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Archive for Sunday, July 4, 1999

ABBOTS TO BE INSTALLED TO GUIDE ZEN CENTER

July 4, 1999

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Two new abbots will take over leadership of the Kansas Zen Center on Sunday.

Dennis Duermeier and Susan Warden will be installed as abbots during a 9:30 a.m. ceremony at the center, 1423 N.Y. The ceremony is open to the public.

"The abbot is sort of the administrator," Duermeier said. "We'll be responsible for setting the tone of center. We'll be in charge of the long-term planning."

In the past, the abbot's duties have been done informally, Warden said. Now the center has grown to the point that the duties must be assigned to someone.

About 45 people are members of the center, and about 100 participate in the center's activites, which include daily meditation sittings, monthly retreats and classes throughout the year.

Zen Buddhism stresses meditation as the path to enlightment, which is a clear understanding of all things for what they are. According to Buddhist tradition, Gautama Siddhartha achieved enlightment in about 500 B.C. after a lengthy period of meditation. The term Buddha means enlightened one.

"Buddhism has a wide spectrum where you can find any sort of practice," Duermeier said. "The main practice believes if you learn what Buddha taught, if you master what he taught, you become what Buddha became."

Zen is in the meditative tradition.

"In the meditative tradition, we believe you do what Buddha did to become like Buddha," he said.

-- Erwin Seba's phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is eseba@ljworld.com.

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