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Monday, October 25, 2010

...and a three hour retreat this coming sunday 1 to 4 p.m.














"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life."

Dogen(1200-1253)issued his clarion call to revitalize Japanese Buddhism upon his return to Japan from China. He showed no interest in compromising or simplifying the practice that had been handed down by monks of Zen monastic communities for centuries in China and finally transmitted to him by the Chinese Caodong master Rujing. Dogen's community grew to be the Soto School in Japan.

"Dogen's writings are always grounded in practical methodology: how to concentrate body and mind, how to understand and follow monastic rules, how to view various aspects of life and regulate daily conduct. He repeatedly emphasizes the interpenetration of practice and enlightenment. Practice here means ongoing daily activity centered in zazen. Enlightenment is actualization of buddha nature through practice."
...from Moon in a Dewdrop: writings of zen master Dogen, pg. 18.







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We will be meeting this Thursday and there will be a three hour retreat this coming Sunday 1 p.m. at Adrian's. RSVP please. 

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Also check out:
Master Cheng Yen in Facebook;
http://chancommunitycanada.wordpress.com/
and the Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adriansymonds@telus.net
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ruth Fuller Sasaki
















In the pendulum of awareness, every distraction becomes a recognition point to use as an opportunity to
return to our practice.

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Really famous Zen Masters, or "Watch it, whether you answer correctly or incorrectly to Zen master's question, you still get 30 whacks from the incense stick. Ouch!!!" 


Alan Watts, Gary Snyder, Janwillem van de Wetering, Nyogen Senzaki, Daisetz Suzuki...these names may be familiar to you if you scan the book shelves of libraries and retailers of both new and second hand book stores for Chan or Zen books. What do they all have in common save for all being literary pillars of the Zen community? 


They all ate at the dinner table of Ruth Fuller Sensaki (1892-1967), a wealthy Chicago socialite who met  Daisetz Suzuki in 1932 in Japan. His introduction of her to a real Japanese roshi resulted in a lifelong pursuit of Zen and eventually the development of (North) American Zen.


Though Ruth was not a recognized Zen master, she was the only Westerner-and the only woman-ever to be made a priest of a Daitaku-ji temple in its many centuries. Ruth Fuller Sensaki forever changed the face of Zen Buddhism. Here's her take on the True Self...


"Of course, as long as this human frame hangs together and we exist as one manifested form in the world of forms, we carry on what appears to be an individual existence as an individual ego. But no longer is that ego in control with its likes and dislikes, its characteristics and its foibles. The True Self, which from the beginning we have always been, has at last become the master. Freely the True Self uses this individual form and this individual ego as it will. With no resistance and no hindrance it uses them in all the activities of everyday life whatever they are and wherever they may be. This is true self-mastery; this is true freedom; and this only is truly living. Now have the long years of Zen study and practice come into full flower.".....from Zen: A Method of Religious Awakening in Isabel Stirling's biography of Ruth Fuller Sensaki in Zen Pioneer, pg. 178. 




Ruth Fuller Sensaki
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Also check  out:
Master Cheng Yen in Facebook; 
http://chancommunitycanada.wordpress.com/ 
and the Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

Call Adrian at 250 898 8201, 
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.
















Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunday retreat coming up...






WALK. SIT. PRACTICE. BE. 









Really famous Zen Masters, or "Watch it, whether you answer correctly or incorrectly to Zen master's question, you still get 30 whacks from the incense stick. Ouch!!!"

Dongshan Liangjie (807-869) is recognized to have founded the Caodong (Soto) school of Zen, which along with Huatuo  Chan(Rinzai),  is still practiced today. Here's one of his quotes on emptiness to a monk who was asking about Dongshan's illness:

"Students are as numerous as sands in the Ganges but none are awakened. 
They err by searching for the path in another person's mouth.
If you wish to forget form and not leave any traces, 
Wholeheartedly strive to walk in emptiness."

Dongshan then had his attendants help him shave his head, bathe, and get dressed. He then had the bell rung to summon the monks so that he could bid them farewell. He appeared to have passed away and the monks began wailing piteously without letup.

Suddenly Dongshan opened his eyes and said to them, "Homeless monks aren't attached to things. That is their authentic practice. Why lament an arduous life and pitiful death?

Dongshan then instructed the temple director to organize a 'delusion  banquet'. The monk's adoration for Donshan was unending.

He then said, "Don't make a big deal about it. When I pass away, don't go carrying on about it."Dongshan then returned to his room, and, sitting upright, passed away.....Pg 186-7 in Andy Fergueson's Zen's Chinese Heritage

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There will be a 2 hour sitting this Sunday at Adrian's 1 to 3 p.m. The format will be a little different than usual. RSVP Adrian please. 

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Also check out
Master Cheng Yen in Facebook; http://chancommunitycanada.wordpress.com/
and the Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

Call Adrian at 250 898 8201, email adriansymonds@telus.net

Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kill the Buddha


"The goal of practice is to have nothing in your mind. Only then will you accord with dharmas. Check to see if you still have attachments in your mind. If you cannot emptty your mind of attachments instantly, then you must use a method to lessen them." .....Master Sheng Yen in Song of Mind, pg. 22


Really famous Zen Masters, or "Watch it, whether you answer correctly or incorrectly to Zen master's question, you still get 30 whacks from the incense stick. Ouch!!!" 


More on Linji, the eleventh generation teacher (d. 866) who was a disciple of Huangbo Xiyun. He is a preeminent figure in the history of Zen. As the founder of the Linji school of Zen (in Japanese, Rinzai), his tradition remains, along with the Caodong (Soto) school, as one of the two lineages that survive to the present day. (William Tsao received accreditation to teach both methods from Master Sheng Yen in 2004.)


                                                        Japanese painting of Linji Yixuan


In this quote of Master Linji, is he truly recommending mass folly? What does this quote point towards? 

"Followers of the Way [of Ch├ín], if you want to get the kind of understanding that accords with the Dharma, never be misled by others. Whether you're facing inward or facing outward, whatever you meet up with, just kill it! If you meet a buddha, kill the buddha. If you meet a patriarch, kill the patriarch. If you meet an arhat, kill the arhat. If you meet your parents, kill your parents. If you meet your kinfolk, kill your kinfolk. Then for the first time you will gain emancipation, will not be entangled with things, will pass freely anywhere you wish to go."           ...picture and text from Wikipedia.


Also check out
Master Cheng Yen in Facebook; classes in Vancouver/White Rock with Master William Tsao at http://chancommunitycanada.wordpress.com/
and the Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/
Call Adrian at 250 898 8201 or email adriansymonds@telus.net for information on Chan classes in Courtenay.
Please notify me if you do not wish to receive Chan emails.