Friday, April 18, 2014

In the Night

With palms together,
Good Morning All,

Thursday, April 17: It is 3:00 AM and I am awake because our lovable dogs decided to bark their heads off over some coyote in the distance.  The girls (our dogs) settled down and soon after fell asleep on pillows on our sofa.  While I, on the other hand, sat upright next to them. So it goes.

You know, I rarely have any real idea what I am going to say next when I write these blog notes.  What I do know is that I have a state of mind that, when I enter it, its as if I am in touch with all the buddhas and ancestors before me.  I feel my fingertips on the keyboard and realize Bodhidharma or Dogen or the Buddha. Sometimes its just a blank sheet of virtual paper staring back at me.  Other times its real paper and I use my fountain pen to jot down notes in my journal. In either case, Ancestors, words, and body are one.  At such times, something unfolds and presents itself. I am as often as surprised as, perhaps, you are. Painting and music seem to be like this as well.

What this says to me is that if we settle down and pull ourselves together while simultaneously focusing our attention on the moment and loosening our grip on the moment, our true nature has the opportunity to speak in various ways.  Just an observation.

Friday, April 18:  Yesterday I was part of an Honor Guard at the funeral of a deceased Vietnam Veteran.  It was a hot, sunny day and we stood for a long time in the sun.  I am finding this practice is similar to the practice of sitting with a decaying body, a practice the Buddha suggested we do in order to realize our karmic nature.  Sitting (or in this case, standing) with death brings us in touch with both the finite and the infinite. We reflect on the interconnected relationship of both. And so it goes.

PLEASE NOTE:  After consideration, I have decided we will not practice in the Zendo this Sunday as it is Easter.  



Be well.
Daiho 
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hangout

With palms together,
Good Morning All,

This morning brought a brilliant moon and chilly air.  I am sitting in my flannel robe looking out the French doors in our living room.  Outside, things are still.  The world hasn’t quite woken up yet….well, at least my world.  Kathryn sleeps, as do Binky and Suki, and I putter.  My mind is on the Google Hangout.  Only one of our several invitees showed up.  Interesting.  I know people have their own lives to live and things do, indeed, come up that interfere with our plans, yet, still, it is disheartening.  I think we will come on at an earlier hour, say 6:30 Mountain Time, on Monday evenings.

The trouble with ideas is that they come with expectations.  In Zen, we are taught that expectations come with attachments, and attachments lead to suffering.  Perhaps so.  But, this does not mean that we should not have expectations, rather, that our expectations should be held like loosely held reins.  We have them, but are not attached to them. We move in their direction, but assume an attitude of flexibility and float like a duck, if you will.  

So, we will try to do an Internet service this coming Monday at 6:30 PM Mountain Time. We will chant the Heart Sutra and the Four Great Vows, sit zazen for 20 minutes and then have a dharma talk with a Question and Answer period to conclude.  If you wish to participate send me an email with “Hangout” in the subject line and your Gmail address in the text box.

Lastly, Study Group this evening at my residence.  We will discuss Chapter Four of our text.  I hope to see you there!

Be well.

Daiho