by Michael Moran
On the East Side of CMC we recently held a ceremony where 9 men received rakusus, which, in the Zen tradition, are symbolic replicas of Buddha’s robes. The ceremony also represents the commitment to follow the Buddhist Precepts. The rakusus were sewn and donated by volunteers at the Los Angeles Zen Center. The ceremony was led by Sensei Koan Gary Janka of the Los Angeles Zen Center.
We have also finished studying the Heart Sutra using Thich Nhat Hanh’s book The Heart of Understanding. Fourteen men were part of that group, which has been meeting for the last three months.
On the West Side of CMC the volunteers from the Bodhi Path sangha have continued to meet with their prison sangha on Wednesdays and Sundays. While their group is somewhat more transient, they have been able to establish a strong, consistent and sincere presence in the prison.