Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

Want to print this newsletter? Download as a PDF.




By Devin Ashwood

This issue has inspired a number of us to express our thoughts on devotion. Not a commonly heard word in the Zen tradition, but as you will read, something that has touched the heart of a number of our sangha. In the spirit of this devotion, a group of committed individuals have been working away trying to formulate a constitution for us to rally around and articles of association with which to incorporate as a formal entity. I know we promised this would be ready for you to see by this issue, however, agreeing details such as how we word the precepts we are committed to is a deep practice and we have held back from rushing such. Please accept our apologies, while we have an update here, we will be ready to  share more with you in the summer issue. 
If you have any events to share with us, Wendy Klien has kindly agreed to be our events co-ordinator so you may contact her directly if there is something you'd like to propose or explore with her.


Dharma Talk

Facing the Wall for 9 years

By Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi

Someone came to talk to me recently. I heard before he came to talk to me that he was about to leave this country and go over the ocean to another country. I think I a... Read more

Sangha Update

Dancing Mountains Latest News

By Ji Den Dai U Frances Collins


 Development of Dancing Mountains as a charitable organization has progressed. The choice of or... Read more



By Gill Jackman

As I sat in bed this morning, drinking my tea, I remembered Reb's reflection that sitting or meditating is really a simulation of meditation.  We pretend to medit... Read more


What is the meaning of Devotion?

By Francis Checkley Anryu Chiu

How amazing the richness of our language! Just a brief glance at my thesaurus offers these other words of vary similar meaning.
Loyalty, faithfulness, commitment,... Read more


Zen Devotion?

By Angyu Devin Ashwood

Like many westerners, one of the attractions of Zen to me was its no-nonsense meditation focus.  I had flirted with a number of other religious traditions for som... Read more

Retreat Report

Reflections on Zen at West Lexham

By Wendy Klein (Gyoka zenhyo)

Eleven of us including teacher, Ingen Breen, gathered for 3 nights at the West Lexham Education Centre in rural Norfolk.  The group comprised 4 beginners to Zen p... Read more


A retreat with Shundo David Haye

By Francis Checkley

Shundo David Haye has kindly accepted to lead a retreat in Totnes.

Shundo is an ordained priest at San Francisco Zen Center, currently serving as ino, head of ... Read more

Sangha Update

Springtime Unfolding in Hebden Bridge

By Rebecca Habergham

Hello everyone, wow how quickly these newletters seem to spin round. So springtime does seem to be unfolding in magical and sometimes astoundingly unexpected ways.

... Read more

Sangha Update


By Francis Checkley Anryu Chiu

As days lengthen and the long months of winter darkness fade into memory, I am moved when thinking of the constancy and commitment of those who make the long and somet... Read more


Zen In a Napkin: How Oryoki Kicked My Ass

By Carmen Mills

Carmen has been a resident of Upaya since August 2011.
The following article, about her experience during Upaya's Rohatsu sesshin, was originally posted on Carmen... Read more

Book Review

To A Mountain In Tibet

By Michael Kogan Muju

Published by Chatto & Windus
ISBN 978-0-701-18379-0
Colin Thubron, one of a dwindling band of great travel writers, has written a number of discerning an... Read more


The Man from Komazawa

By Sam Hill

Everything is always here and everything
contains an imperturbable composure

like marble breasts containing marble milk,
or so the man from Komazawa ... Read more


The Peaches are Screaming

By Guido Montgomery

The peach trees are screaming, "See, here she comes!"

Backed up by a choir of voluptuous plums.

Flaunting their fullness, they lustily sing,

"G... Read more



By Sam Hill

Everybody else has gone home
They lock the doors.  All he lights go out.

It's very warm and dusty
This is it then.

... Read more


My Inspiration

By Sam Hill

You think it comes from you
but it doesn't

it comes from heaven
which explains everything.

... Read more


Jazz for Toddlers

By Sam Hill

My heart goes out to licorice with 2 c's
to Jazz For Toddlers, jumbo sausages
and poodles with unnaturally black nails

but most of all my heart goes ... Read more

Final Words

Tunnel vision: the surprise of devotion in Zen

By Daizui MacPhillamy

Devotional Zen? It would hardly seem so. Students of Zen Buddhism are generally found sitting motionless on little black cushions with their eyes l... Read more

Previous issues are available here.

In this issue...

Get involved
Facebook group
For general discussion and socialising about Dancing Mountains and related events on Facebook, please click the link above. Business matters and decisions are made separately via an email list - please contact us if you want to be part of this.

Local Contacts
Visit the Local Groups webpage for details of Dancing Mountains groups in your area, and the Diary for their regular meeting dates and times.


Next issue
The Summer edition will have a theme around "Lay Practice". We welcome your articles, poetry, pictures, letters, retreat reflections and book reviews! Publication date: 21st June, deadline for submission of material 1st June.
Submissions to the Newsletter/Website:
Devin Ashwood, 07875 155464
Address: 18 Westfield, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 0BT


Download a printable subscription form for one-off or regular donations to Dancing Mountains.


Residential Retreat,

at Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire

with Ingen Breen

19th February 2013 to 24th February 2013

5 day residential retreat for experienced people

Cost: £200

+44 7970 425 932