Letter from the Chief Disciple

Zabeth Tenfu Loisel Weiner

Dear Sangha,

Our annual Spring Ango will start in a few weeks and Shugen Roshi has asked me to serve as chief disciple. It has not been without hesitation that I finally accepted this challenging service position. I didn’t realize that the fear I have encountered was preventing me from appreciating that I was ready to serve in this way. And I also recognized that not accepting the position because of fear and inadequacy was not an option I wanted to take.

Today I feel honored—if a bit apprehensive—to be given the opportunity to offer my practice in a meaningful way. It will also allow me to express my profound gratitude for the teachings, for my teacher Shugen Roshi, for Hojin Sensei, for Hogen Sensei and for all of you, my fellow practitioners and noble friends.

When Fire Lotus moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and after my first few years of practice, it became clear that I wanted to devote my life to the study of the Way and to serve the sangha. Now is the time to take my practice a step further.

Spring being a season bursting with energy, an awakening of the earth and all its creatures, I am eager to serve during this magical time. I have taken to heart the practice of wonder in each moment, remembering again and again that this moment has never been before and will never come back as it is. Will I be open to it… excluding nothing? Will I live it well? Will I wake up to it, or sleep through? Will I seize the opportunity to be compassionate toward all sentient beings? Will I give life to the Buddha?

The theme of this Ango, “Birth and Death,” seems to fit this aspiration beautifully. “Life and death are of supreme importance…time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost!” The evening gatha always gets me: not missing the opportunity to feel alive, to be alive! As we are all committed to intensifying our practice and bringing a concentrated energy to ango, I will benefit from your practice, your support, and your generosity. I humbly thank you for this. My desire is to unreservedly offer everything I have to give.

Oh! Dear Sangha! Let’s all start this Spring Ango, this peaceful dwelling, with great commitment and energy, giving away all we have for the benefit of all!

Truly yours,


Zabeth Tenfu Loisel Weiner (she, her) moved from her native France to the US in the late seventies. She started practicing at Fire Lotus Temple and became a student of Myotai Sensei in May 2003. She received Jukai and the Dharma name Tenfu ( Heavenly Wind) from Daido Roshi in the Fall of 2006. She is currently a student of Shugen Roshi.

Tenfu is a member of the Temple Advisory Council (TAC) and has served as the Temple’s bookkeeper for many years.

Tenfu is a retired knitwear designer who worked for the fashion industry, publications and yarn companies. She is still teaching knitting to whoever wants to learn this art.

She lives with her husband Walter in Staten Island, NY, land of the Lenape.