On June 10, 2019, we became stewards of fourteen acres of land in Millerton, NY, where we are together working to bring Sōshinji 宗心寺, Ancestral Heart Zen Monastery, into being.
The land is a watershed to the Webatuck Creek that rises up into the Taconic ridges of the Appalachian range. These are among the most ancient mountain expressions of Mother Earth, believed to be nearly 500 million years old. Our individual, human anxieties are tiny flurries amid these great settled beings and so we do as our many Zen ancestors did before us and go learn from them. In doing so, may we also remember and honor those indigenous ancestors who cared for this land for thousands of years before us.
There is currently one house on the land, where a small and growing group of residents is living by a monastic schedule and engaged in the relentless work of learning to care for the monastery, each other, and the land. In the long-term, we plan to build additional structures to accommodate monks’ quarters and a Zendo (meditation hall). In addition to our traditional monastic schedule and intensive practice periods, we will also include other collective spiritual and social explorations—including our ongoing work around undoing our internalized systems of domination, and unveiling our sacred inheritances.
We are exceedingly fortunate to be able to practice together with the land, our ancestors, and all living beings in the beautiful Hudson River valley where silence and activity exist in marvelous balance. We welcome, want, and affirm all who come here in search of freedom from habits that cause suffering and who will work toward cultivating compassion for all, across our many differences. If you are interested in applying for a weekend visit or for a short-term or long-term residence, please fill out the respective application and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kosen Gregory Snyder – Head Teacher
Laura O’Loughlin – Director, Head Teacher
Kikuko Morimoto – Head of the Kitchen (Tenzo)
Victory Matsui – Attendant to Kosen Gregory Snyder (Jisha)
Julia DeWitt – Work Leader (Shissui)