Sunday, April 25, 2010

Photographs from Bobby Byrd's, aka Kankin, Shukke Tokudo

For all photographs from this event go here. They are also on the Both Sides No Sides facebook page.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Zen Buddhism in El Paso / Juárez

Yes, we will be sitting this Saturday, 711 Robinson,  3:30pm in the Kern Place neighborhood of El Paso. Please join us. For more information, you can call me at 915-241-3140.--Bobby Byrd
I've had the luxury of late to be reading from The Gary Snyder Reader. When I was growing up, wanting to be a poet, learning the first few baby steps about Zen Buddhism, Gary Snyder was a hero. Still is, for that matter. I discovered this going through the reader this last month. His work seems just as wise to me now as it did then. While I read, I took notes in my journal. Below are some of the stuff I gleaned from reading "The East / West Interview." Peter Barry Chowka interviewed Snyder over a five-day period in April 1977 for the East West Journal.

The family is the practice hall.

In one of the Theravada scriptures, the Buddha says, “Be a light unto yourself. In this six-foot-long self is birth and death and the key to the liberation from birth and death.” 

Beware of anything that promises freedom or enlightenment—traps for eager and clever fools—three-quarters of philosophy and literature is the talk of people trying to convince themselves that they really like the cage they were tricked into entering.

To act responsibly in the world doesn’t mean that you always stand back and let things happen: you play an active part, which means making choices, running risks, and karmically dirtying your hands to some extent. That’s what the Bodhisattva ideal is all about.

Too quote my old teacher, Oda Sesso: “In Zen there are only two things: you sit and sweep the garden. It doesn’t matter how big the garden is.”

Find your place on the planet and dig in. 

And then the fundamental ethical precept: Whatever you do, try not to cause too much harm.