Many people feel a biological need to procreate. In fact, the desire to have children almost goes unquestioned. By nature we value life and would like to see our existence continued in future generations. Simultaneously, some of us seem to feel a deeply rooted desire to procreate the dharma; to make sure that the dharma stays alive and kicking beyond our life-span. Without babies being born, no dharma could survive into the future; and without the dharma, future generations wouldn’t so easily have a chance to awaken to their innate wisdom – which would be a shame.

So, to paraphrase JFK’s famous line, we may ask ourselves not only what the dharma can do for us, but also what we can do for the dharma. In fact, if we were ever looking for an honorable cause, here is one. The procreation of the dharma requires parental love, energy and patience, and also places where it can grow up; where all the basic elements of training – meditation, study, ritual and bodhisattva activity – can be addressed in a conducive setting, and then be carried into the world. In that sense, Zen River is dharma survival project, and anyone who wants to join is welcome.

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