John-sensei and Dhara-sensei’s New Schedule

Now that John-sensei has made his way through the initial phase of recovery from his knee replacements, he and Dhara-sensei have begun sharing duties, rather than following the six-month on/six month-off schedule we adopted after Roshi’s move to Florida. This means that our two teachers will divvy up responsibilities for ceremonies, sesshins, teishos, and weekly dokusan on an ongoing basis. 

Looking ahead at all the activities of the next two months, here’s a quick outline of our plan for upcoming events and who leads what: 

  • Ceremony of Aid on Thursday evening, November 16 – Dhara-sensei 
  • Ceremony of Gratitude on Sunday, November 19 – John-sensei 
  • Teisho and Jukai (Taking the Precepts Ceremony) on Saturday, November 25 – Dhara-sensei 
  • Buddha’s Enlightenment Ceremony on Tuesday evening, December 7 – Dhara-sensei 
  • New Year’s Eve Ceremonies on Friday evening, December 31 – John-sensei 

As for the weekly dokusan schedule, John-sensei will offer dokusan on Monday evenings and Wednesday mornings at Arnold Park. Dhara-sensei will offer dokusan on Monday evenings at Chapin Mill and Thursday evenings at Arnold Park. The occasional Saturday dokusan will continue to be announced in Sangha emails.  

Board of Trustees Meeting, November 11-12

The Zen Center’s Board of Trustees provides oversight of the Center’s business and financial operations as well as a sounding board for the Center’s Spiritual Co-Directors. Through these activities the Board helps support the Center’s mission. Here are the roles and responsibilities of the Zen Center’s Board of Trustees along with our Mission Statement. 

Here is a list of the Center’s trustees, officers, teachers, and Heads of Zendo. You may contact them by email (  

Here is the agenda for the Fall 2023 meeting. 

Sitting & Chanting, Sunday, November 12

Because of the Trustees’ Meeting, there will be no teisho or other talk. On Sundays without a talk, we sit three 30-minute rounds with kinhin plus chanting. As usual, all will be audio livestreamed and broadcast on Zoom. 

Upcoming Activities

Uprooting Racism Winter Sangha Retreat   

You’re invited to participate in the first ever Uprooting Racism Winter Sangha Retreat to be held at Chapin Mill from Friday, December 1, to Sunday, December 3, 2023. This retreat is an opportunity to become more aware of, and responsive, to the impact of systemic racism in our lives. The weekend schedule includes small- and whole-group activities, artmaking, and nature-based explorations that examine the connections between anti-racist thought and Buddhist teaching. 

Space is limited to 15 participants. To sign up, please fill out this registration form, and forward it to by Monday, November 27. This email address can also be used for questions and requests for further information. 

A Message from Roshi Mitra Bishop

We have a sudden emergency need for a replacement vehicle. Mountain Gate’s only vehicle was totaled on Thursday, October 26. Having a 4-wheel or all-wheel drive SUV or truck that can manage rough roads, ice and snow, is essential here in these mountains. Given the increasing prices of fossil fuels and our concern for climate change, a Rav4 Hybrid would be an ideal replacement for our 20-year-old Toyota 4wd truck. Our need is immediate. Thank you for your consideration! 

[Roshi Mitra Bishop is a Dharma heir of Roshi Philip Kapleau. She is founder and teacher at Mountain Gate-Sanmonji Zen Community in Ojo Sarco, New Mexico.]