retreat

Dear Bodhi Sangha,

Last November approximately 40 Sangha, local community members and friends participated in the first Healing and Envisioning retreat at the Bodhi Manda. The weekend was organized by the Bodhi Board of Trustees and Director, Hosen Christiane Ranger, and was facilitated by Kathleen Oweegon of Bridges of Peace.

The voice of the Sangha was invited. We are grateful for everyone who came to the weekend, shared and/or supported the Sangha members in attendance. Each participant was given the opportunity to speak and share their experiences at Bodhi Manda and with Joshu Sasaki Roshi, including the impact of his inappropriate activities on their Zen practice and lives.

It was a very powerful weekend for all who participated and much healing occurred. For this, we are very grateful. Out of this retreat, a healing sense of community began to arise within the Sangha, and it became clear that the Bodhi was at a time of new beginnings. The participants at that retreat also shared written comments. These have been compiled, and will be shared with registered participants in the second retreat.

The Board and Hosen have been working for the last several months with these comments and concerns in mind.

1. The Board of Trustees has committed to continuing the healing process beyond the upcoming retreat by establishing an open door policy to any individual who may wish to come forward to the Board in the future with concerns. We welcome ideas from the Sangha in a group discussion about how best to move forward. The Board will also continue this process of restorative justice on Friday of the August retreat, by offering mediation supported by Kathleen Oweegon as facilitator to any individuals with concerns and/or requests they would like to share in mediation.. Additionally, there will be a Sange (Repentance) Ceremony Sunday morning of the Retreat to affirm this commitment. All are welcome to attend.

2.The Board appointed three new female members to the Board of Trustees. Melanie Van Amsterdam, Myoren Peggy Froelich and Karen Hershman joined past board members Jundo Steve Slusher, John Killip and Seiju Bob Mammoser. You can read more about each of the board members at http://www.bmzc.org/the-center/board-of-trustees/.

3. The Board will use many of the recommendations that came out of the first retreat to create much of our agenda for the August retreat.

4. In accordance with the By-Laws, the new Board unanimously appointed Jiun Hosen Osho (Christiane Ranger) to the position of Abbess at the Bodhi Manda Zen Center on April 10th, 2015. Hosen has graciously agreed to accept and serve as Abbess of the Bodhi Manda. The Board of Trustees, in conjunction with the Director/Abbess is charged with the legal responsibility for leadership of the Bodhi Manda. However, it is clear that the best way to heal, revitalize and ensure the future of the Bodhi is to include the voice and participation of the Sangha, friends and local community as active, interested parties in the well-being of the Bodhi Manda. For this reason, input is welcome for items which are yet to be determined, including such topics as membership options for Sangha, the term and selection of Board members, special retreats led by Sangha members, establishment of communication lines from and between the Sangha to leadership.

5.  A budget for the 2015 fiscal year has been created. The 2016 budget will be prepared to share with the Sangha in time for your input by November. In these and other ways, the mission of the Bodhi Manda will be carried forward, offering an opportunity for seekers to deepen their understanding and practice of Zen Buddhism as well as to participate in a spiritual, sustainable and vibrant community. How will this be manifested? We want you to participate in this creation by attending our next retreat:

Healing the Past, Envisioning the Future Retreat

Friday, August 21st until Sunday afternoon, August 23rd, 2015 Monday, August 24th is an optional day of silence.

Private sessions with Kathleen Oweegon are available on Friday by appointment. You may request any Board member(s) and/or the Abbess to attend the session. There is no charge for any of these activities. Donations are appreciated.

This retreat is open to everyone, whether or not you participated in the 2014 retreat. Kathleen Oweegon will collaborate with the Board on designing the agenda and facilitate this retreat. As we mentioned earlier in this invitation, we will use many of the recommendations that came out of the first retreat to create much of our agenda for the August retreat.

If you have any questions or concerns about participating, please contact Kathleen at oweegon@bridgesofpeace.com. Please reply to Hosen by email, office@bmzc.org, or call the Bodhi office at 575-829-3854 to reserve your space and obtain transportation information from the Albuquerque airport.

We are dedicated to facilitating your healing, the healing of our community, and creating a new path toward the future. Your active participation is a vital component of creating a future that will meet your needs and the needs of our community. We invite and encourage you to join us.

The Bodhi Manda Board, in concert with the Abbess, extend heartfelt gratitude for friendships near and far, for the guidance, forgiveness and encouragement of the extended Zen community, and for the dedication and commitment offered by the Sangha from the past and present as the Bodhi moves forward into a new beginning.

Please stay in touch, participate in our retreats, and follow our growth and activities on our website http://www.bmzc.org. Please direct inquiries to the Bodhi office at 575-829-3854 or to office@bmzc.org.

In Gassho, The Board of Trustees and Abbess

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