Tugas Gunadarma Gunadarma Tutorial VB.NET Download OST Anime Soundtrack Anime Opening Anime Ending Anime OST Anime Japan Download Lagu Anime Jepang

Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

  1. #1

    Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    Dosho Port posted this lovely talk today by Joko Beck, who just left this visible world.

    I hope her insights apply to our little Sangha too ...


    The Function of a Zen Center
    from a talk by Joko Beck

    What I want to talk about today is the function of a Zen Center. In a general way we can say that it is to support practice; of course that’s true. But we have a lot of illusions about Zen Centers as we do about teachers. And one thing we tend to think is that a Zen Center is a place that should be very nice for me – in other words, it should be non-threatening (laughs). I think a good center should be quite threatening at times! It is not the function of a center to take care of your comfort or your social life. By that I don’t mean that we should not have social events – I think they’re great – but they are not the primary function of a center. A Zen Center’s function is not to provide people with social life. It is not necessarily supposed to make them feel good, and it’s not supposed to make them feel special.

    A center is primarily a powerful tool to assist us in waking up. As a sangha practicing at a center, yes, we need to support each other, but the nature of that support may not be exactly the kind of support that is often seen in an office. You know, a girl’s boyfriend leaves her – “oh you poor thing! Why you know, when my boyfriend left me….” (laughter) and off we go! There is a “we’re all victims in this together” attitude which is not support. The more we practice, well, the less of that fake kind of support is what is met at a good center.

    It should be a place then that gives us support, yes, but also challenges us, and in that sense we’re all teachers of one another. Some of the most powerful teachings at a Zen Center have nothing to do with the teacher; sometimes the teaching is from another person, coming directly from that person’s experience. To be honest, to be aware of what real practice is, and to share it with others – this is what makes a center a different kind of place to be.

    Sadly enough, Zen Centers tend to be somewhat ego-perpetuating: we want them to be bigger, better, more important that the other guy’s center, certainly! There are very subtle ego currents that can circulate in a Zen Center, as in any other organization if we are not especially careful.

    And some thoughts on the sangha: one point is crucial – the longer people have been practicing, the less important the outward role should be. And for that reason I don’t want people who have been practicing for a long time to assume that they are always going to be monitors – sometimes, yes, of course, but the more senior the student, the more I want their influence to be felt through their practice, and through their willingness not to seem important; and to let the newer students begin to assume some of the outwardly conspicuous positions.

    The mark of senior students is to be working when no one else knows they’re there. I see people working in the Center office at odd hours; sometimes I come back from shopping and they’re working hard. That’s a sign of mature practice, getting the job done and keeping our own importance out of it.

    Personally, I’m trying to go that way by downplaying the tremendous importance given to the role of teacher. And I want this to apply to all of the older students. So if you feel you are not getting to do what you usually do, GREAT! Then you have something nice to practice with.

    Another mark of a good Zen Center is that it shakes all of us up; it is not the way we want it in our pictures. So, in our upset, what we get back to then, is the basis of practice – which is, as near as I can put it into words, to assume more and more an observer stance in our life.

    By that I mean that everything in our life will continue to take place – the problems, the emotional difficulties, the pleasant days, the ups and downs, which are what human life consists of – but it is the ability not to get caught – to enjoy what is happening when it is “good”, to have equanimity when it is “bad” and to observe it all, which is the continuing work.

    The mark of maturing practice is simply the ability, more and more and more, to notice what is going on and not be caught by it. Easy to talk about, but probably 15 to 20 years of hard practice are needed before we are like that a good bit of the time. **

    And that is not the final stage. When there is no object, no person, no event, no thing in the world with which I identify, by which I’m caught – when there is no object and no observing self – then there is a flip into what, if you wish to give it a name, is the enlightened state.

    I have never known anyone whom I felt had accomplished that, but some persons have done well and, if you are lucky enough to encounter such a person, you sense the difference in one who is not caught by life (needing it, craving something or someone, insisting that life be a certain way) – You notice that such a person is at peace and free.

    These are the people who are a healing and beneficent influence on any life that is near them. They don’t have to do anything – the healing comes from the way they are. That transformation is what we want from our practice. We are more than lucky to have such an opportunity in this lifetime. Let’s take advantage of it and do our very best.

    http://wildfoxzen.blogspot.com/2011/06/ ... -beck.html
    ** Jundo: Hmmm, with all respect to Joko, rather too long estimation in my view. This Practice starts to offer rich fruit from the very start, even if (as in any art) years of training and practice are required for the roots to grow deeper and deeper and deeplessly deeper.

    And the "enlightened state" she mentions is ALWAYS there, even if ducking in and out of the shadows as we walk our path. Somethingless-thing we learn to spot and summonlessly summon better and better too.

  2. #2

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    It should be a place then that gives us support, yes, but also challenges us, and in that sense we’re all teachers of one another. Some of the most powerful teachings at a Zen Center have nothing to do with the teacher; sometimes the teaching is from another person, coming directly from that person’s experience. To be honest, to be aware of what real practice is, and to share it with others – this is what makes a center a different kind of place to be.

    ...

    Another mark of a good Zen Center is that it shakes all of us up; it is not the way we want it in our pictures. So, in our upset, what we get back to then, is the basis of practice – which is, as near as I can put it into words, to assume more and more an observer stance in our life.

    By that I mean that everything in our life will continue to take place – the problems, the emotional difficulties, the pleasant days, the ups and downs, which are what human life consists of – but it is the ability not to get caught – to enjoy what is happening when it is “good”, to have equanimity when it is “bad” and to observe it all, which is the continuing work.
    Hi.

    Gassho.

    I cant help but think that Treeleaf is right on...

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  3. #3

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    The mark of maturing practice is simply the ability, more and more and more, to notice what is going on and not be caught by it. Easy to talk about, but probably 15 to 20 years of hard practice are needed before we are like that a good bit of the time.
    Agreed. Some faster, others slower. All practice. Nothing to gain. Pay attention. Now.

    The rain is falling, but does not hesitate.

    Gassho

  4. #4

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    Thanks for posting this.

    Gassho,
    Eika

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,024

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    Jundo wrote:
    This Practice starts to offer rich fruit from the very start,
    And what delicious fruit it is!
    Which makes me wonder....
    I understand that the name Treeleaf is symbolic but is it also named after the leaves of a fruit bearing tree? I have seen the image of leaves on the site but do not recognize them. Is there a particular tree which also helped inspired the name?

    I ask because our style(Urasenke) of tea also uses the leaf of a particular tree as it's emblem. The Ginko.

    Gassho,
    John

  6. #6
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    2,107

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    I was excited reading that. Full of wisdom. Thanks. And Treeleaf is such a place.
    Gassho,
    Soen

  7. #7

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    Thank you,
    Sounds reasonable to me,
    _()_
    Peter

  8. #8

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    Very good! Thank you for reposting, the reposting!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  9. #9

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    I have to say my life is a really great zen center. lol

    This is a great answer to how we save sentient beings:

    The mark of maturing practice is simply the ability, more and more and more, to notice what is going on and not be caught by it. Easy to talk about, but probably 15 to 20 years of hard practice are needed before we are like that a good bit of the time. **

    And that is not the final stage. When there is no object, no person, no event, no thing in the world with which I identify, by which I’m caught – when there is no object and no observing self – then there is a flip into what, if you wish to give it a name, is the enlightened state.

    I have never known anyone whom I felt had accomplished that, but some persons have done well and, if you are lucky enough to encounter such a person, you sense the difference in one who is not caught by life (needing it, craving something or someone, insisting that life be a certain way) – You notice that such a person is at peace and free.

    These are the people who are a healing and beneficent influence on any life that is near them. They don’t have to do anything – the healing comes from the way they are. That transformation is what we want from our practice. We are more than lucky to have such an opportunity in this lifetime. Let’s take advantage of it and do our very best.

  10. #10

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    Joko has had a tremendous influence on my practice, and that is just after reading her 2 books.

    Just the fact that she explains how we observe ourselves. The language she used to convey that really illustrates a functioning zen practice in everyday life. I read one of her books before I joined Treeleaf. So then when I'd read or listen to Jundo and Taigu saying the same things in different ways it really deepened that understanding.

    That is the practice. I mean how can anyone teach you anything (from an absolutist perspective I suppose)? Good Zen teachers, like we have here, are not micro-managers. They show the principals, they tirelessly illustrate them. Then it is up to us to practice. We all experience the world through our own mind (including our own hangups and attachments), which makes the practice very personal. That's what I mean when no one can be our teacher, and that the practice is very personal.

    Anyway just my 2 cents (which is really 2 cents I stole, since it's an idea I plaguerized from Joko, Taigu and Jundo sensei anyway :mrgreen: ).

    Gassho,

    Risho


    P.S. does the title Roshi even apply to female Zen teachers?

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,035

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    The mark of maturing practice is simply the ability, more and more and more, to notice what is going on and not be caught by it. Easy to talk about, but probably 15 to 20 years of hard practice are needed before we are like that a good bit of the time.
    I don't believe it will take quite that long, but check back with me in 15 to 20 years and I'll tell you what I think then.

    Thank you Joko.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  12. #12

    Re: Joko Beck and the Function of a Zen Center

    I appreciate it, thanks for the reminder.

    Might I add, that center is here with us right now. Sometimes I'm supported by all of you personally, sometimes by my rakusu, sometimes by no one in particular, sometimes by my vegetable garden (which is doing splendidly, by the way). It's making a center out of your life when you still have to deal with everyday stuff. Including jet lag!

    Gassho,
    Taylor

Similar Threads

  1. Labeling thoughts joko
    By nealc in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 12-13-2011, 08:41 PM
  2. SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: JOKO
    By Jundo in forum TEACHER TALKS, TIPS and TOPICS
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-28-2011, 03:55 PM
  3. June 18th, 2011 Treeleaf Weekly Zazenkai (in memory of Joko)
    By Jundo in forum WEEKLY FRIDAY/SATURDAY ZAZENKAI NETCASTS
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-23-2011, 08:51 AM
  4. Charlotte Joko Beck 1917-2011
    By Saijun in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 06-17-2011, 01:48 PM
  5. Joko's Equation Compassion
    By Dainin in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 03-01-2008, 08:36 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •