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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Upcoming one day retreats in Courtenay...and the Buddhist hologram

"Unenlightened people can only vaguely understand the true meaning of the phrase 'the mutual interaction of dharmas',' because they use their intellect, and therefore, they misinterpret the essence of Buddhist principles. For instance, I have said that one dharma contains all dharmas. However, if with your reasoning power, you think that within each dharma is the potential for every other dharma to arise, then you have misunderstood the teaching. In fact, one dharma already contains all dharmas, in this and every moment. The Ch'an sect has a saying, "If you can read this line and think, "Because I think of this, therefore I can think of that, and then that, and so on, until, potentially, I will understand the Ten Dharma Realms," then you have misunderstood the phrase. Actually, your single thought, right now, contains all Ten Dharma Realms. A single thought contains you, your self-nature, everyone in this room, everyone you know, all your dreams and memories, the environment, the universe."...Pg 35, The Infinite Mirror, Chan Master Sheng-Yen.





a day of silent meditation

For this retreat, if you are not a Chan (Chinese Zen) practitioner, you may bring your own silent meditation/ contemplation practice. If you do not presently have a practice, or are interested in Chan meditation practice, please contact Adrian a couple of days before the retreat.

You will need to bring your own cushion if you are a floor sitter. There are chairs. Please contact me RSVP as there is limited seating available in the Salish Bldg.
Contact Adrian Symonds: 250-650-9055 or adrian2@shaw.ca
July 6
August 10 and the first Sunday of each month including December Salish House, Lewis Park Recreation Centre, Courtenay
cost: by donation, limited space, please RSVP
http://www.cosmoschan.org/
------------

1. MAIN WEBSITE: Cosmos Chan Zen Community at http://www.cosmoschan.org/
2. Master Cheng Yen in Facebook;
3. Chan Community Canada at http://chancommunity.ca/
4. Listen/download audio talks from the Tallahassee   Chan group at http://www.tallahasseechan.com/talks.html
5. the Western Chan Fellowship at  http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/
7. Audio downloads at Dharma Drum http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/teachings.php?id=av_changwen
8. Questions?  Adrian at 250 650 9055; adrian2@shaw.ca and http://comoxvalleyzenchan.blogspot.ca/










Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thursday the 29th's location changed

Hello all,

The teacher's action with the government has led to the school  not offering it's facilities this thursday evening. Please meet at my house 1460 grieve ave. 7 to 9 p.m.

adrian

Friday, May 16, 2014

upcoming June 1st retreat and arduous practice for enlightenment


"When the Sixth Patriarch Hui-neng raised the Dharma standard at Ts'ao-hsi, the priest Nan-yueh came to study with him. Hui-neng asked, 'What is this that thus comes?' Nan-yueh stood in a daze, unable to respond. Hui-neng did not utter a single word to relieve his confusion, and it was not until Nan-hueh had practiced arduously for eight more years that the patriarch finally offered him a turning word. Ahh! This good teacher, a person who had accumulated great merit over eighty rebirths, now, when the time was ripe, used his marvelous means with incomparable skill to bring about Nan-yueh's liberation. Why didn't he employ them at the start, just lead Nan-yueh to the immense joy of liberation? The incandescent fire to forge fine Pinchou steel is not obtained by stoking the furnace with kindling. The oranges of Chiang-nan do not assume their delicious sweetness until they have endured bitter frosts. Any honest farmer would be ashamed to cook unripened grain for his meals, would he not?

Students who have not yet penetrated the source should not be troubled if their entrance into enlightenment is slow in coming; they should be troubled only if their practice fails to attain a state of genuine purity. Students who have already penetrated to attainment should not be troubled if people fail to revere them they should be concerned only about the difficulty of making their attainment complete."....from Beating the Cloth Drum, The Letters of Zen Master Hakuin, translated by Norman Waddell, pg. 26
photo by Suzy Chatwin

June 1st there will be a one day silent retreat at Salish House, Lewis Park, 8:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. by donation. For this retreat, if you are not a Chan practitioner, you may bring your own practice as long as it is silent. If you are interested in Chan meditation practice, please contact Adrian a couple of days before the retreat. There will be no teaching at the retreat, only walking and sitting meditation. You will need to bring your own cushion if you are a floor sitter. Please contact me RSVP as there is limited seating available.


1. MAIN WEBSITE: Cosmos Chan Zen Community at http://www.cosmoschan.org/
2. Master Cheng Yen in Facebook;
3. Chan Community Canada at http://chancommunity.ca/
4. Listen/download audio talks from the Tallahassee   Chan group at http://www.tallahasseechan.com/talks.html
5. the Western Chan Fellowship at  http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/
7. Audio downloads at Dharma Drum http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/teachings.php?id=av_changwen
8. Questions?  Adrian at 250 650 9055; adrian2@shaw.ca and http://comoxvalleyzenchan.blogspot.ca/

Friday, April 18, 2014

Getting zen comfortable is getting caught



Hmmmm.....the heat of a late April sun is permeating your body. You are lying back in your hammock. You've just had a marvellous lunch. What a great connection you made with this new friend. And what luck: who'd have known you had invited a master of the culinary arts into your home. As you release a sigh of pleasure, you turn your head and notice the last vestige of a morning dewdrop vibrate on a spider web, as its creator travels to and fro. Hey, could life be better? The orchestral birdsong about you agrees. A heaviness invades your eye lids. Why not you think... must be time for a little nap.....

In the practice of Silent Illumination, the quiescence of the self centeredness can be a very comfortable mind state in which to abide. Far away from the troubles of the day,  perhaps you've never before experienced such a profound depth to your samadhi. The self centeredness, which inherently discriminates and attaches to its discriminations, finally seems to be resting. You are happy and content in this profound meditation experience. Never been better!

Ahh careful here! A little attention here please. Some children are throwing sticks at a hornet's nest just on the other side of the hedge! It may not be the time to fully relax into the pleasure of these sunny doldrums. And maybe this profound meditation experience is not such a good place to reside in afterall.

The practice of Silent Illumination involves not just the silencing of the self centeredness. It also involves the illumination of the silencing. Not just profound samadhi. Instead, simultaneous samadhi and illumination.

In perfect balance. Samadhi and Illumination in perfect balance.

How do we maintain this precarious balance?  When the silence in Silent Illumination begins to fall towards a comfort state, towards a seemingly profound peaceful state, a state which seems so blissful we would like to stay there forever, we must tip the scales toward Illumination. How do we do this? We say to ourselves in our mind, "This is the mind's jugglery."

And we drop the state of mind that we were just experiencing.

Remember, Silent Illumination is the 'letting-go' practice. Whatever comes up, let it go. Drop it! We say to any state of mind we are abiding in, "This is the mind's jugglery." Whether the state of mind is  profoundly peaceful or if its chattering away in disharmony, we start over.....start over....start over...

Upon hearing these words of the Diamond Sutra, "Without abiding in anything, the mind arises." the 6th Patriarch awakened to an 8th level enlightenment.

In Silent Illumination, there is clear awareness that the phenomena of the presence of the body is just sitting....The practice of Silent Illumination is the clear awareness of the quiescence of the self centeredness; first through unification of the body and the mind, second through unification of the body and the environment, third with the cosmos....through to No Mind.

And even though thoughts may occur, without any attachment to even the slight uprising of thought.

Without abiding in anything, the mind arises.

Always the relaxation. Always the awareness.

  
1. MAIN WEBSITE: Cosmos Chan Zen Community at http://www.cosmoschan.org/
2. Master Cheng Yen in Facebook;
3. Chan Community Canada at http://chancommunity.ca/
5. Listen/download audio talks from the Tallahassee  Chan group at http://www.tallahasseechan.com/talks.html
6.the Western Chan Fellowship at  http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/
8. Audio downloads at Dharma Drum http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/teachings.php?id=av_changwen
9. Questions?  Adrian at 250 650 9055; adrian2@shaw.ca and http://comoxvalleyzenchan.blogspot.ca/



Monday, March 17, 2014

Classes are postponed until April 17.

1. MAIN WEBSITE: Cosmos Chan Zen Community at http://www.cosmoschan.org/
2. Master Cheng Yen in Facebook;
3. Chan Community Canada at http://chancommunity.ca/
4. Listen/download audio talks from the Tallahassee   Chan group at http://www.tallahasseechan.com/talks.html
5. the Western Chan Fellowship at  http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/
7. Audio downloads at Dharma Drum http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/teachings.php?id=av_changwen
8. Questions?  Adrian at 250 650 9055; adrian2@shaw.ca and http://comoxvalleyzenchan.blogspot.ca/

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Chan even puts down the present!

According to many Self Help spiritual guru's, to be 'present to each and every moment' has become a central tenet of how to live a fully embodied spiritual life. Upon trying to practice this call to presence, one finds it can be a very difficult task. Often, the result of our quest is a conceptual confusion. 

Here is a traditional method that has withstood the test of thousands of practitioners. The guiding text that follows is taken from a retreat Master Sheng Yen gave in Wales to members of the Western Chan Association.

"As time passes, you witness the passage of thoughts. As thought succeeds thought, you experience the passage of time. In your practice it is important to make every thought the present moment. If you make yourself one with the moment, you stop the thought. There is simply experience without time because, without thought, time becomes a continuous present. You have to discover for yourself what being one with the moment actually is. 

When you make every thought a present moment., there is no continuity of time, no carry over from moment to moment. Everything is continuously fresh, like the water of a spring endlessly bubbling up into the open air. In such practice, every moment is a rebirth. Here we have no thought succeeding thought,  rather there is endless re-creation without discrete moments. As one master has said, 'One thought for a thousand years.'....from pg. 39/40 Illuminating Silence by Master Sheng Yen.

1. MAIN WEBSITE: Cosmos Chan Zen Community at http://www.cosmoschan.org/
2. Master Cheng Yen in Facebook;
3. Chan Community Canada at http://chancommunity.ca/
4. Listen/download audio talks from the Tallahassee   Chan group at  http://www.tallahasseechan.com/talks.html
5. the Western Chan Fellowship at  http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/
7. Audio downloads at Dharma Drum http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/teachings.php?id=av_changwen
8. Questions?  Adrian at 250 650 9055; adrian2@shaw.ca and http://comoxvalleyzenchan.blogspot.ca/



Monday, January 13, 2014

Pure Awareness of Self Nature moment by moment without deluded thinking

Pure Awareness of Self Nature is a natural function of our inherent wisdom.

How do we work with Pure Awareness? We become aware of everything inside and everything outside. What is everything inside and outside?...That would be thoughts and emotions, body sensations and everything external to our body...the guy using the power saw next door, the children crying, the traffic noise, the sunlight reflecting off the store window, the smell of fresh baked cinnamon buns from the bakery.....

When do we use Pure Awareness of  Self Nature? In every moment! Waking up out of bed, body cleaning, talking, eating, writing, sex, looking at the computer, driving the car, picking up the groceries, watching tv, playing sports, applauding....in any participatory verb, use Pure Awareness of the Self Nature AND drop the deluded mind of self centeredness and discrimination that inevitably forms attachments to the objects the mind likes and the objects the mind doesn't like.

When we first begin to use Pure Awareness of Self Nature in every moment of daily life, we will notice that the world has grabbed our attention and we have forgotten to use Pure Awareness of Self Nature. Thousands of moments drop away as we keep forgetting . Then, at each moment of remembering, we wake up to the natural function of our inherent wisdom.  At each additional remembering, we strengthen the habit of remembering. Notice the difference between the two states of awareness...the one that is very dull (asleep) and the one is very bright (aware).

How can we strengthen the habit of remembering to practice using Pure Awareness of Self Nature in every moment of our daily life? There are tricks. Here's one. If you have an I Phone, set the alarm function to ring once an hour and at different times each hour for several hours in a row. Yes, the process is a little of a nuisance, but it's an easy way to start establishing a habit. When it rings, check yourself. Are you practicing Pure Awareness of Self Nature, at that moment, without any deluded thoughts?

This process (without the technological time trick) we call No Method. The 6th Patriarch Huineng  (638 to early 713) did not use seated meditation at all. He simply performed the function of his occupation...a wood cutter...using Pure Awareness of Self Nature continually moment by moment all day long. We will continue this No Method practice when we sit on the meditation pillow, to do either Silent Illumination or to raise the Questioning Sensation in the Huatou practice.




Main Web Site: Cosmos Chan (Zen) Community at http://www.cosmoschan.org/

Other Buddhist centres in the Comox Valley and at large:
http://www.dharmafellowship.org/hermitage/ 
http://www.sherabchammaling.com/biography.html
And California at http://dharmatalks.riversidechan.org/2013_07_01_archive.html
Vancouver http://www.chancommunity.ca/
http://www.dharmadrum.org/content/global_affiliates/global_affiliate.aspx


Please note the change of phone number, ...call Adrian at 250 650 9055,
email adrian2@shaw.ca