Raichozan (Thunderbird Mountain) Zendo

We are a lay sitting group in Glendale AZ. We meet on Tuesday evenings at the West Valley UU Church at 59th and Cholla. Offering instruction in zazen (Zen Buddhist meditation) and the opportunity to practice with the structure and support of a group inspired in the Rinzai Zen tradition.Beginners welcome.

We meet on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30
First time visitors should call 602.492.2212 or email mui@cox.net for orientation instructions.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Concerning my status as a Zen priest

A couple years ago I received what I, in good faith, took to be ordination as a Zen priest from Barry Graham of the Sitting Frog Zen Sangha. A few months after my “ordination” I became concerned about how Barry was conducting himself (as were others) so decided to sever my ties with him. In this same time frame because of this conduct his ordination was called into question and he repeatedly refused to provide incontrovertible proof of his status by showing his ordination credentials.

Since then I have continued to wear my robes (though no longer) and if people asked if I was ordained I would reply “Yes”, but always with a disclaimer revolving around the circumstances. However, now, I can no longer in good conscience claim to be ordained since Barry has failed consistently to provide proof that he is legitimately ordained himself. I am a layman.

This has placed me in an untenable situation, but it changes little what you can expect from me unless you want me to perform your wedding, this I cannot do. I still take refuge in the Three Treasures, I haven't renounced the Ten Precepts, I won't be cutting down on my cushion time and I'll still be doing retreats as often as I can. Oh yea, you can still come and sit with the Zen group I host on Tuesday evenings, we'd love to have you!