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Listening to Incense

Listening to Incense

by Ian Falcon, MRO
Incense has always intrigued me, but for a long time it just smelled a lot like smoke. As I grew older, I started to wonder if maybe there was more. I began to see how incense could change the way a space felt, the way people felt, and it could chang…
Sangha Includes Everyone

Sangha Includes Everyone

by Richard Kokuan Lawton, MRO
The National Buddhist Prison SanghaEach morning at the monastery, the sangha, or community, gathers in the dining hall to chant the work verse before receiving their work assignments. Early in my training, I remember listening for my name to be ca…
Which Cushion Is Right For Me?

Which Cushion Is Right For Me?

by Shea Ikusei Settimi
Choosing your seat of enlightenmentWe get a lot of questions from people wondering which of the many types of meditation cushions is right for them. The Monastery Store is staffed by monastics and long-term residents living in full-time training at…
​Sacred Space: Taking Care of Your Altar

​Sacred Space: Taking Care of Your Altar

by Shea Ikusei Settimi
Keeping the Elements AliveAn altar is alive. It’s made up of the same elements that make up our own bodies—earth, water, fire and air. And these elements of an altar, like our bodies—like all things, for that matter—are impermanent. The flowers die,…