Showing posts from August, 2013

Patience, yet again

With palms together,

Good Afternoon All,

This morning I am feeling the repercussions of thoughtlessness regarding my body and its age. Somehow, the other day, I tweaked a muscle in my lower back. I say “somehow” because I do not recall doing it, but by deduction know I did as this morning (though clearly healing) I am still quite sore. Yesterday it was a challenge to walk without my lower back seizing up and telling me to sit down! This morning, however, things are healing and my back is not seizing as it did yesterday.

So, the good news is I am healing, but the bad news is, I have a little ways to go so I will not be riding today nor doing much of anything at all. I really do not like not doing things around the residence as this puts a lot of strain on the love of my life, Kathryn. On the other hand, I know that stopping what I’m doing and giving myself time to recover will allow me to recover more quickly, thus relieving Kathryn.

We call this patience. Patience is one of the si…


With palms together,

Good Morning All,

This morning is exceptionally beautiful. The air has a coolness to it, the sky has few clouds, the moon is full, and I sit here looking forward to the sun’s rise over the Organ mountains. It is good to be alive and present in the moment. Yesterday I rode my motorcycle up to Socorro, about 150 miles each way, with my Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. We had 15 bikes and met-up with members from the northern part of the state. We had our monthly Chapter meeting there and I thoroughly enjoyed both the ride and the company. Today we will practice Zazen in the Zendo at 10:00 AM and will renew our vows as Zen Buddhist practitioners. Each of these are wonderful moments and each have their own Dharma reality.

We take refuge in the Three Treasure: buddha, dharma, and sangha. These are, unfortunately, often thought of in the most shallow terms. Buddha is not the person of Shakyamuni, but rather, from the root of the word, awake. We take refuge in be…

A few notes

With palms together,

Good Afternoon All,

Thank you for taking the time to read my notes from time to time. This afternoon a few housekeeping notes are in order. First, we will be practicing sesshin from the evening of Wednesday the 11th through Sunday morning at noon on the 15th of September. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are evening practice only from 7:00 PM through 9:00 PM. Saturday will be all day from 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM, and Sunday from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM. Please let me know if you intend to sit with us.

Second, our Study Group is moving along very well. I hope to see some of you who haven’t attended join us. We meet in the Zendo from 6:30 to 7:30 each Tuesday evening and are involved just now in Chapter Three addressing the Three Treasures of Okumura-roshi’s “Living by Vow.”

We continue to practice Zazen in the Veteran’s Park on Roadrunner at 9:00 AM Friday mornings and again on Thursday’s at 7:00 PM in our Zendo. Our Sunday morning service begins at 10:00 AM.

Practicing toge…

Bodhisattva Vows

With palms together,

Good Morning All,

At our Temple we are studying the Bodhisattva Vows. At last night’s meeting I asked our group what their Bodhisattva Vow might be. Our text, “Living by Vow” presented several examples of people who had personal vows in addition to the Four Great Vows. This would be a challenging question, I suspected, and it was. For in our answer we reveal much about ourselves. Our discussion was lively and, in the end, students left with a thing or two to practice with…as did I.

Bodhisattva Vows are a foundation of Zen practice. We recite these vows daily in order to put them in the center of our mind’s eye. They are a solemn promise/commitment to action:

Beings are numberless, I vow to free them.

Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them.

Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them.

The buddha way is unsurpassable, I vow to realize it.

Each vow is rather like a koan. How to free a being? If beings are numberless, how can I vow to free them all? The…