October 2017 Newsletter


Ongoing Events


Newcomer Orientation: 2nd Monday of the month
CC Shove Chapel, Dharma Hall upstairs at 5:45 pm for anyone who would like some orientation to meditation, to our tradition, or to our sangha and customs.


5:15 Dharma Study and Discussion before Monday night meditation.
These discussions  focus on supporting an ongoing practice in all of its aspects. Anyone is welcome to join in. This Autumn, we’ll continue taking up koans from The Hidden Lamp, ed. by Florence Caplow and Susan Moon. Each chapter is self-contained, so you can join in at any time.
Place:  Shove Chapel downstairs from the north entrance.

Buddhism and the 12 Steps 
For more information contact Jacque Minehart at jqminehart.com



October 7th Saturday (4th meditation 8:00 am) Zen Threads:  Given by Clay Taylor

October 9th Monday Meditation Community Night:  Following a meditation period and recitation of the precepts, Clay Taylor will teach our Tea Ceremony.

October 11th: Steering Committee Meeting at Liz Cramer’s house. Contact Linda at hikerhodges@gmail.com for further information.

October 14 Saturday Meditation cancelled due to CC Homecoming

October 21st:  WITR with Sarah Bender, Roshi.  WITR is an individual meeting with the teacher during the morning meditation time: a chance to sit face to face and take up what is most alive for you in your practice.
Contact:  sembender@gmail.com)

October 16th: Dharma Talk by Sarah Bender, Roshi

October 23rd:  Dharma Talk by Andrew Palmer, Sensei

October 30th (5th Monday):  There will be a Wayfaring Mind Talk by Camilla Fuller.

Fall Koan Series 

 with Sarah Bender, Roshi
at Creek Bend Zendo, 7528 Jenkin Place

September 24, October 1,8, 15, November 5  
3 – 5:00 pm

Koans are means for awakening developed over the millennia of Zen practice in China, Japan, Korea and now in the West. They are beautiful, sometimes clear and sometimes obscure, inviting and challenging, and ranging from a single image to a long story. And they are central to the practice of Zen in our tradition, in our time.   Come and join in the adventure of encountering koans in community! No previous experience is needed.

A commitment to the series is desired but not required.  We will create an email list for koans and for help.  This time, in an attempt to free Sarah from the work before her teaching,  a coordinator will organize a sign-up sheet of volunteers for each session.  This would include  making tea and setting up the hall.  An early arrival of 30-45 minutes ahead of time is sufficient.  And, for all attendees, please consider bringing a healthy snack to share.

Dana:  $10 per session is requested and can be placed in the dana bowl at Sarah’s house.  No one will be turned away for an inability to pay.

Coordinator:  Liz Cramer @ elizabeth.cramer51@gmail.com
For questions regarding koans please contact
Sarah Bender, Roshi at sembender@gmail.com


 Fall Retreat

October 23 – October 29 at The Abbey in Canon City
with Sarah Bender, Roshi
A Zen retreat is a chance to find space within your life of engagement  to turn away for a bit——to enter deep silence and stillness, to drop away from habitual business and join others in looking deep, deep into the nature of this—this very life, moment by moment by moment.  It’s not that easy to create the time and make the commitment, but once you do it you discover how much power there is in taking days to really stop, to allow yourself the freedom of deep inquiry. Your whole being will thank you, and so will this world that depends on our willingness to stop running for a bit.  The retreat includes periods of sitting and walking meditation, shared silent meals, daily meetings with the teacher, evening talks, and more.

deadline for registration is October 9th

the registration form can be downloaded with this link: http://www.smszen.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/regformOct17.pdf

contact: Steve Milligan at steve_milligan08@comcast.net 

If you are new to retreats, please contact
Sarah @sembender@gmail.com


Looking Ahead



Celebration of  Sarah Bender’s Roshi Transmission

November 4th
Time:  2-4:00 pm
Place:  Shove Chapel on the Colorado College Campus

save the date!

All-Sangha Meeting

Sunday November 12th

Time: 4 – 7 pm
location Creek Bend Zendo
All-Sangha Meeting and Potluck
Sunday Nov 12, 4 – 7 pm

This is an opportunity to meet with other sangha members and discuss your thoughts on what our sangha might be: what we can offer to each other, and how to engage with the wider community. Afterward, we’ll share a vegetarian potluck meal. Who knows? There may be music as well!


Indra’s Net


Here are a few words and a poem from Brandy Lancaster’s recent Zen Threads talk
“…..and here I am, sitting with you all this morning, feeling held as I find truth in this journey and within myself. I thank you for providing space for me, for your warmth and compassion and for sharing a little bit of yourselves with me each and every time we meet. I’ll share a much loved poem by Mary Oliver, it’s called…”

Poem Of The One World

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.

Wet Mountain Sangha


 Dharma Talks by Andrew Palmer:  the 3rd Wednesday of each month at Wet Mountain Sangha’s Center for Inner Peace in Pueblo, 740 W 15th St, 81003. The service will begin at 6:00 pm.  Starting at 5:00, Andrew will lead a Practice Check In. This is a chance to meet with Andrew and other members to discuss our actual practices and our lives. Feel free to bring any inquiries, or just yourself.


Opportunities for Engagement and Interest


(In the wider community,not sponsored by SMS)

Several sangha members have begun looking into ways we can support the Colorado Springs Sanctuary Coalition. If you would like to join us, please contact Sarah Bender sembender@gmail.com . 
You are welcome to submit requests for posting here to elizabeth.cramer51@gmail.com


About Dana


We depend on the generosity of our members to support the work of our sangha. Donations are gratefully received in the Dana bowl in the alcove of the meditation hall in Shove Chapel. Also, everyone is invited to contribute flowers for the altar and cookies for Community Nights.

We now accept PayPal donations. You can get to the SMS PayPal link on the SMS web site at:http://www.smszen.org/donate.html or by selecting the donate icon:

Support for Cloud Dragon

An easy way to support Cloud Dragon, the Joan Sutherland Dharma Works

Amazon shoppers, sign in at smile.amazon.com and choose Cloud Dragon Dharma Works as the charity you would like 0.5% of your purchases to go to. It costs you nothing extra. We’re grateful for your generosity.