North Star Dharma Refuge
Udana scripture

North Star Dharma Refuge is a temple in the Serene Reflection Meditation (Soto Zen) tradition of Buddhism, as Transmitted by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett (1924-1996). The priest of the temple, Rev. Bennet Laraway, trained for twelve years at North Cascades Buddhist Priory. He was ordained by the abbot, Rev. Master Koshin Schomberg, in 2003, received Dharma Transmission from him in 2007, and was named a Master in 2015. The temple is a member of the Serene Reflection Dharma Association.

Temples exist to provide a safe and quiet environment in the midst of the world dedicated to meditation and training in the Buddhist Precepts. The temple building itself is a venerable, 100-year-old house in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Click here for a weekly schedule.

There are no fees for participation in any Priory activities; donations, however, are gratefully accepted.


Meditation Instruction Class in Hutchinson

Rev. Bennet is offering an introductory class in Serene Reflection Meditation through Hutchinson's Community Education program. The class will be offered three times: Tuesday and Thursday, September 12 & 14; Wednesday and Thursday, October 11 & 12; and Monday and Tuesday, November 13 & 14. The various forms of traditional cross-legged seated meditation on a cushion (zafu) and mat (zabuton) will be covered, as well as the kneeling bench (seiza) and an ordinary chair. Participants will have the opportunity to find the physical position that is most helpful for meditation for themselves. Each class will consist of both sitting and walking meditation. Emphasis will also be given to establishing a regular home meditation practice.

Participants will find it helpful to preview at least the first two meditation instruction videos at jizospring.com, or on YouTube.

For more information, and to sign up, see the online catalog.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"

from "The Summer Day," by Mary Oliver

The Northstar

Navigators confidently orient themselves on the North Star because it is a fixed point in a night sky filled with billions of moving stars. So, too, in a world filled with a confusion of changing conditions do Buddhists orient themselves with confidence on Buddhist teaching and practice—the Dharma. It is the "still point of the turning world."

Shakyamuni teaching mudra
Shakyamuni Buddha, Offering the Teaching

Although the historical Buddha is not worshipped as a god, he is venerated as the Great Master who discovered the Path to the cessation of suffering and taught it to others.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

from "Kindness," by Naomi Shihab Nye