(Follow this link to see the November 2020 Priory Newsletter where this was published.)
As autumn evolves, the garden begins to be a bit tattered, but the water in the fountain keeps steadily flowing!
The other day I was noticing how there is this quality of ungrudging kindness in the mind of meditation: this is the quality of mind that allows whatever is there to arise and be seen and felt without resistance or complaint. This quality is rooted in a confidence in the practice of meditation, a confidence that whatever arises can be helped to peace through the compassion of the Fundamental Mind of Buddha. I can’t say that I always notice the presence of this quality, but when I do, it is welcome.
This ungrudging kindness of mind reminded me of the idea of Generosity of Spirit that Rev. Master Jiyu encouraged in us and talks about in the short piece below. An important aspect of this generosity of spirit Continue reading →
(Follow this link to see the October 2020 Priory Newsletter where this was originally published.)
Fudo, who’s full name – Fudo-Myo-O – means “The Immovable Bright King,” reminds us that we can sit still amidst the flames of greed, hatred and delusion!
My teacher used to say that Buddhism is for human beings; it is a religion, or spiritual practice, for regular people. Sometimes though, I have noticed myself hoping for a community of practitioners who are somehow perfected or at least more perfected than I am; I find myself hoping for something other than a sangha of human beings. A simple general definition of sangha is a community of people dedicated to helping themselves, and us, to awaken to the deep Truth of life.
I suppose that I, and perhaps others who think along these lines, think that if I associate with people who are perfect in their practice, it will somehow be easier for me; like if the people I associate with are always kind and gentle and smiling, then I won’t have to get angry: problem solved, right? But the thing is, as I associate more with long term deeply accomplished practitioners, I have begun to more deeply recognize that they know that no matter how perfect they are, they can’t actually do my training for me: they can’t do the work of uncovering why I might get angry, or whatever, and bringing that reason to peace. The solution of having other people be perfect is just a temporary fix (what happens when get back out among all the other imperfect people?) while what the Buddha offers to us is profoundly Continue reading →
(Follow this link to see the September 2020 Priory Newsletter where this was originally published.)
Some banditos came by the temple on Wednesday! (There were at least five, although there are only three in this picture.)
Great Master Dogen was a monk who, in his search for a deeper answer to his own spiritual question, traveled from Japan to China around 1225. Having found his answer, he is credited with bringing the Soto Zen tradition back to Japan and establishing it there. He is credited with establishing a whole new approach to Buddhist meditation and practice in his native country and yet, when he was asked what he brought back from China, his response was, “a soft and flexible mind.”
Great Master Manzan Dohaku, a Soto Zen monk who lived from 1635 to 1715 and is credited with reforming and reviving our tradition, Dogen’s tradition, once said that “as long as bowing lasts, Buddhism will last… if this bowing should cease, Buddhism will cease.”