Zen 101

Friday, June 03, 2011


With palms together,

Good Morning Everyone,

The precepts are a mainstay of our conversation as Zen Buddhists. The manifest themselves as a deep and abiding aspect of our humanity, I believe. They are not written in stone as were the Ten Commandments, but rather are living aspects of our True Nature as human beings. They begin with generosity. The Buddha taught this by simply standing with a bowl in front of homes. The dana bowl has become a symbol of this paramita as its presence touches our heart and opens it.

Precept Paramita is our innate Buddha Heart/Mind arising and opening in the world. It is our moral center. As we wrap ourselves in the robe of liberation, whether figuratively or literally, we step forward with the Heart of deep compassion and care. Morality is the heart of ethics and ethics is right conduct among beings.

Precept Forbearance, often thought of as patience, is the quality of standing in the stream with a solid heart. We know things change, we bear witness to this change by being upright in its midst. We are in no hurry to make things happen, while we mindfully engage in change itself. We are standing buddhas.

Precept Perseverance is the manifestation of concentrated energy in the direction of practice realization in any arena of life. We practice to persevere in the face of hardship. We sometimes refer to this precept as diligence because it is with a diligent heart/mind that we set ourselves on the path and continue taking one step at a time even as the path becomes a challenge. Life is like that.

Precept Zazen is our practice of living life awake. It is the upright practice of being in the world with an attitude of open heart, open mind, wrapped in complete awareness. It is the aim and being of our life.

Precept Prajna is that which we see in the completeness of the universe. It is the embodiment of the cosmos. We practice this paramita by manifesting great faith in the cosmos as we unfold with it each day. It requires perspective. This is gained by reflection through time.

When we live allowing these perfections to manifest themselves in the universe, we are timeless buddhas. We are stillness in motion. Be well.


We will host Zen Discussion at 4:00 PM today followed by Zazen at 5:15 and Gathering Meal at 6:00 PM all at CMZT. Please join us.

Thanks to Sangha Members Tamra and Shelley, we have found a large, affordable, monastic residence in Old Mesilla. We will be moving in on the week after July 1st. The Order’s Temple will relocate there, as well, and we will attempt to find ways to be released from the lease on the current building. This move will allow us to consolidate our expenses and live more appropriately as monks. We will not need to use automobiles except to grocery shop and the like and will likely use our bicycles to get around town. The building is walled, with a gate. It has several large rooms, and will accommodate Zazenkai and Sesshin and the possibility of a small residential training program. We will provide more information as we are able.

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