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Another special guest today ...
Roger Shikan Hawkins began practicing Zen Buddhism at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1971, at the age of 22. He spent 10 years as a practicing residential student, spending 3 years at the Tassajara monastery, and Green Gulch Farm, as well as the City Center in San Francisco. He studied under Richard Baker Roshi, as well as Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi, who is one of the most widely known and respected Zen teachers in America. Roger began practicing with Taizan Maezumi Roshi in 1993, until his death in 1995. In the late 90's he also practiced with the Santa Monica Zen Center, and began teaching classes in a limited role.
In 1999, Roger and his family moved to Florida, where he continued his practice helping The Southern Palm Zen Group in Boca, and he met Lou Nordstrom, Mitsunen Roshi, in 2000. Mitsunen gave Roger the new dharma name, Shikan. Roger finished koan study with Lou, and received Dharma Transmission, meaning certification as a Zen teacher in 2004, receiving the title Shikan Sensei.
Buddhist Practice nourishes non-attachment (especially to things and material happiness) ...
... and encourages Dana, generosity and self-less giving.
In Buddha's Mall, an empty shopping bag is truly full!
A special transmission outside the scriptures;
Not dependent upon words and letters;
Directly pointing to the human mind
Seeing into one's own nature
The Buddha is quoted in the Kalamas Sutra:
It's about a monk named Malunkyaputta who one day was meditating, and in the midst of his meditation he got really mad. He started thinking, "Gee, you know, the Buddha never said anything about who made the world. And the Buddha never said anything about whether the world is eternal or not. And the Buddha never said anything about what happens to Buddhas after they die." And a whole bunch of other things like that that the Buddha never said anything about. He said, "I want to know about those things, and I'm really pissed that the Buddha didn't say anything about that. Now if the Buddha didn't know anything about that, that's one thing, then he could just admit it, and that would be fine. But he didn't say that either, so I'm really angry about this , and I don't feel like I can go on with this meditation period until I get to the bottom of it."
Well, the Buddha said, "Malunkyaputta, did I ever promise you when you came that I was going to tell you about these things?" Malunkyaputta said, "No, actually, you didn't." The Buddha said, "You know, it really doesn't have anything to do with whether I know the answer to these things, or I don't know the answer to these things. Imaging someone who gets shot with an arrow, and who is lying there mortally wounded, with the last moments of life ebbing away. A surgeon comes along to pull the arrow out, and the man weakly looks up at the surgeon and says: 'Before you pull the arrow out can you tell me to what clan belongs the person who shot this arrow? Would you find out for me, please, before you pull the arrow out, whether the person who shot me was a tall person or a short person? Would you mind inquiring, before you pull this arrow out, the colour of skin of this person: was it light skin, dark skin, medium skin? What was the profession of the person who shot this arrow? Could you tell me, please, was it an artisan, or a physician, or a scholar? And furthermore, what sort of arrow is this anyway? Was it made from a cherry tree, or an oak tree, or a pine tree? And what about the feathers on the end of this arrow? Were they made from goose feathers, or are they eagle feathers, or vulture feathers? And what about the tip of the arrow, how is that made?'"
The Buddha said, "If the person who was shot were to seek the answers to all these questions, definitely, he would be dead before he found the answers to these questions. So Malunkyaputta, it's not that I know the answers to these questions and I'm not telling you, or that I don't know the answers to these questions. It's just that I know for sure that speculating on these questions does not help to live the life that we want for practice. Malunkyaputta, I have not been silent. There is something that I have told you. I have spoken of suffering, and the cause of suffering, and the end of suffering, and the path. Suffering and the end of suffering, that is what's important. About that I have spoken."
NOTE: SIGNAL WAS LOST TOWARD END OF THE SITTING.
PLEASE SELF-TIME IF SITTING ALONG.