“Engaku” is the Japanese Buddhist term for a deluded practice of “pursuing self-enlightenment while ignoring the cries of suffering in the world.” At Appalachian Zen House we do not practice engaku. Inspired by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and other founders of socially engaged Buddhism, a worldwide movement endorsed by the Dalai Lama, at Appalachian Zen House we enact the Bodhisattva Vow to free all beings from suffering by regularly getting off of our meditation cushions and working to realize enlightenment by serving those who are hurt and in need.
In the past several weeks, in keeping with our mission to heal the earth and to serve those who are underserved here in our home of rural
* Following our successful “Earth Education” summer camps at
Also, our “No Harm Farm” initiative at
And our Green Appalachia Eco-Tours project, promoting mindful awareness of the natural world in this time of environmental crisis, is now underway. Recently Jiko led a meditative day hike in Black Moshannon (please see related article for details).
* Through our membership in the State College Area Interfaith Mission, we Buddhists of the Appalachian Zen House also join with our Christian and Jewish colleagues in providing underserved people in Centre County with rental assistance, blankets, free recycled furniture, fuel assistance, and – if they’re homeless – temporary emergency shelter.
Through our membership in the Creation Care Coalition of Centre County – part of the national organization Interfaith Power and Light – we work with our Christian and Jewish neighbors in addressing global warming and climate change through programs with our local congregations. In early October, Steve Kanji Ruhl and Jiko were the only members of Buddhist clergy to participate in a two-day, statewide, predominantly Christian conference at
Incidentally, Kanji will offer a presentation on “Green Buddhism” as part of the Ahimsa Village Sustainability Talks series on December 11 – please watch for further details.
* The Floating Lotus Zendo of Appalachian Zen House continues to offer genuine, formally authorized Zen training in the renowned Japanese lineage of Maezumi-Yasatani-Harada, providing zazen and kinhin, dharma talks, private interviews, council circles, and pastoral care and counseling to a growing sangha.
* And finally, our “Speak Your Peace” program, coordinated by Sunny Rehler, commenced on Sunday, November 1, from 2:30-5:30 with an interactive workshop called “Getting Past ‘Us Versus Them’: How Conflict Resolution Techniques Have Worked in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” facilitated by Kristen Lokhan and Jessica Arends at the Friends Meeting House in State College, PA.
Please see our website at www.appalachianzenhouse.org for ongoing information about our programs at
We are a registered non-profit corporation in