Exercising Faith – The Bodhisattvas’ Path (Dharma Talk)

This was first published October 2017. Will Pegg died in September.

Today at Shasta Abbey, Northern California, we celebrated the Festival of Bhaisajya-guru Tathagata, the Healing Buddha. I was honoured to be asked to give the Dharma Talk after the ceremony. The title is:¬† Exercising Faith – The Bodhisattvas’ Path.

Towards the end I mention three people by name: Michael Stone (who died mid July), Will Pegg and Rev. Master Meiten all from (or near) Vancouver Island¬† British Columbia Canada. I dedicated the merit of the talk to them, and although I didn’t say it at the time, the merit extends to all those who have supported them, learnt from them and continue to be inspired by them. All three clearly exercise faith and walk the Bodhisattva Path. The world is full of people, Bodhisattvas’, who each in their own way inspire others to live a life of faith and generosity.

That is enough for tonight.

Ancient Monk Remembered – Rev. Master Meiten

This time last year I was in Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada having traveled up from Shasta Abbey in Northern California. I knew my dear Dharma Sister, Rev. Master Meiten, was close to dying and as it happened she passed on while I was on the train to Seattle. That was January 2nd, her Cremation ceremony was on January 8th, tomorrow is the anniversary.

Rev. Meiten and I were novices together in the early 1980’s at Shasta Abbey. Training together we got to know our fellow novices rather well, not that we chatted a lot about our lives before ordination. Mostly we trained along side each other; washing dishes, sweeping, walking the cloister, informal ‘teas’, learning how to use a computer and enter ‘data’. We knew each other on a deeper level than our personal individual ‘stories’.

I took over Rev. Meiten’s job as Journal Department Assistant and keeper of ‘Master Mailing’, the hand written record of the monasteries contacts. Addresses were kept on 3 x 5 inch cards and stored in shoe boxes on my desk. We used an Addressograph machine, goodness, that thing was heavy, each address was typed onto a custom stencil card, primitive by todays standards of course. We’d use the machine to stamp addresses onto Journals and publicity pamphlets for mailing.

Those were our early days. As I sit here and think of Meiten all sorts of memories sift up to the surface. Perhaps the one upper most is how she would buy me a chunk of Baclavar and leave it, anonymously, in my mail slot when she knew I was in need of a treat. I just knew it was from her. Later still I’d visit her when she lived in Victoria heading up Vancouver Island Zen Sangha.

Anyway this is a long way around to introducing you to her writings which are available now in various formats, including for reading on Kindle. Originally the sangha published three books, now out of print. My last memory is waking to the sound of rapid typing, tap, tap, tap, either answering emails or writing more articles. She was fast and prolific. There is probably enough material for several more books.

Many of the people who gathered around Meiten still meet each week in Victoria. My love and bows to them. Oh and I have something particular to be grateful for, Meiten encouraged me to express myself especially writing. Thank you dear Meiten, you will not be forgotten.