Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sitting in the Summer Heat

In general, a quiet room is good for experiencing Zen balance, and food and drink are taken in moderation. Abandon all involvements. Give the myriad things a rest. Do not think of good and bad. Do not care about right and wrong. Stop the driving movement of mind, will, consciousness. Cease intellectual consideration through images, thoughts, and reflections. Do not aim to become a buddha. How could it be connected with sitting or lying down?

Yes, the best secret in the world--711 Robinson, the site of our Zendo, is air conditioned. Real AC. No better place to pull up a zafu and stare at a wall. Or a curtain, as the case may be. We chant, we bow and bow some more. Every week we do our dance steps in the silence. The incense is lit. We sit. Nothing happens. The bell will ring after 25 minutes of sitting. We stand, bow to the cushion, the Ino claps the han and we do our kinhin walk. How beautiful all of us doing the same thing, how beautiful all of us these different expressions of the dharma. Coming around the west corner we get a glimpse of the Wood Buddha at peace with himself. He doesn’t pay any attention to us. What would we expect? Keep on walking, doing the kinhin boogie, eyes lowered, back straight, slow sure steps, breath in, breath out, like the universe, all of us. Approaching the east wall, yes, there’s that little breeze coming from the vent. Smile. Don’t giggle. Simply enjoy. And not to worry--our Ino likes the two-circuit kinhin. Breath in, breath out. One step follows the one step. The han claps. And you get to sit again. But wait until the incense is lit and the bell rings. Bow to the Zafu, bow to the Sangha. Smile. Sit down. There's the wall (curtain) again. We sit. Nothing happens. Once again. We sit for 25 more minutes. The bell will ring, we'll offer incense to the Buddha (so who is this Buddha guy?), we sit and have some tea and talk the dharma talk.

Please come join us.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: WE NOW HAVE A WEDNESDAY MORNING SIT at 6am, same place--711 Robinson. Several Sangha members have asked for a weekday time to sit with the Sangha and John Fortunato has been generous enough to open his home where our Zendo resides. I call it "Fundamentalist Zazen." Two 25 minutes meditation periods. Only bells. No whistles. No words. No dancing. No chants. Between sits no kinhin. Simply a 5 minute break to enjoy in your own silence. Folks can leave and go about their lives. Folks can sip a quick cup of coffee they brought along with them. They can stretch and look at the morning. They can smile at each other. They can continue sitting. The bell will ring to gather us back together. A minute later the bell will ring again for the last sit. And the bell will ring again. Time to stack the zafus and skedaddle.

John Fortunato will need to close up the house and get to work.

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