Change Your Mind Day in Portland 2004
Saturday, June 5, 2004
12:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m.
Colonel Summers Park at SE 17th and Taylor
Colorful Tibetan Prayer flags greeted 75 participants as they arrived at Portland’s Change Your Mind Day. George Jeffus of the Nichiren Buddhist Temple signaled the start by ringing the Densho bell 108 times. At least 200 people attended throughout the day, with 150 noted at its peak around 2:30 pm. A Kid’s Space contributed to the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Rev. Owen Adhisila, usually found at the Buddha Powers Hermitage in Powers, Oregon, was happy to be in town. Ven. Adhi kept kids ages 3-73 enthralled with a practice of wet sanding raw and carved steatite (high quality soapstone). A dozen area Buddhist groups hosted tables, some sharing canopies that lined the sidewalk leading through the park. Jacqueline Mandell, present with a table and as a teacher, reports that she has two new people practicing with her thanks to Change Your Mind Day, and another who has joined her email list.
June 5 also happened to be the opening day of the Rose Festival, and in Portland, everybody knows it rains during the Rose Festival. The rain held off, sending only a few sprinkles here and there, but the wind gusted intermittently, blowing flyers off of tables and threatening to topple canopies. I imagined the hungry ghosts visited, attracted by the dharma but causing a little mischief as they hung about pretending not to listen. The day was nearly over when the wind actually did flip a canopy over (one of mine). As host, I introduced the teachers, but I also hovered over the Portland BPF and Northwest Dharma Association tables. Somewhere in there I managed to hear some of what the teachers had to say.
The first teaching of the day came in the form of Dharma School songs as sung at Dharma Rain Zen Center. The audience enjoyed "The Mandala Song," with lyrics about the meditations associated with the colors of the Five Buddha Families, and enthusiastically offered suggestions for those things that did not bother the Buddha in "Under That Bodhi Tree."
During his talk, teacher Robert Beatty of the Portland Insight Meditation Community could not help but share the news of his daughter Tara’s coronation as Queen of the Portland Rose Festival. He had us hold the person's hand next to us, and really be aware of the hands touching, be aware of that contact, and appreciate the connection to another. He told us to let go, and be aware of the ending of the contact, because this too happens, we make connections, and connections go away. Larry Christensen of the Zen Center of Portland cautioned us not to change our minds, but to be ok with our minds, our thoughts, just as they are, to let them be what they will be.
Rev. Ryuoh Faulconer led a walk with the chant practice “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo” to the Nichiren Buddhist Temple, where he shared some history of the temple and explained the figures on the altar. We arrived back at the park with some minutes to spare, then Jacqueline Mandell shared her long history with Buddhism. She led the audience with Tibetan mantras, kindly reciting them slowly for the beginners.
Peggy Lindquist, organizer of the monthly Peace Walks in Waterfront Park, gave instruction in Thich Nhat Hahn’s walking meditation, and led us to the Miao Fa Chan Temple. We were joined by nuns of the temple, who added their Chan mantra to the tranquil walk. Members at the temple fielded questions about the temple’s statues and imagery.
Arriving back at the park for the final teaching, Julia King Tamang gave instruction in several meditations appropriate for children. She is the Children's Program teacher and president of the board of directors of Kagyu Changchub Chuling. Signaling the day’s end, I personally rang the Densho bell, while volunteers dismantled booths, rounded up chairs, and packed equipment. It was a sweet moment encompassing the change of Change Your Mind Day.
12:30 pm: Dharma School Song Sing-along,
Dharma Rain Zen Center. Features songs written by David Kakumyo Lowe and
David Genkaku Tweet. Genkaku Tweet and JD Devros on guitar.
1:15 pm: Robert Beatty, Portland Insight Meditation Community
1:45 pm: Larry Christensen, Zen Center of Portland.
2:15 pm: Reverend Ryuoh Faulconer, Nichiren Buddhist Temple. Includes walk with
chant to the Nichiren Buddhist Temple, and a tour.
3:15 pm: Jaqueline Mandell, Longchen Nyingthig Samden HLA Kang.
3:45 pm: Peggy Lindquist, Portland Community of Mindful Living. Includes walking meditation to the Chan Temple.
4:15 pm: Tour of the Miao Fa Chan Temple
4:45 pm: Julia King Tamang, Kagyu Changchub Chuling
5:15 pm: 108 bells, dedication and closing
Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Nichiren Temple of Portland
Portland Insight Meditation Community
NW Dharma Association
Zen Center of Portland
Pure Heart Sangha and Longchen Nyingthig Samden Hla Kang Inc.
The Portland Miao Fa Chan Temple
Dharma Rain Zen Center
Dzogchen Center/Portland (teacher: Lama Surya Das)
Koyasan Shingon-Radiant Light Community
Kagyu Changchub Chuling
Portland Sakya Center for Tibetan Buddhism
Listening Heart Sangha
Buddha Powers Temple, Owen Adhisila
Portland Shambhala Meditation Center
Portland Community of Mindful Living
Tibetan Prayer Flags: Prayers of Peace Around the World
Benefit Performance for CYM Day
RATTLE! Dreams and Scenes, Rants and Prayers
Thursday, June 3, 2004 8 pm at the Disjecta Theater, 116 NE Russell St
A solo piece conceived and performed by Rhea Shapiro
RATTLE combines the experience of one woman’s transformative life journey with a ride through the mystical land of myth and magic. It explores themes of activism and spirituality.
"Into the great night your heart will go out,
Towards you the darkness comes rattling, rattling."
This physical theater piece weaves together original writing, the poetry of Neruda, Ramprasad and Machado, Shakespeare and Greek tragedy with movement and song. The music includes Buddhist, Jewish and Native American chants, recorded music of Meredith Monk, shakuhachi flute and Tibetan bells.
8 1/2 X 11 Color Poster