2020-09-15

Raven 136: Where Is the Buddha?

Where are you? Do you know? To know where you are requires knowing where everything else is, their relationship to each other and to you. (An X labeled "you are here" on an otherwise blank white poster tells you nothing.) "South of the river, north of the lake" -- a beginning. Knowing where the Buddha is -- an end of the matter.

Case
Reverend Crane came to a meeting once again and asked, "Do Buddhists pray?"
Raven asked, "To whom?"
Crane said, "Well, to the Buddha Macaw, I suppose."
Raven asked, "Where is the Buddha Macaw?"
Crane said, "Where is she? Can you identify her place?"
Raven said, "For sure. Just like anyone."
Crane said, "Well, I'm like anyone, and I can identify my place. That really doesn't answer the question."
Raven said, "It's all it takes."
Verse

Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith GarmonA
PREVIOUS   ☙   INDEX

Sep 14-20

SUMMER, WEEK 13

Join the BoWZ-Westchester Sangha via Zoom on Saturday mornings:

9:45-10:00 -- Informal conversation
10:00 -- Opening Dedication, Readings, Zazen, Kinhin, Zazen
11:00 -- Sutra Service
11:15 -- Dharma Talk and Conversation
12:00 -- Closing Readings
(US Eastern Time Zone)

https://zoom.us/j/2898507899
Audio Only: telephone 646-876-9923 & Enter Meeting ID: 289 850 7899

Passcode: 468468

Sat Sep 19: Practice to be led by Meredith Garmon.

THIS WEEK'S READING for Sat Sep 19
  • Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice, "What Is Koan?" pp. 47-49.
  • See Reading Schedule.

HOME PRACTICE for Summer Week 13: Sep 14-20

This Week's RAVEN TALE: "Where Is the Buddha?"

THE AUDIBLE HEART PROJECT
Add your voice to the recording of the Heart Sutra that we chant along with some weeks!
The audio (MP3) file is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aVlqZ_pSjOf6gTeZTDnsceLeAU4eDlGb/view

Download this MP3 file onto your computer.
Then open it with an audio program such as "Audacity" (which is available free on on the internet) or "Garage Band".
Using this audio software, dub your own voice into the recording.
Save the result and email it back to me!
For more complete and detailed instructions email me at HotetsuG@gmail.com

ADDITIONAL PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mon-Fri mornings, 7 AM -8 AM -- join Meredith and the Worcester Boundless Way Zen teachers for morning practice.
Or zoom in for evening practice on Sun, Tue, and Thu evenings, 7 PM - 8 PM
Zoom link: CLICK HERE

White Plains Zen Center:
Tue evenings: 7:30 PM
https://zoom.us/j/122286388

Hudson River Zen Center:
http://hudsonriverzencenter.org/

Insight Meditation with Nina Nagy
Mon evenings: 6 PM
https://www.awakeabiding.com/

2020-09-04

Home Practice

Practicing every day, or nearly every day, is a crucial aspect of the Zen path. Other central aspects include sangha (meeting weekly or so to practice with a group), and sesshin (going on occasional week-end or week-long Zen retreats).

Home practice ideally includes Zazen, study of zen text (or listening to a recording or podcast of a dharma talk), and chanting/reciting some of Zen's central texts.

Recommended:
  • Sitting supplies: A zabuton (mat) and either a zafu (round cushion, usually of kapok or buckwheat hulls), or a seiza bench (kneeling bench); or a chair that is your meditation chair
  • A dedicated space: A corner of a room that is used only for Zen practice, where your sitting supplies and a small altar reside
  • An altar: a small table with a Buddha statue and maybe an incense holder, candle, or sacred items.
There are many ways to structure home practice. Here's one:
  • Light a candle, stick of incense, or both, on your altar.
  • Standing in front of altar, facing it, make three bows (protrations or standing bows) to Buddha.
  • Recite "Gatha of Atonement" (odd-numbered dates) or "The Three Refuges" (even-numbered dates);
  • Recite Dedication; Opening Verse (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Zazen (25 mins)
  • Recite the Sutra Service Readings for the week (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Dharma Study time: reading a dharma book or listening to a dharma talk recording (15-30 mins)
  • Recite Closing Verses (use Sutra Book and audio below)

Summer Week 13: Sep 14-20

Sutra Book for printing (double-columned pages):
CLICK HERE.
Sutras for reading on your computer screen (single-column pages):
CLICK HERE.
Page references below are to the two-column version.

Opening: Odd-Numbered Dates
7th Fourweek since Vernal Equinox: Mon Sep 7 - Sun Oct 4
  • Gatha of Atonement, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • Clear Mind, p. 5
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Opening: Even-Numbered Dates
7th Fourweek since Vernal Equinox: Mon Sep 7 - Sun Oct 4
  • The Three Refuges, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • Clear Mind, p. 5
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Zazen
  • 25 mins.
Sutra Service
Week 13: Sep 14-20, section 13B
  • Heart Sutra, p. 11
  • Facing Everything, p. 36
  • The Field of Boundless Emptiness, p. 37
  • Guidepost for Silent Illumination, p. 37
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Dharma Study
  • Book or podcast, 15-30 mins. (Check out "A Quarterly Study Plan" on the Reading/Videos page.)
Closing Verse
7th Fourweek since the Vernal Equinox: Mon Sep 7 - Mon Oct 4
  • There Is No End, p. 40
  • The Four Bodhisattva Vows, p. 42
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


2020-08-23

Aug 24-30

SUMMER, WEEK 10

Join the BoWZ-Westchester Sangha via Zoom every Saturday morning:

9:45-10:00 -- Informal conversation
10:00 -- Opening Dedication, Readings, Zazen, Kinhin, Zazen
11:00 -- Sutra Service
11:15 -- Dharma Talk and Conversation
12:00 -- Closing Readings
(US Eastern Time Zone)

https://zoom.us/j/2898507899
Audio Only: telephone 646-876-9923 & Enter Meeting ID: 289 850 7899

Passcode: 468468

Sat Aug 29: Practice to be led by Meredith Garmon.

THIS WEEK'S READING for Sat Aug 29
  • Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice, "Your Zazen is the Zazen of the Buddhas," pp. 33-35.
  • See Reading Schedule.

HOME PRACTICE for Week 10: Aug 24-30

This Week's RAVEN TALE: "True Teaching"

THE AUDIBLE HEART PROJECT
Add your voice to the recording of the Heart Sutra that we chant along with some weeks!
The audio (MP3) file is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aVlqZ_pSjOf6gTeZTDnsceLeAU4eDlGb/view

Download this MP3 file onto your computer.
Then open it with an audio program such as "Audacity" (which is available free on on the internet) or "Garage Band".
Using this audio software, dub your own voice into the recording.
Save the result and email it back to me!
For more complete and detailed instructions email me at HotetsuG@gmail.com

ADDITIONAL PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mon-Fri mornings, 7 AM -8 AM -- join Meredith and the Worcester Boundless Way Zen teachers for morning practice.
Or zoom in for evening practice on Sun, Tue, and Thu evenings, 7 PM - 8 PM
Zoom link: CLICK HERE

White Plains Zen Center:
Tue evenings: 7:30 PM
https://zoom.us/j/122286388

Hudson River Zen Center:
http://hudsonriverzencenter.org/

Insight Meditation with Nina Nagy
Mon evenings: 6 PM
https://www.awakeabiding.com/

2020-08-22

Aug 17-23

SUMMER, WEEK 9

Join the BoWZ-Westchester Sangha via Zoom every Saturday morning:

Informal conversation begins at 9:45.
Practice begins at 10:00.
We end at noon.
(US Eastern Time Zone)

https://zoom.us/j/2898507899
Audio Only: telephone 646-876-9923 & Enter Meeting ID: 289 850 7899

Passcode: 468468

Sat Aug 22: Practice to be led by Meredith Garmon.

THIS WEEK'S READING for Sat Aug 22
  • Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice, "The Answer is Simple," pp. 29-33.
  • Reading Schedule HERE.
QUESTION: "The most important point is to forget yourself," says Maezumi. What do you understand this to mean?

HOME PRACTICE for week Aug 17-23: CLICK HERE

THE AUDIBLE HEART PROJECT
Add your voice to the recording of the Heart Sutra that we chant along with some weeks!
The audio (MP3) file is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aVlqZ_pSjOf6gTeZTDnsceLeAU4eDlGb/view

Download this MP3 file onto your computer.
Then open it with an audio program such as "Audacity" (which is available free on on the internet) or "Garage Band".
Using this audio software, dub your own voice into the recording.
Save the result and email it back to me!
For more complete and detailed instructions email me at HotetsuG@gmail.com

ADDITIONAL PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mon-Fri mornings, 7 AM -8 AM -- join Meredith and the Worcester Boundless Way Zen teachers for morning practice.
Or zoom in for evening practice on Sun, Tue, and Thu evenings, 7 PM - 8 PM
Zoom link: CLICK HERE

White Plains Zen Center:
Tue evenings: 7:30 PM
https://zoom.us/j/122286388

Hudson River Zen Center:
http://hudsonriverzencenter.org/

Insight Meditation with Nina Nagy
Mon evenings: 6 PM
https://www.awakeabiding.com/

Raven 135: True Teaching

Life requires water -- both the kind of life we like and the kind we don't, such as disease-causing bacteria or viruses. Where water is present, there's no telling what will grow, heedless of notions of true and false.

Case
One evening owl asked, "How can you tell whether a teaching is true or false?"
Raven said, "Moss on the rocks dries out when the creek is low."
Owl said, "Good teaching is always wet?"
Raven said, "Sopping."
Verse
Marvin fell in a lake. A man saw him fall in and came to get him out. The man asked him, "How did you come to fall in?" "I did not come to fall in,” said Marvin. "I came to fish.” -Bennett Cerf's Book of Laughs, 1959
The staples of childhood silliness
Taught me early that the world would not always make sense,
That proferred answers might be as unhelpful as big red rock-eaters,
And that giggling was how to manage these affronts.

Only later did I notice how often
I came to fish -- showed up
Intent on some shiny thing --
And fell in to what soaked me through:
Not what I came for.

Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith GarmonA
PREVIOUS   ☙   INDEX

2020-08-09

Aug 10-16

SUMMER, WEEK 8

Join the BoWZ-Westchester Sangha via Zoom every Saturday morning:

Informal conversation begins at 9:45.
Practice begins at 10:00.
We end at noon.
(US Eastern Time Zone)

https://zoom.us/j/2898507899
Audio Only: telephone 646-876-9923 & Enter Meeting ID: 289 850 7899

Passcode: 468468

Sat Aug 15: Practice to be led by Meredith Garmon.

THIS WEEK'S READING for Sat Aug 15
  • Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice, "Close the Gap Betwen Yourself and Yourself," pp. 26-29.
  • Reading Schedule HERE.
QUESTION: "The most important point is to forget yourself," says Maezumi. What do you understand this to mean?

HOME PRACTICE: CLICK HERE

THE AUDIBLE HEART PROJECT
Add your voice to the recording of the Heart Sutra that we chant along with some weeks!
The audio (MP3) file is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aVlqZ_pSjOf6gTeZTDnsceLeAU4eDlGb/view

Download this MP3 file onto your computer.
Then open it with an audio program such as "Audacity" (which is available free on on the internet) or "Garage Band".
Using this audio software, dub your own voice into the recording.
Save the result and email it back to me!
For more complete and detailed instructions email me at HotetsuG@gmail.com

ADDITIONAL PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mon-Fri mornings, 7 AM -8 AM -- join Meredith and the Worcester Boundless Way Zen teachers for morning practice.
Or zoom in for evening practice on Sun, Tue, and Thu evenings, 7 PM - 8 PM
Zoom link: CLICK HERE

White Plains Zen Center:
Tue evenings: 7:30 PM
https://zoom.us/j/122286388

Hudson River Zen Center:
http://hudsonriverzencenter.org/

Insight Meditation with Nina Nagy
Mon evenings: 6 PM
https://www.awakeabiding.com/

2020-08-08

Raven 134: Purpose

The one who has vacated is always on vacation, whatever the work in which ze may be embroiled. Always on vacation and always present.

Case
Badger confronted Raven after an early morning of zazen and asked, "What is the purpose of your practice?"
Raven said, "Having fun.
Badger said, "Having fun? You work hard and teach from morning to night. You never take a vacation."
Raven said, "Vacate."
Verse
I learned early from Hop on Pop:
The opposite of "play" is "fight" --
Though Suess was not explicit about that,
And children's play and fighting
Are often indistinguishable --
Grown-ups' too.

Another theory has it:
The opposite of "play" is "work."
This is a fleeting doctrine,
Untenable to anyone observing or remembering
Sparrows or squirrels, trees or grass.
Even ants, so presumed to be at labor,
Are simply doing what, for an ant, is fun.

There do exist in the seasons of time
Coercion and duress, pain and threat of pain,
Fear, addiction, and shame.
These are the opposites that clarify.
When they recede, our fights and work and even these afflictions themselves
Romp in the playground of laughter.

Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
PREVIOUS   ☙   INDEX

2020-08-05

Aug 3-9

SUMMER, WEEK 7


Join the BoWZ-Westchester Sangha via Zoom every Saturday morning:

Informal conversation begins at 9:45.
Practice begins at 10:00.
We end at noon.
(US Eastern Time Zone)

https://zoom.us/j/2898507899
Audio Only: telephone 646-876-9923 & Enter Meeting ID: 289 850 7899

Passcode: 468468

Sat Aug 8: Practice to be led by Meredith Garmon.

THIS WEEK'S READING for Sat Aug 8 
  • Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice, "Do It Over and Over and Over" pp. 22-25.
  • Reading Schedule HERE.

HOME PRACTICE: CLICK HERE

THE AUDIBLE HEART PROJECT
Add your voice to the recording of the Heart Sutra that we chant along with some weeks!
The audio (MP3) file is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aVlqZ_pSjOf6gTeZTDnsceLeAU4eDlGb/view

Download this MP3 file onto your computer.
Then open it with an audio program such as "Audacity" (which is available free on on the internet) or "Garage Band".
Using this audio software, dub your own voice into the recording.
Save the result and email it back to me!
For more complete and detailed instructions email me at HotetsuG@gmail.com

ADDITIONAL PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mon-Fri mornings, 7 AM -8 AM -- join Meredith and the Worcester Boundless Way Zen teachers for morning practice.
Or zoom in for evening practice on Sun, Tue, and Thu evenings, 7 PM - 8 PM
Zoom link: CLICK HERE

White Plains Zen Center:
Tue evenings: 7:30 PM
https://zoom.us/j/122286388

Hudson River Zen Center:
http://hudsonriverzencenter.org/

Insight Meditation with Nina Nagy
Mon evenings: 6 PM
https://www.awakeabiding.com/

2020-07-30

Raven 133: Rebirth

Who or what is it that could be reincarnated? Your body? What else? Perhaps just some part of you? That's not you.

Case
Owl asked, "What do you think of the doctrine of reincarnation?"
Raven said, "Not my body."
Owl said, "Maybe my terminology is mistaken. What do you think of the doctrine of rebirth?"
Raven said, "Not my beak."
Verse
And

I am this body and this body,
And you are this body.
This body -- this skinbag with names and habits,
And
This body -- earth and stars; vast, void, unnameable:
How is this body also this body?
Strange.
And
Familiar.
(How much stranger if it weren't.)

It's like children, how they belong to all of us
And
By established convention, there's special responsibility for my own.
The general, easy to forget;
The special, impossible to.
It's like that.

As a toddler demands my attention,
And when she doesn't, compels it nonetheless,
This bag of water and of karma --
Of eros and of dust, Auden said --
Requires attention
And
Attending, I notice
The little one's riveting eyes declare:
This body is this body.

Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
PREVIOUS   ☙   INDEX

2020-07-27

Jul 27 - Aug 2

Summer, week 6

Join the BoWZ-Westchester Sangha via Zoom every Saturday morning:

Informal conversation begins at 9:45.
Practice begins at 10:00.
We end at noon.
(US Eastern Time Zone)

https://zoom.us/j/2898507899
Audio Only: telephone 646-876-9923 & Enter Meeting ID: 289 850 7899

Passcode: 468468

Sat Aug 1: Practice to be led by Seth Segall.

This Week's Reading for Sat Aug 1
  • Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice, "Why Zazen?" pp. 19-22.
  • Reading Schedule HERE.
Home Practice
  • Light a candle or stick of incense, or both
  • Three bows to Buddha
  • Gatha of Atonement (odd-numbered dates) or The Three Refuges (even-numbered dates);
  • Dedication (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Opening Verse (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Zazen (25 mins)
  • Sutra Service Readings (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Dharma Study (book or podcast, 15-30 mins)
  • Closing Verse (use Sutra Book and audio below)
Sutra Book for printing (two-columned pages): CLICK HERE. Sutra Book for reading on your computer screen (one-column pages): CLICK HERE. Page references are to the two-column version.

Opening: Odd-Numbered Dates, Jul 13 - Aug 9
  • Gatha of Atonement, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • The Five Remembrances, p. 4
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Opening: Even-Numbered Dates, Jul 13 - Aug 9
  • The Three Refuges, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • The Five Remembrances, p. 4
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Zazen
  • 25 mins.
Sutra Service, Jul 26-Aug 1: Week 6.B.
  • "Guidance in Zazen -- Those Who Greatly Realize Delusion are Buddhas," p. 19
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Dharma Study
  • Book or podcast, 15-30 mins.
Closing Verse for Mon Jul 13 - Sun Aug 9
  • The Way of Tenderness, p. 40; The Four Bodhisattva Vows, p. 42.
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.



THE AUDIBLE HEART PROJECT
Add your voice to the recording of the Heart Sutra that we chant along with some weeks!
The audio (MP3) file is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aVlqZ_pSjOf6gTeZTDnsceLeAU4eDlGb/view

Download this MP3 file onto your computer.
Then open it with an audio program such as "Audacity" (which is available free on on the internet) or "Garage Band".
Using this audio software, dub your own voice into the recording.
Save the result and email it back to me!
For more complete and detailed instructions email me at HotetsuG@gmail.com

ADDITIONAL PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mon-Fri mornings, 7 AM -8 AM -- join Meredith and the Worcester Boundless Way Zen teachers for morning practice.
Or zoom in for evening practice on Sun, Tue, and Thu evenings, 7 PM - 8 PM
Zoom link: CLICK HERE

White Plains Zen Center:
Tue evenings: 7:30 PM
https://zoom.us/j/122286388

Hudson River Zen Center:
http://hudsonriverzencenter.org/

Insight Meditation with Nina Nagy
Mon evenings: 6 PM
https://www.awakeabiding.com/

2020-07-21

Jul 20-26

Summer, week 5

Join the BoWZ-Westchester Sangha via Zoom every Saturday morning:

Informal conversation begins at 9:45.
Practice begins at 10:00.
We end at noon.
(US Eastern Time Zone)

https://zoom.us/j/2898507899
Audio Only: telephone 646-876-9923 & Enter Meeting ID: 289 850 7899

Passcode: 468468

This Week's Reading for Sat Jul 25
  • Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice, "The Dharma Seals," p. 17-18.
  • Reading Schedule HERE.
Questions
  • How do you listen to the dharma?
  • "Reflect upon the teachings that you have heard." What teachings have you reflected on lately?
  • "Work with the teachings." Do you do this? How?
  • "Verify the teachings through your practice." What teachings have you found verified in your practice?
This Week's Raven Tale
Home Practice
  • Light a candle or stick of incense, or both
  • Three bows to Buddha
  • Gatha of Atonement (odd-numbered dates) or The Three Refuges (even-numbered dates);
  • Dedication (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Opening Verse (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Zazen (25 mins)
  • Sutra Service Readings (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Dharma Study (book or podcast, 15-30 mins)
  • Closing Verse (use Sutra Book and audio below)
Sutra Book for printing (two-columned pages): CLICK HERE. Sutra Book for reading on your computer screen (one-column pages): CLICK HERE. Page references are to the two-column version.

Opening: Odd-Numbered Dates, Jul 13 - Aug 9
  • Gatha of Atonement, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • The Five Remembrances, p. 4
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Opening: Even-Numbered Dates, Jul 13 - Aug 9
  • The Three Refuges, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • The Five Remembrances, p. 4
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Zazen
  • 25 mins.
Sutra Service, Jul 20-26: Week 5
  • "Compassionate Heart of Wisdom," p. 16
  • "Harmony of Relative and Absolute," p. 17
  • "Hakuin's Song of Zazen," p. 17
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.

Dharma Study
  • Book or podcast, 15-30 mins.
Closing Verse for Mon Jun 15 - Sun Jul 12
  • The Way of Tenderness, p. 40; The Four Bodhisattva Vows, p. 42.
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.



THE AUDIBLE HEART PROJECT
Add your voice to the recording of the Heart Sutra that we chant along with some weeks!
The audio (MP3) file is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aVlqZ_pSjOf6gTeZTDnsceLeAU4eDlGb/view

Download this MP3 file onto your computer.
Then open it with an audio program such as "Audacity" (which is available free on on the internet) or "Garage Band".
Using this audio software, dub your own voice into the recording.
Save the result and email it back to me!
For more complete and detailed instructions email me at HotetsuG@gmail.com

ADDITIONAL PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mon-Fri mornings, 7 AM -8 AM -- join Meredith and the Worcester Boundless Way Zen teachers for morning practice.
Or zoom in for evening practice on Sun, Tue, and Thu evenings, 7 PM - 8 PM
Zoom link: CLICK HERE

White Plains Zen Center:
Tue evenings: 7:30 PM
https://zoom.us/j/122286388

Hudson River Zen Center:
http://hudsonriverzencenter.org/

Insight Meditation with Nina Nagy
Mon evenings: 6 PM
https://www.awakeabiding.com/

2020-07-19

Raven 132: How to Die

These Raven Tales are the creation of Zen Master Robert Aitken, who once observed that enlightenment is an accident -- we cannot make it happen -- but we can make ourselves accident-prone.

That's the sort of accident -- which may be fatal to the ego's self-conception -- of which Raven is in favor. Learning how to die is necessary for knowing how to live.

Case
One evening toward the end of a meeting, Mole said, "I've heard that Zen is for old folks to teach them how to die. What do you think of that notion?"
Raven said, "It helps young folks that way, too."
Mole asked, "They might have a fatal accident?"
Raven said, "I'm all for accidents."
Verse
"There are no accidents,"
Says a cartoon character in Kung Fu Panda.
Also, Depak Chopra, who adds,
"There is only some purpose
We haven't yet understood."

I, who have yet to understand
Any purpose,
Bump into things I didn't intend
Or expect or want
To bump into.
Particular instances, I mostly regret.
That the world is made for this to happen
Is delightful.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
PREVIOUS   ☙   INDEX

2020-07-14

Jul 13-19

Summer, week 4

Join the BoWZ-Westchester Sangha via Zoom every Saturday morning:
9:45a Eastern -- informal conversation
10:00a Eastern -- practice begins

https://zoom.us/j/2898507899
Audio Only: telephone 646-876-9923 & Enter Meeting ID: 289 850 7899

This Week's Reading for Sat Jul 18
  • Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice, "Three 'Pillows' of Zen," p. 13-16
  • Reading Schedule HERE.
Questions
How would you explain Maezumi's meaning in each of these:
  • "How can we perceive properly? By making ourselves empty; by not being attached to our concepts of the things we perceive."
  • "But how can we fully experience this unlimited, boundless life? Simply forget the self. Be this life!"
  • "Even though we are the Way, we don't know it."
This Week's Raven Tale
Home Practice
  • Light a candle or stick of incense, or both
  • Three bows to Buddha
  • Gatha of Atonement (odd-numbered dates) or The Three Refuges (even-numbered dates);
  • Dedication (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Opening Verse (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Zazen (25 mins)
  • Sutra Service Readings (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Dharma Study (book or podcast, 15-30 mins)
  • Closing Verse (use Sutra Book and audio below)
Sutra Book for printing (two-columned pages): CLICK HERE. Sutra Book for reading on your computer screen (one-column pages): CLICK HERE. Page references are to the two-column version.

Opening: Odd-Numbered Dates
  • Gatha of Atonement, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • The Five Remembrances, p. 4
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Opening: Even-Numbered Dates
  • The Three Refuges, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • The Five Remembrances, p. 4
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Zazen
  • 25 mins.
Sutra Service
  • Sutra for Jul 13-19: Week 4.B. ("Komyozo Zanmai," p. 15; "Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva," p. 15)
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.

Dharma Study
  • Book or podcast, 15-30 mins.
Closing Verse for Mon Jun 15 - Sun Jul 12
  • The Way of Tenderness, p. 40; The Four Bodhisattva Vows, p. 42.
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.



ADDITIONAL PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mon-Fri mornings, 7 AM -8 AM -- join Meredith and the Worcester Boundless Way Zen teachers for morning practice.
Or zoom in for evening practice on Sun, Tue, and Thu evenings, 7 PM - 8 PM
Zoom link: CLICK HERE

White Plains Zen Center:
Tue evenings: 7:30 PM
https://zoom.us/j/122286388

Hudson River Zen Center:
http://hudsonriverzencenter.org/

Insight Meditation with Nina Nagy
Mon evenings: 6 PM
https://www.awakeabiding.com/

Raven 131: The Void

The void is not the void? Try this. Think of something that you imagine to be not a void. A rock, say. A bell, a tree, a person. All of these things are also void -- void, that is, of permanent and independent existence. They are always changing -- becoming what they are not -- and always giving to and taking from the world around them.

Case
One evening Woodpecker asked, "What's the void?"
Raven said, "Not the void."
Woodpecker asked, "It's not really empty?"
Raven said, "The truth is, I really don't know."
Verse

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process ze does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." -Nietzsche
The abyss looking into you:
No cause for concern --
An abyss looking into an abyss.

The abyss looking out from you,
See to that and:
No more monsters to fight.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
PREVIOUS   ☙   NEXT   ☙   INDEX