I am KESHIN RENEE DEE, also known as Renee Anthony Dee. I have enjoyed a rich and varied career as a symphonic musician (bassoon and contrabassoon), a music educator, and an arts advocate in many roles ranging from board president to theater producer to union administrator. The common thread throughout my life has been an ever-deepening call to be of service. As my arts career began to wind down, my son Jōshin invited me to deepen my DIY mindfulness practice by attending a retreat given by Shinzen Young at the Monastic Academy in Vermont. Shinzen’s clear and comprehensive teaching on that retreat, within the container of the monastic community, inspired me to undertake the rigorous teacher training offered by Unified Mindfulness.
My practice has blossomed alongside that of my husband, due in large part, to our retreat training with Sōryū Forall at the Monastic Academy. Supporting the Monastic Academy’s work of training awakened leaders has become our path forward as one of the first families to establish MAPLE Village, a community of lay practitioners surrounding the monastery and bringing forth an alternative to mainstream culture as part of a safe and trustworthy community. Ushering in this next chapter, we both received lay ordination, leaning into a life of service, and accepting a life of practice. This new life is informed and supported by the gift of a Dharma name, which I receive as an ever-present reminder of my aspiration.
My name is Keshin 華真.
The meaning of Keshin is Flowering Authenticity. Ke 華 is a symbol for a flower – rising up out of the earth to the sky, offering a beauty and fragrance that gives people comfort and happiness. Shin 真 means something like truth, authenticity – the connotation here is expressed in a phrase from the Zen tradition that means “authentic person with no fixed position.” This, then, is an authentic flower, a real flower, one that can be trusted, an expression of the flowering of the Dharma, of this practice.
It’s a lot to live into, making explicit that which has been implicit for me in these challenging times. I’m so grateful to receive this tangible affirmation of that which is my best service to the world – to rise up through all circumstances and conditions, to bring forth comfort, happiness, and joy. May it benefit all beings.