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Showing posts from December, 2012

Notes Regards the Order

With palms together,


Good Morning All,



In a meeting with a student this week, we discussed several issues related to the practice of Zazen in the Zendo, the role of teacher and student relations, and commitment to practice in the Sangha. If became evident that we should offer reminders from time to time about a few things.

Before I address these, please keep in mind, our Zendo is a training facility of the Order of Clear Mind Zen. We are established to practice Zazen in the Zendo, practice Engaged Zen in community, and train students to become Lay Priests or Dharma Teachers in our Order. Those who are Novitiate Priests and Full Priest are expected to manifest their priesthood in their communities through some sort of Engaged Practice or through the establishment of a Sitting Group in their area.

Regards the Zendo: First, it is important to arrive about 15 minutes prior to the clapping of the han. When we arrive just before the bells that begin, it is disruptive to the serenity of the…

When It's Dark

With palms together,


Good Morning All,



It is the day after Christmas and as I read through the religion section of the Huffington Post I was struck by the number of posts addressing gun violence and war.. It is clear to me that we live in a violent world and, it would seem that religion is going through some soul searching, as well it should. But it is also clear to me that we live in a loving world, a world that cares that there is violence, cares for those who suffer, and cares that the suffering has not stopped. Stories of heroic teachers, firefighters willing to risk their lives for others, and so on, support this. One post written by a rabbi was particularly interesting in that it took to task those who would claim God was punishing humanity for its fall into moral neutrality if not downright moral fall. He argued we should question God and ourselves regards the continued suffering of humanity. I agree, not so much on the challenging of God, but more on our need to challenge ou…

The Loving Way

With palms together,


Good Morning All,



The Buddha Way I know and live invites difference. It is a Way that is completely and totally inclusive as there are no beings outside of the One. So, while in the One there are many, none should escape our love and compassion. When we fall into delusion and see one among many without the context of interdependence hate may arise over the behavior of the one. The Buddha taught that the antidote for hate is love.



When people live outside of their humanity it is easy to lose sight of a social context. This loss is like an arrow that flies simultaneously in both directions. The outsider frames the insiders in ways that allow the outsider to do harm. The insiders do the same to the outsiders. In such situations it is a challenge to apply the Buddha’s medicine for fear of being wounded. As the arrow flies toward us, do we drop our shields? Perhaps.



I know when someone deeply hurts me or the one’s I love I am not so quick to love them. In fact, as a …

Dues and Donation Request

With palms together,




Please consider a donation to our Order this week. And if you have yet to pay your dues, please consider doing so. Our Order and temple is dependant on your generosity. You may make your donation by going to our website and clicking on the "Donation" button at http://clearmindzen.org Thank you very much.



Yours,

Appreciation

With palms together,


Good Morning Everyone,



Sitting out in the courtyard of our residence in 38 degrees was refreshing, if not brisk. I could see that the sky, though dark, was cloudy and our weather report for the day id cool and cloudy. We are blessed here in southern New Mexico with sunny days a majority of the time and so, when it is cloudy, we learn to appreciate those sunny days.



Appreciation and gratitude are important aspects we should develop in our practice. They are not the same. We develop gratitude for what we learn to appreciate. In our everyday practice, our focus should be on seeing that which is in front of us, not just simply looking at it. Appreciation is the act of opening ourselves to that which we see. To look at something simply means casting our eyes upon it.



To see we must look more deeply. What is it? Form is just the beginning. Texture, tone, hue, taste, touch, and feel are all part of seeing. Connection to other things is the next level, as well as interd…

Conditions

With palms together,


Good Morning All,



We will be having quite a wind storm here in Las Cruces today. The air was cold against my skin while I sat outside under the stars. Now, sitting at my desk, having finished another painting, my face seems warmed by the contrast of the heated air in our house. We are so fortunate to have such a luxury. There are those I think about who I see walking the streets without a home. I wonder how they survive or how it is they continue to live, knowing that many do not.

The other day the Southern New Mexico Harley Owners Group did a Marine Corps. Toys for Tots “run” to an elementary school. I had signed up to be one of Santa’s escorts. After arriving, a disheveled father with rotting teeth came up to us with his little girl. She was tightly holding her Christmas packages. Both were dressed in rags. They both thanked us for doing this and the father said that without this help his daughter would not have had Christmas. The image of these two hungry, poo…

Announcements

With palms together,




Good Morning All,







We begin Rohatsu sesshin this evening and will continue thru Sunday at noon. Rohatsu is a very special time of year for us as we celebrate and honor the Buddha’s enlightenment through our practice. On Saturday at 10:00 AM we will honor Polly Skikan Perez as she becomes a novitiate priest and Rev. Soku Shin as she undergoes Shukke Tokudo and becomes a full priest in our Order. On Sunday at 10:00 AM we will also honor Tucker for taking the Refuges, Mitsugo for taking Jukai, Ryugin for becoming a Novitiate Zen priest, and, of course, Revs Daishugyo and Shoji as they undergo Shukke Tokudo becoming full priests in our Order. Friends and family are welcome. Please consider joining us for these events as well as to take advantage of our many opportunities to practice.







May you each be well and free from suffering

Sesshin Update

With palms together


Good Morning Everyone,



Arriving this week will be John Shoji and Kathi Ryugin Sorenson from California and Ron Mitsugo Zacharski from Virginia. We hope Ron gets here in time for sesshin! Rev. Shoji should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday I understand, and will be staying at the Temple. Ryugin will arrive Thursday. We also have Jeff Zenshin McGuire arriving from Santa Fe. Jeff, John, and Kathi will be attending the entire sesshin with us, along with Tucker, Kathryn, and me. I am uncertain as to when Rev. Kankin and Polly Shikan will arrive from Texas, but I am under the impression they will be in attendance at least Saturday. There are still seats available so if you are interested in sitting with us, please email Rev. Soku Shin ASAP.



We begin on Thursday evening. Our opening Dharma talk will be presented by Rev. Tamra Kobusshin and will serve as the introduction to her lecture series on Master Dogen’s Fukanzazengi. The series will continue each Thursday for three week…