Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mahasangha~Family Dharma

UVic Interfaith Chapel Sundays 6:30-8:00pm

September 17, 2006
October 15, 2006
November 12, 2006
December 10, 2006

Join us this fall for a Family Dharma program at UVic's Interfaith Chapel. Storyteller Margo McLoughlin will share stories from the life of the Buddha and lead activities for children and families.

This is an opportunity for parents to introduce their children to Buddhist practice and history through storytelling, art, mindfulness games and music. Margo has been practicing in the Theravada tradition since 1986. She served on staff at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and is a graduate of the Harvard Divinity School. She will be teaching Mindfulness Yoga for Children at the Oak Bay Rec. Centre starting in September, as well as several programs for Royal Roads' University Continuing Studies.

The Family Dharma program is for families and children from age 5 and up.

For More information please contact Ven. Eshu at or 642-7936

Friday, August 18, 2006

Mahasangha~Multifaith Peace Vigil

Wednesday September 6th, 2006 7:00-8:00pm
At the Cenotaph on the corner of Belleville and Government Streets

Please join the Victoria Multifaith Society, members of the Buddhist, Baha’i, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, and Unitarian communities, and many others that are interested in Peace for a brief Vigil.

Everyone is welcome, so please bring your friends. If you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact me at

Ron Stirling, the organizer of the Vigil has the following suggestions for a successful vigil:

  1. Use lots of banners & signs. We have quite a few but if you folk can bring some that would be great.
  2. Maintain the position of them so they can be easily read from the streets.
  3. Make sure to leave a clear space on the sidewalk and in front of the signs so that the public feels welcome to approach participants for conversation.
  4. Make eye contact with pedestrians and people in cars and be ready to acknowledge indications of support.

We have good relations with the Legislative Police so we do not hang anything from the Cenotaph or attach anything to it.

It is our practice at the end of the Vigil (7:55pm) to make a circle, hold hands and after allowing a few minutes for people to make brief announcements, sing a secular song – "Go Now In Peace."

Go now in peace, go now in peace,
May the spirit of love surround you,
Everywhere, everywhere, you may go.

I hope to see you all there!

Venerable Eshu Martin,
Resident Monk, Victoria Zen Centre
Buddhist Chaplain, Interfaith Services, University of Victoria

4970 Nagle Road RR#6
Sooke, BC V0S 1N0
(250) 642-7936

Victoria Zen Centre~Fundamentals of Zen Practice*

(Alternating Thursdays 7:30-9:30pm September 14th, 28th and October 12th, 26th)

If you are interested in deepening your commitment to Buddhist practice, but are unsure of what to do next, the “Fundamentals of Zen Practice” programme will provide you with the opportunity to explore the ceremony of Jukai, which is commonly considered formally “becoming Buddhist”. The Jukai Ceremony consists of four distinct aspects, each of which is introduced and discussed in an intimate environment of friendship and community. The four aspects are;

  1. Sange (repentance/purification).
  2. Taking the Threefold Refuge.
  3. Receiving the Five Sila (precepts).
  4. The Four Bodhisattva Vows.

At the Victoria Zen Centre, the Jukai Ceremony takes place upon the successful completion of the “Eldership Programme”. Taking part in the “Fundamentals of Zen Practice” is a wonderful way to discern whether pursuing the path to Eldership is of interest to you.

*Completion of the Introduction to Zen Meditation Course or an Orientation Consultation is required to enrol in the Fundamentals Programme.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Victoria Zen Centre~August One-Day Intensive

A reminder that Sunday August 20, we will hold our monthly one-day intensive. The schedule runs from 6am-5pm, and includes chanting, sitting, walking, meal practice, and a period of care taking. Eshu gives a Zen talk during the mid-morning sitting, and conducts one-on-one meetings with each student. The cost for the day is $40 and includes two meals. (All fees for one-day intensives are included in intermediate and advanced membership). Please contact the Centre no later than Friday August 18 if you would like to attend.

*Orientation by way of Consultation or Introductory Course is a prerequisite for Zen Training at the Sooke Zendo.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mahasangha~Wandering Hermit

Happy Contemplative Buddhist Hermit Affiliated with Birken Forest Monastery
Seeks Suitable Abode to Practice
Ideally in or near a forest/park, basic shelter with access to bathroom and kitchen. Will consider locations in concrete jungles of cities if clean, quiet, and safe. Can share space, expenses.

  • Will abide peacefully in Noble Silence and solitude, in meditation, practicing Loving Kindness, cultivating a good heart, studying, writing and contemplating Dhamma, and practicing yoga;
  • Can help you custom design a healthy lifestyle leading to well-being based on simplicity, spiritual practices, exercise, and diet;
  • Can house-sit, cook, clean, hike, bike, drive, shop, edit and write, listen compassionately, engage in wholesome conversation, be a Dhamma Buddy, a Kalayana Mitta “to go”; can tutor English, sciences….;
  • Will travel including overseas (I am a Canadian citizen);
    Fall and winter; flexible time period;
  • Enquiries and offers to Anagarika Amin/Jotiko at

About myself
In June 2002 I left Ottawa (my home for many years) and the worldly life to pursue a spiritual life as an 8 precept steward (anagarika/samana) at the Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery. From about August 2004, I entered a new phase in my spiritual life spending half of each year at Birken and the other half as a wandering spiritual hermit. This has been a richly challenging and rewarding experience.

My spiritual mentors include Bhante Gunaratana (Bhavana Centre, W. Virginia), Ajahn Viradhammo (Tisarana, Ontario), Ajahn Sona (Birken, BC).

This document composed in consultation with Ajahn Sona.


  1. Contemplative. Literally, a person who abandons the conventional obligations of social life in order to find a way of life more "in tune" (sama) with the ways of nature.
  2. A recluse.
  3. A religious seeker living a renunciant life. Originally from the Sanskrit term for “one who strives,” the word signifies someone who has made a profound commitment to spiritual practice. Ajahn Chah usually translates the term as “one who is peaceful.”

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Zen Meditation for Better Living

Please allow me to announce that I will be offering a 4 week (which is to say 4 Tuesday evenings) course on Zen meditation as it relates to good health. It is a .pdf file so I could not place it directly onto the mahasangha blog.

Anyhow the course is offered under the auspices of the Continuing Education section of University of Victoria. The sessions will be at Queenswood on October 3, 10, 17 and 24. I have uploaded the .pdf announcement that the Continuing Ed department prepared to publicize the thing so anyone who is interested can go to my website, and click on the link entitled Zen Meditation for Better Living to get all the information about cost, etc. The file also has an application form included.

The tuition for this course is very low because I am not accepting any remuneration from UVic at all. If any reader of the blog knows someone who might be interested, please pass the information on. If there's a good response it will encourage the university to do more to promote meditation as a tool for personal and professional development.
Thank you,
Middle Way Strategems (Wayne Codling)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thubten Choling~Ven Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche's Visit


We are very happy to announce that Venerable Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche, will be confering a 'LONG LIFE EMPOWERMENT' Sunday August 6,2006, at Thubten Choling in Duncan at 4:00 pm.

Ven Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche is a very important Lama. He is the second eldest living Master in the Tibetan tradition, and is revered throughout the world as an incredible scholar and practitioner of Buddhism. He has been recognized by HH the Dalai Lama as a wealth of knowledge. He is also an author of numerous invaluable texts, and continues to benefit beings through his profound Dharma activities.

It is a great blessing to have a Lama such as Ven. Khetsun Sangpo on our island and offering us this opportunity to receive this connection with him! For this blessing we have our resident teacher, Ngakpa Kalzang Dorje, to thank as Ven. Khetsun Sangpo is his main teacher. Kalzang lived with Rinpoche in Ven. Khetsun Sangpo's Monastery in Nepal for many years and it was with Rinpoche's blessing that Kalzang came to teach us in Duncan.

Our centre is small but we offer you an invitation to come to this wonderful event.

Our address is 5810 Wison Ave, Duncan, which is the first street to the left from the main entrance to the hospital. We are located at 5810 which is about a block down Wilson on the right hand side. So, follow the H signs from the Hwy 1 and you will find us. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior and be careful to park appropriately and not on the sidewalk.

Yours in the Dharma,
The Thubten Choling Community

Nichiren Buddha Centre~Buddha in the Park Retreat

Buddha In the Park - 3 Day Retreat
Fri. Sat. Sun. August 11, 12, 13, 2006

3 Balanced Days of Sharing, Realization, Mahayana Traditional Learning, Personal Empowerment, Spiritual Development and Meditations.

The Buddha's Teachings are always Free, donations gratefully accepted.

Tenting and RV Space Available, Kitchen Open.

For more info please visit
e-Mail or phone 250.715. 1976

Respectfully, Henry, Buddha Ajari - Guide Teacher

Shambhala Centre~Merit Day

Please join us this Saturday Aug 5 from 10:00 - 2:00 for a Merit Day.

We will be doing some small renovations, and painting, to prepare our new main entrance room and clean up the community room. Please bring yourself a lunch.

We will also have a few follow up evening work parties,to be announced soon, as we prepare our space for September.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Victoria Zen Centre~Introduction to Zen Meditation

August 14-October 2, 2006 (Mondays from 9:00-11:30am)

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, this is the course for you. For people that are seeking to reduce stress, clarify a busy mind, improve focus and awareness, boost immune function, improve sleeping patterns, or gain insight into the mental, physical, and emotional habits that are preventing you from living life fully, this course offers a gradual combination of study and practice, individual and group interaction, and personal guidance that will provide a strong foundation to experience the profound change that Zen meditation practice offers. The fee for this eight week course is $395* and includes:

Eight weekly Sessions for a total of twenty hours of class time.
A free meditation cushion for each participant to keep.
Weekly course materials and Practice Manual.
Small class size (max.8).
Teachings and group discussions on eight core aspects of Zen Practice.
One-to-one meetings with Eshu.
One free practice consultation with Eshu upon completion.

For program information: