Ordination of Laura Bŏnyōn Neal in the Five Mountain Zen Sangha

Jiun and Bŏnyōn

I’ve been working with some of the students at the Five Mountain Buddhist Seminary for a couple of years now. One of our students, Laura Neal, has been running a small sangha, the True Nature Zen Center, in Bar Harbor, Maine. Laura runs a yoga studio there on the island (among her many other talents).

This last weekend, Rev. Jiun Foster, the abbot of the seminary and a teacher in the Five Mountain Zen Sangha, went out to Bar Harbor. The event was the ordination of Laura within Five Mountain. This ceremony was conducted amongst sangha members, family, and friends and Laura was ordained as Rev. Bŏnyōn by Rev. Jiun. I was invited out but, unfortunately, was not able to make it to Maine. Additionally, eight members of the True Nature Zen Center received the five householder precepts, making it a momentous event for everyone in the sangha.

Rev. Bŏnyōn

Fortunately, many photos were taken of the event and you can see them here if you are so inclined. It looks like it was a lot of fun as well as being a very serious business Zen event. I especially like the “True Nature” celebratory cake:


Congratulations to the new priest and householders of the True Nature Zen Center!