Friday, March 13, 2020

The First Bodhisattva Vow

With palms together,

On the First Bodhisattva Vow:

"Being are numberless, I vow to free them."

The Buddha Way is not only about personal awakening, but the practice of freeing all beings. One way of looking at this vow is to say that through our own awakening all beings are awakened. This comes from a deep understanding of the first truth in Zen Buddhism, The Absolute Truth where it is realized everything is one with no separations.

Another view, so to speak, is from the second truth, the Relative Truth, that we are all individual beings, unique to ourselves. We practice to realize, internalize, and hold both of these truths to be true at the same time. So, when I say the way is not only about personal awakening, but the practice of deep compassion for all beings so that all beings become free from suffering, I mean they are one in the same.

Here we are, now experiencing the truth that we are all interdependent and deeply interconnected. The darkness that is this pandemic is teaching us something about the Absolute Truth, our oneness.. My hope is that through this teaching we also become aware that the light is also inherent in the Absolute Truth. Through our compassion for each other we model the Buddha Way for to be compassionate we must practice to allow mind and body to fall away. In this process we ourselves in everyone and everyone in ourselves.

While unique we are as beings, we are also "everyman,"

Let us each and every one live in this way.

Daiho Hilbert

Thursday, November 21, 2019


With palms together,
Good Day All,
As we suffer through our nation's nightmare of division, conflict, and dashed dreams. I believe it is critical to release the reins of True Belief. Those of us who feel strongly about the state of our nation, if not the world, live on both sides of this great divide. As we reinforce our positions with facts and figures, we do so without due regard for our nation as a whole.
Which one of us actually thinks about the greater good?  Which one of us could articulate what the good may be?  And do so without denigrating the "other side"?
One of the ten grave precepts is not to elivate ourselves at the expense of others. In this climate it seems to me that violating this precpt is both common and accepted, much like the changing motres of our society.  I confess I am as guilty as the next guy in posting items that denigrate Mr Trump and his followers.  I do so out of a need to help people understand what I believe to be "the error of their ways." How presumptive asnd arrogent, I am.  As are most of us today in these United States.
We say, in the Buddha Way, there are three poisons: greed, hatred, and delusion, and that these can be met with generosity, love, and wisdom. Today we have allowed ourselves to become prey to these three toxic characteristics.  How unfortunate.
Giving when we have so little ourselves, loving those who hate us, and developing wisdom to replace the dualities of delusion, is seriously difficult.  Yet practice we must if we are to ever hope to return our nation to sanity. A major aspect of this practice is to learn to see a much bigger picture which includes those we may disagree with
Our nation is in our hands; let us use them to build rather than destroy.

Friday, November 15, 2019


Announcement: I will offer two introductory classes on Zen Buddhism, one in our Zendo in Las Cruces, the other online. I am calling the class “Zen 101.”  The class will consist of eight one hour sessions followed by a 25 minute period of Zazen. If you are interested in taking this class please contact me by email at

Monday, November 11, 2019


Let's talk about this:
"What does woke mean?"
"Woke means being conscious of racial discrimination in society and other forms of oppression and injustice. In mainstream use, woke can also more generally describe someone or something as being "with it.""
A term now popular amongst our social justice warriors, "woke" is a word that separates those awake to social justice and racism from those who, they may claim, are not.  My sense is this sort of thing does more harm than good as it is just another form of prejudicial discrimination. 
If someone does not shasre our view of what social justice is we can simply dismiss him or her as not "woke."  Yet, he or she may very well be aware of social justice and believe differently than we as to how to address it.  Or quite possibly we don't like his or her way. So, if we are not on the same page, define things in the same way, then, I suspect we are not "woke." 
Does this division help us in any way at all?

Wednesday, November 06, 2019


With palms together,

Let's see, this morning I must have some scans done.  This afternoon someone's coming to check our water softener and someone else will deliver a walker. Yes, I need a walker.  It seems my ability to walk is compromised a bit. Getting old ain't for sissies they say, but the hard part is acceptance in the face of facts. 
Acceptance that everything is change, that nothing, absolutely nothing remains the same is both a Buddhist principle, but also simply a fact of life. It is the essence of the Second of the Buddha's Four Noble Truths, that the cause of our suffering is "attachment," or as I like to think of it, "investment."  The more we asre inversted in keeping something, the more we suffer, why? Because everything changes. Yet, the Buddha offered hope. The Third Noble Truth is that there is a way to end suffering and that way is the Eightfold Noble Path.
I'm not going to name the eight folds, but will say their essence is "the Middle Way."  And what is that?  Easy, sort of. Not falling prey to extremes. Knowing something we value will change and accepting that truth is a mature and wise view: it allows us to love with an open hand. Hold on, but not too tight.
AA has a phrase, "Let go, let God."  I would say, let go and allow your true nature to guide you. What is that?  Practice to find out.
Be well,

Friday, November 01, 2019

Being Present

Enjoying my lunch reading about time. An old looking man came up to me, sat down, and said I looked like a peaceful person. Telling me he was from New York City and he was “seriously f*cked up.”

I listened to his lament...too much drinking, too many marriages, and on and on. He wanted to know how to be at peace. I said, that’s within him. He asked what to do . I said nothing, just stop beating himself with a stick. He said he couldn’t do that. So I said get rid of the stick and use a feather.

He smiled, got up and walked away.

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The First Bodhisattva Vow

With palms together, On the First Bodhisattva Vow: "Being are numberless, I vow to free them." The Budd...