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Thread: April 6th, 2013 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI! CELEBRATING BUDDHA's BIRTHDAY!

  1. #1

    April 6th, 2013 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI! CELEBRATING BUDDHA's BIRTHDAY!

    Dear All,

    Our Zazenkai Celebrates BUDDHA's BIRTHDAY ... traditionally marked this time of year in Japan ... as well as the endless end of our latest Global Service Period ...

    DUE TO TECHNICAL "NON-DIFFICULTIES", WE DID NOT FOLLOW THE SCHEDULE EXACTLY, AND THE RECORDING IS IN TWO PARTS, BELOW. PLEASE GO WITH THE FLOW!

    Please 'sit-a-long' with our MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI, netcast LIVE 8am to noon Japan time Saturday morning (that is New York 7pm to 11pm, Los Angeles 4pm to 8pm (Friday night), London midnight to 4am and Paris 1am to 5am (early Saturday morning)) ... and visible at the following link during those times ...

    ... to be visible at the following link during those times and any time thereafter ...

    LIVE ZAZENKAI NETCAST at GOOGLE+ IS HERE:
    CLICK ON THE TAB ON LOWER RIGHT FOR 'FULL SCREEN


    (PART 1: First 90 Minutes)


    (PART 2: TALK and All the Rest)


    FOR THOSE NOT ALREADY MEMBERS OF THE CIRCLE WHO WISH TO JOIN TO SIT LIVE WITH A CAMERA, INSTRUCTIONS are posted AT THIS LINK. WE ARE NOW LIMITED TO 10 INDIVIDUALS WITH CAMERAS, BUT ANY NUMBER CAN WATCH LIVE 'ONE WAY' AND SIT-A-LONG VIA THE ABOVE SCREEN. IF JOINING WITH CAMERA, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR MICROPHONE IS MUTED:

    The Sitting Schedule is as follows;

    00:00 - 00:50 CEREMONY (HEARTlem SHAKE / SANDOKAI IN ENGLISH) & ZAZEN
    00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN
    01:00 - 01:30 ZAZEN
    01:30 - 01:50 KINHIN

    01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
    02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN

    02:40 - 03:15 ZAZEN
    03:15 - 03:30 KINHIN
    03:30 - 04:00 METTA CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING


    Our Zazenkai consists of our chanting the 'Heart Sutra' and the 'Identity of Relative and Absolute (Sandokai)' in English (please download our Chant Book at the link below), some full floor prostrations (please follow along with me ... or a simple Gassho can be substituted if you wish), a little talk by me ... and we close with the 'Metta Chant', followed at the end with the 'Verse of Atonement' and 'The Four Vows'. Oh, and lots and lots of Zazen and walkin' Kinhin in between!

    Please download and print out the Chants we will recite at the following link (PDF):

    Chant Book (PDF)

    or

    Chant Book (SHORT VERSION HTML)

    I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU POSITION YOUR ZAFU ON THE FLOOR IN A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOT STARING DIRECTLY AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN, BUT CAN GLANCE OVER AND SEE THE SCREEN WHEN NECESSARY. YOUR ZAFU SHOULD ALSO BE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE COMPUTER SCREEN WHILE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ZAFU FOR THE CEREMONIES, AND HAVE ROOM FOR BOWING AND KINHIN.

    ALSO, REMEMBER TO SET YOUR COMPUTER (& SCREEN SAVER) SO THAT IT DOES NOT SHUT OFF DURING THE 4 HOURS.


    I hope you will join us ... an open Zafu is waiting. When we drop all thought of 'here' 'there' 'now' 'then' ... we are sitting all together!
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-06-2013 at 03:15 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    A little more information on Buddha's Birthday ....

    A funny thing about Vesak (Buddha's Birthday) in Japanese Buddhism ... it is on a different day from the day in most of the rest of Asian Buddhism, where the date varies year by year. Vesak (also known in Japan as Hana Matsuri ... Flower Festival) in Japan is celebrated on April 8th each year ... although he was born in late April or May in most other countries (having two or more birthdays is no problem for a Buddha. Truly, his birthday is your birthday, plus he is born every moment). It is not a public holiday in Japan, and is barely noticed by the general population, unlike many other places in Asia. Even in temples, it is usually celebrated rather quietly.

    In some descriptions, the story goes like this ...

    Vesak, or Visakha (pronounced way-sak), is a celebration that commemorates the Buddha's birth .... It is named for the month of May and is celebrated on the full moon, when the Buddha's mother is said to have given birth to him in a garden in the Himalayan foothills while en route to her parents' home. (for different schools of Zen, which is a tradition of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, the Buddha's birthday is celebrated according to a different calendar and falls on April 8th [Jundo, in Japan, where it is called "Hana Matsuri" ... the Flower Festival]; his enlightenment and death are also assigned to different days). According to most Buddhist calendars, he would be 2,548 years old this month.

    Vesak is the most important holiday in the Theravada Buddhist countries of Southeast Asia, though its observance varies from culture to culture. In the United States, it has become the occasion for a common celebration that unites different Buddhist traditions and schools, Asian and non-Asian, immigrant and convert, Theravadin and Mahayana .

    Vesak celebrations are a time for the rededication of one's commitment to the Buddha's teachings and to practice. At temples all over Southeast Asia and in the West, lay devotees clean the building and festoon it with lights and lanterns. Sometimes, a special pavilion is built for monks to sit on as they meditate and chant through the night. At Metta Forest Monastery outside San Diego, a monastery in the Thai Forest tradition, lay practioners come for a candle-lit procession, to make offerings, to chant, and to sit through the night in meditation. The celebration ends the following morning with a communal meal served to the monks by dozens of laypeople. "It is a time to honor the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha, and to recommit to practice," says Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the monastery's abbot. "Something like a New Year's resolution."

    No account of the Buddha's birth was recorded at the time, but Buddhist legend describes how the baby sprang miraculously from his mother's side, in what is today Nepal. Recent archeological research claims to pinpoint the exact location. In Thich Nhat Hanh's elegant telling of the life of the Buddha, "Old Path, White Clouds," he describes the birth like this:

    "Mahamaya, Siddhartha's mother [the wife of a great king of the Indian Sakyan clan], had a premonitory dream before giving birth to him: A magnificent white elephant with six tusks descended from the heavens surrounded by a chorus of beatific praises. The elephant approached her, its skin white as mountain snow. It held a brilliant pink lotus flower in its trunk, and placed the flower within the queen's body. Then the elephant, too, entered her effortlessly, and all at once she was filled with deep ease and joy.

    "The king summoned all the local holy men to divine the meaning of this dream. Their conclusion: 'Your majesty, the queen will give birth to a son who will be a great leader. He is destined to become either a mighty emperor who rules throughout the four directions, or a great Teacher who will show the Way of Truth to all beings in Heaven and Earth.'

    "It was the custom in those days for a woman to return to her parents' home to give birth there. Mahamaya...set out for Ramagama, the capital of Koliya. Along the way she stopped to rest in the garden of Lumbini. The forest there was filled with flowers and singing birds. Peacocks fanned their splendid tails in the morning light. Admiring an ashok tree in full bloom, the queen walked toward it, when suddenly feeling unsteady, she grabbed a branch of the ashok tree to support her. Just a moment later, still holding the branch, Queen Mahamaya gave birth to a radiant son."

    The story goes that sages arrived at the scene and washed the baby in perfumed water (which is why practitioners of Zen and other Mahayana schools celebrate the birthday by pouring water over a figure of the baby Buddha). Then Mahamaya's attendants wrapped him in silk and carried him to the palace. But seven days after the birth, Mahamaya died (there is no account of how or why), and her sister, Mahapajapati, who was also married to the Buddha's father, became his surrogate mother. After the Buddha's awakening, when he began to teach, Mahapajapati became his first woman disciple and led the order of bhikshunis, or ordained nuns.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/story/25/story_2530_1.html
    Anyway, that is one version of the story ... and it leaves out the part where he was said to be walking and talking at birth ...

    ... It is said that auspicious signs herald his birth, the sky was clear with brilliant sunshine, flowers bloomed and birds sang. Directly after his birth nine heavenly dragons appeared and emitted two steams, one cool and one warm, of the purest fragrant rain from their mouths that gently cascaded to bathe the newly born Prince. The baby Prince immediately took seven steps and seven lotus flowers sprang from beneath his feet.

    Flowers drifted down from the heavens. The young Prince purified in body and mind from the rain, pointed one hand towards the heavens and one towards the earth and he said,

    "Heaven above and earth beneath, I am the Honoured One, the One who liberates all who suffer in the Three Realms."
    But whether with or without magic elephants, heavenly dragons and talking babies, we will be celebrating together a truly monumental event!!

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-05-2013 at 04:01 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Wonderful, I will be there.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  4. #4
    We also have some suggestions for "At Home" family events to celebrate the holiday ...

    VESAK HOLIDAY IDEAS
    www.buddhistfamilyholidays.com

    Some of the family ideas there include ...

    Bathing The Baby Buddha On the day of Vesak, participate in a ceremony (with your Sangha and priests, or at home with your family) in which all participants bathe a figure of baby Buddha ...

    Celebrating Nature Vesak is a holiday of birth and Spring and ever new beginnings and hope for this world. Go outside with your family, if weather permits, and touch nature.

    Practice of Dana (Giving) As a family, make a donation of money, food, clothes, etc. to a foodbank, shelter, or other charitable organizations.

    Lighting Vesak Lanterns Make Vesak lanterns with the kids! INSTRUCTIONS ARE BELOW. Each family member should make one to symbolize both the Buddha's light and the light within each of us ...

    A Birthday Party For Baby Buddha! Celebrate the holiday with a typical child's birthday party, but with the Baby Buddha as the Birthday Boy! Invite other, especially Buddhist children. Cake and ice cream (in moderation) ...

    Read To Kids The story of Buddha's birth, early life and continue up to and slightly after, his enlightenment. This story can be found in a few different versions like "Becoming Buddha" ...

    Elephant Hunt Much like an egg hunt, families with small children could enjoy an "ELEPHANT HUNT" - elephants because Siddhartha's mother dreamt of a white elephant while she was pregnant with him ...

    Of course, a little family Zazen is always good too!
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-05-2013 at 04:15 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Will be there/here.

    Gassho
    大山

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    I'll be there.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    I'll be there

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  8. #8
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Great Will be there

    Gassho
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  9. #9
    Hi. My wife's aunt (of the dry cereal story) has had a stroke, and is not expected to be around much longer. I will be attending to family tonight, and will sit Zazenkai recorded, when things settle down.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    大山

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    Hi. My wife's aunt (of the dry cereal story) has had a stroke, and is not expected to be around much longer. I will be attending to family tonight, and will sit Zazenkai recorded, when things settle down.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    I am sorry to hear about your wife's aunt Daizan. Much metta to you all ... I will dedicate tonights sit for you and your family.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Much metta Daizan...and even if we can't see you, we know you are with us.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    I am tentatively required to be in client meetings both this evening and next Friday night. There is a chance that tonight's might cancel and, if so, I will be there live. If not, I will sit tomorrow and enjoy what we used to call the "rerun" but what I will refer to as the encore performance.

  13. #13
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    I will be there!

    Daizan, much Metta to you and your family. I will sit for you tonight - you are always with us.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  14. #14
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Much Metta Daizan, we are with you... take great care of you and your family

    Gassho
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  15. #15
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your Wife's aunt Daizan. Much Metta for you and your family at this difficult time.

    I will try and join tonight if I'm not too tired, otherwise I will sit Saturday.

    Gassho
    Matt

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear Daizan, take care of your family and of yourself. I will hopefully see everyone else this evening.
    Gassho, Jakudo.
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, I. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."
    寂道

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Dear Daizan,

    Much metta. We will sit with you regardless of time and space.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  18. #18
    this will be my first time sitting with you guys and im pretty excited. couldnt have picked a better day huh..

  19. #19
    Having trouble to get online. Please hold on.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    No sound ....will sit later
    Gassho, Jakudo.
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, I. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."
    寂道

  21. #21
    I have had to restart the netcast after first 90 minutes!
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-06-2013 at 03:16 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22

  23. #23
    Thanks everyone. I will be unable to sit tonight but intend to sit with the recorded version on Sunday morning (NY Time). I don't have a baby buddha statue for the kids so maybe we'll just share the story of the Buddha's birth.

    Daizan, very sorry to hear about your wife's aunt. Best wishes to her, you and your family.
    Last edited by arnold; 04-06-2013 at 01:14 AM.

  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Google Hangout is dropping me - will try to rejoin. Sitting Zazen alongside you.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  25. #25
    Thank you everyone and Happy Birthday. Have a great weekend.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Thank you all - Have a great weekend.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Thank you for your practice everyone!

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  28. #28
    WHEN I WAS READING SELECTIONS FROM THE OLD SUTTAS ON THE MIRACULOUS EVENTS SURROUNDING THE BIRTH OF BUDDHA, I MENTIONED THAT SOME ASTRO-PHYSICISTS POSIT THE SO-CALLED "MULTI-VERSE" WHICH IS SO INFINITE IN POSSIBILITY AND VARIATION THAT ANYTHING PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE IS LIKELY SOMEWHERE ... EVEN REALMS WHERE THE LAWS OF PHYSICS ARE DIFFERENT FROM HERE ... THAT THERE MAY BE COUNTLESS WORLDS WHERE DRAGONS AND UNICORNS ACTUALLY LIVE, OTHERS WHERE SOMEONE NAMED "LUKE SKYWALKER" IS CHASING THE DEATH STAR OF "DARTH VADAR", STILL OTHERS WHERE COUNTLESS VARIATIONS OF --YOU-- LIVE.

    IN CASE YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THIS, IT IS NOT MY IDEA ... BUT THAT OF NOTED SCIENTISTS AND REAL UNIVERSITIES. HERE IS A PODCAST INTERVIEW FROM THE PUBLIC RADIO WITH DR. BRIAN GREENE IN WHICH HE EXPLAINS ABOUT THE BUBBLE "MULTI-VERSES" ...


    The universe we live in may not be the only one out there. In fact, our universe could be just one of an infinite number of universes making up a "multiverse."

    Though the concept may stretch credulity, there's good physics behind it. And there's not just one way to get to a multiverse — numerous physics theories independently point to such a conclusion. In fact, some experts think the existence of hidden universes is more likely than not.

    Have you wondered if there is another you out there? Somewhere? Sitting in the same chair, reading the same blog post, wearing the same clothes and thinking the same thoughts? Well, Brian Greene says there must be one. Or two. Or lots and lots and lots and lots and... Why? You ask, well listen to Greene's argument in this week's podcast.

    http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiol...lti-universes/
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #29
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Thank you all who sat/will sit.

    The multiverse theory bends the mind and expands imagination! It certainly makes me think I am no so unique after after all.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  30. #30
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Thanks to all that have sat/will sit.

    Gassho
    Matt

  31. #31

    Cheers

    Hello folks,

    I will sit a bit later today and just wanted to send you all a Gassho for your practise.


    All the best and Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  32. #32
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo and everyone sitting. Gassho.
    Maybe in another multiverse version my children can do their own essays and my car doesn't breakdown unexpectedly: but that must be the boring version of my life. : )

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9790 using Tapatalk
    Heisoku
    平 息

  33. #33
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    Just finished sitting the recorded Zazenkai. Thank you to all who sat live and who will sit later.

    I actually have a Baby Buddha. I would happily give him a bath (and probably will). But, since my only family is the kitties, and since they would likely take delight in chewing on the Baby Buddha, I will have to keep this experience to myself. Ah, bachelorhood.


    Gassho,


    William
    Last edited by Juki; 04-06-2013 at 07:43 PM.

  34. #34
    Thank you everyone for your practice and Jundo for the crazy version,
    Gassho
    Myoku (crazy too)

  35. #35
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Note to self: Never ever attempt to sit a recorded zazenkai so late at night. Though it was interesting for me to notice the way my mind would move into that gray area between dreaming and waking and back into wakefulness. Rarely happens to me in the morning, and even then, not to that degree.


    Rafael

  36. #36
    Will sit this in the last week of April.
    Brian Greene rules! Can't wait to listen to the talk.

    If this was already mentioned, I apologize for any duplicate - however, if not, the Multiverse Theory by Max Tegmark is highly interesting.
    Here a direct link to one of his articles published a while ago in the Scientific American:
    http://mukto-mona.net/science/physic...iverse2003.pdf

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    Will sit this in the last week of April.
    Brian Greene rules! Can't wait to listen to the talk.

    If this was already mentioned, I apologize for any duplicate - however, if not, the Multiverse Theory by Max Tegmark is highly interesting.
    Here a direct link to one of his articles published a while ago in the Scientific American:
    http://mukto-mona.net/science/physic...iverse2003.pdf

    Gassho,

    Timo
    In my understanding, there are actually quite a few different ways in which a "multiverse" could arise ... and, interesting enough, all are rather different ways.

    http://www.space.com/18811-multiple-...-theories.html

    However, like multiple lives ... and multiple wives ... I am happy to live with the one right here, one at a time!

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  38. #38
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    Thanks for the sitting. Was able to finish it this morning ... and the technical problems weren't a bother at all.
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  39. #39
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who sat, and will sit. The dharma talk was a great reminder of the power of our thoughts. I sympathize with the late night sits, Rafael - it's the only time I'm able to do the 4hr zazenkais

    Gassho,
    Shujin

  40. #40
    Finally managed to find 4 hours to sit with the recording - thanks a lot for your practice, guys!

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  41. #41
    Now I also found 4 hours to celebrate Buddhas birthday. I enjoyed it very much and I don't think it was more or less crazy than the life all around. All the craziness seems to be very well ordered and normal now and that's a great feeling. So thank you all for sitting :-)

    Gassho,
    Shinka

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