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Archive for November 2010

November 28, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

Our Next Retreat, Just A Few Words

Rohatsu is coming. Celebration, quality time, quiet time. My wish is for you to enjoy your retreat. Not to rush it or wish you could be somewhere else. Just surrender to each action and moment as it is.

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November 24, 2010 @ 8:53 am

RETREAT!! RETREAT!! 2010

Our Annual 'AT HOME' Two Day 'ALL ONLINE' ROHATSU (Buddha's Enlightenment Day) RETREAT IS COMING UP ... to be LIVE NETCAST on the weekend of December 4 and 5, 2010.

This Retreat celebrates the 'official' closure of our ANGO (100 day Special Practice Season) at Treeleaf, is a part of current preparations for our JUKAI (Undertaking the Precepts) Ceremony in January, and marks ROHATSU ... the traditional holiday in Japan celebrating the time of the Buddha's Enlightenment.

I will also soon be posting LINKS TO A SERIES OF 'SIT-A-LONG' TALKS WHICH SHOULD BE LISTENED TO before the Retreat. They cover such hot topics as "How to Oryoki" "How to Bow" "How to Go To The Bathroom during a Retreat" (Really) and many others.

TODAY'S SIT-A-LONG LOOKS AT THIS QUESTION: If there is 'nothing to attain' in Zazen ... why sit an intensive retreat at all??

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November 20, 2010 @ 7:45 am

Buddhanomics: Let Go, Don’t Throw Away

We live in a DISPOSABLE SOCIETY, in which things are used then tossed in the trash. How wasteful we are!

Better to appreciate things as they are, allowing and honoring little imperfections. Don't be in such a rush to throw away. Appreciate things for so long as they are in our life then, when eventually truly necessary due to the changes of passing time ... just let them go.

Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

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November 14, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

Space

Space...Gap or stretch? something out there or just plain close? Something we are part of or something we travel and walk through? Dogen, a simple man in medieval Japan, loved space. He wrote a whole collection of talks about it. Dogen made it very clear: we are space and as such we may experience space. Sitting with its moving boundaries and constant shivering-shifting is space itself. Carving a Buddha out of wood or stone? A Buddha made of naked hands, a Buddha of flesh is what Dogen was all about. Eloquent space. Silent dharma talk. gassho to all Taigu

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November 12, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

LEVITATION!

Someone asked me today during our Zazenkai if FOLKS IN ZAZEN CAN LEVITATE.

Well, I am open minded about such things, but I have never seen so in person. The only photos I have seen look either like they have been photoshopped, or there is something wrong with the photo (such as the dark background and sleeves in these photos which surely hide a platform) ...

 

... or the person is "bouncing" more than flying ...

 

I have had sensations like levitating off the ground during long Zazen, great lightness and motion, but that turned out not to be so when I looked down. Oh, the mind can play tricks during Zazen.

HOWEVER ... I KNOW THAT LEVITATION EXISTS IN ZAZEN, FOR SURE! REAL LEVITATION IS ALWAYS IN ZAZEN ... FLYING EVERY WHERE AT ONCE!

Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

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November 8, 2010 @ 8:34 am

Buddhanomics: Live Small

It is hard for any of us to remember in this consumer driven world, but there is a wonderful freedom in living simple, living small.

The psychologist Abraham Maslow said that man really needs just a few things for peace and happiness ... a certain amount of food and a healthy environment, shelter and physical safety, the love and friendship of others. Beyond that, anything else might be seen as a luxury! What is more, we can be prisoners of "things" if we crave them to excess, hang our happiness on them, run after them, hoard them, cling to them. Thus, we should learn the freedom of a Zen monk, who finds the whole universe in a small, nearly empty room ... who has few possessions, and is not very much attached to even those.

It is hard to do these days for most of us in the west (me too), but there is great good in not running after or being tied to material things.

Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

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November 1, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

Each Time, New

When Dogen was in China he wrote this:

Break open a single particle and all the sutras grow clear: the great merit-wheel of the dharma turns as a whole. The womb of a donkey gives birth to the noble horse Each time you look, you'll see it new.

Mysteriously, the skin-bag is the Buddha field. Even a failure, imperfect, raw, half-baked, crooked, call-it-whatever, everytime it will shine, both different and the same. This endless practice shows that impermanence is the body of Buddhas. Nothing you can do about it. If you want Heaven, Amida-land outside here and now, as it is, outside of the womb of this donkey...How can it be?

gassho

Taigu

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