September 2008 Archives

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Heart Sutra XXIII


How to explain Emptiness, 'beyond words' ?

Perhaps it's like making the "boogie man under the bed" disappear ...

When you just stop thinking about the "boogie man", drop all thought of some "boogie man" ... HE'S GONE!

It is not a matter of philosophical arguments about whether he's there or not there ... exists, does not exist, both or neither ... but simply of forgetting the whole darn thing ...
PROBLEM SOLVED!

Buddhism resolves so much in such way, dissolves Suffering in this very way ...



[There are no Noble Truths of] suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;

No/ [Eightfold] Path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.

No/ gain/ – thus/ Bo/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta [Perfection of Wisdom]





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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Heart Sutra XXII

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We have seen the Buddha's teaching of the Four Noble Truths, the cause and end to Suffering (Dukkha) via the medicine of the Eightfold Path ...

It is the Path that Bodhisattvas (let's say "Beings in Search of Enlightenment") walk in order to gain Wisdom and Enlightenment, liberation from Suffering.


But let's again recall what the Heart Sutra is saying about all this ...

... that the Truths, the Path, the Suffering, the Bodhisattvas, the Wisdom and Enlightenment are all burned away in the fires of Emptiness ...

... yet that realization of Emptiness --IS-- the attaining of that Truth, the fruition of the Path, the end of Suffering, the gaining of Wisdom and Enlightment by those Bodhisattvas!

Kind of like saying that the best way for a person, thinking herself a "prisoner", to escape from an imaginary prison is not to tunnel through the illusory walls, but to realize that the fictional prison and the walls are just a dream ... and that so is any "person" who is a "prisoner"

[There are no Noble Truths of] suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;

No/ [Eightfold] Path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.

No/ gain/ – thus/ Bo/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta [Perfection of Wisdom]





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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path VIII


NOTE: THE SIGNAL CUT JUST AFTER THE FIRST BELL. USTREAM SEEMS TO HAVE SOME ISSUES ON SUNDAYS!

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The 'last' branch of the 'Eightfold Path' is 'Right Concentration', 'Right Meditation' ...

... Zazen


But the path has no beginning, no end


... each branch supporting and supported by the others





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Welcome to our Saturday "Live from Treeleaf" Zazen,

We start with 3 floor prostrations (or deep Gassho), then chant the Heart Sutra in ENGLISH, then sit about 40 minutes of Zazen, then 10 minutes of Kinhin, closing with the chant of the "Verse of Atonement" and "Four Vows".

Please join in, one and all.

Gassho, Jundo




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.__________________

INO = CHANT LEADER ONLY
EVERYONE = ALL JOIN IN


AFTER 3x STANDING BOWS by EVERYONE:

INO ONLY =

The Heart of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra*
(Maka Hannya Haramita Shin Gyo in English)

EVERYONE =

A/vo/lo/ki/tes/va/ra/ Bo/dhi/satt/va/, A/wa/kened/ One/ of/ Com/pas/sion/,

In/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/, the/Deep/ Prac/tice/ of/ Per/fect/ Wis/dom/*

Per/ceived/ the/ emp/ti/ness/ of /all /five /con/di/tions/,

And/ was/ free/ of/ suf/fer/ing/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,

Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;

Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.

Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,

Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;

Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.

Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,

not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.

No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;

No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;

No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;

No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;

No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,

No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;

No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;

No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.

No/ gain/ – thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/ –

No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.

Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.

All/ past/, pre/sent/ and/ fu/ture/ Budd/has/

Live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

And/ re/al/ize/ su/preme/ and/ com/plete/ en/light/en/ment/.

There/fore/ know/ that/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/

Is/ the/ sac/red/ man/tra/, the/ lu/min/ous/ man/tra/,

the/ sup/reme/ man/tra/, the/ in/com/pa/ra/ble/ man/tra/

by/ which/ all/ suf/fe/ring/ is/ clear/.

This/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ Truth/.

There/fore/ set/ forth/ the/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ man/tra/.

Set/ forth/ this/ man/tra/ and/ pro/claim/:*

(1x)
Gate! Gate! (Already Gone, Gone)
Paragate! (Already Gone Beyond)
Parasamgate! (Already Fully Beyond)
Bodhi! Svaha! * (Awakening, Rejoice)

BE SEATED AS INSTRUCTED BY JUNDO

________________________________________________________________

VERSE OF ATONEMENT:

All harmful acts, words and thoughts, ever committed by me since of old,

On account of beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,

Born of my body, mouth and mind,

Now I atone for them all



FOUR VOWS:

To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible

To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless

To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path VII(ii)



'Right Mindfulness' of 'things without' is an awareness and understanding of the events that surround us in the present moment, seeing clearly phenomena as they arise and how we perceive them. We experience how our inner condition, our thoughts and emotions, help create our experience of the world without.

We learn to discern the nature of samsara, impermanent, possessing self yet lacking self, so often dissatisfactory to our own 'self' which judges it. But we also learn how a change to our inner condition, our emotions and thoughts, will change our experience of all that.


inner is outer, outer is inner ... not two.



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path VII(i)


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The seventh branch of the 'Eightfold Path' is 'Right Mindfulness' ...

It may be termed a 'mindfulness' of things within and things without (though those are not truly 'two'. We will talk about 'things without' tomorrow).

'Right Mindfulness' of things within includes being attentive to our inner conditions, the causes and workings of the body-mind, emotions and thoughts. We are aware so as to better understand ourselves by understanding mental origin and effects.
By becoming aware of the processes, we may thereby gain a degree of acceptance, understanding and control over the mind.


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path VI


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The sixth branch of the 'Eightfold Path' is 'Right Effort' ...

It is the effort to put into Practice the links of the Path within our life ... to keep on keepin' on.

We persevere, even those times when we just don't feel like making the effort. "Right Intention" is the aspiration to do so, while "Right Effort" is the will to make the day by day slog ...

We also learn that, in "just sitting", effort can be effortless ...
that we move ahead with nowhere to go ...
that every step of a steep climb is one step, and one step, and one step ....



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path V(ii)


.
... continuing to talk on 'Right Livelihood' ... on a working day morning ...

The workplace (like the home) is our place of Practice ...

Might these places be, in many ways, even more fruitful, challenging and stimulating for Zen Practice than any dusty monastery or old temple?

However, to reap the benefits, we must approach our work in a 'Zen-ful' way, with a balanced state of mind, in keeping with 'Right Livelihood'



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path V(i)

The fifth branch of the 'Eightfold Path' is 'Right Livelihood' ...

Right Livelihood means that, as a life choice, one should earn a living in ways not harmful, and helpful and healthful to the world.

Nurse, social worker, school teacher seem obvious choices. But, in our interconnected economy, so too the kind bus driver, honest salesman, cheerful office worker, waitress supporting her kids, the engineer or businessman providing goods or services which benefit lives.

Certainly, burgler, heroin pusher, hitman and environmental polluter fall outside the mark.

And for all of us in careers of complexity ... the lawyer, soldier, butcher (traditionally, said banned by Buddha), nuclear scientist ... we must honestly follow our hearts: Are we doing what is really necessary? Are we doing it in the best ways we can? Are we leaving this world a better place?



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO (Classic): Highway Zen

Zazen, by the side of the road ...

cars-thoughts passing by,
from emptiness come, now gone
stillness & movement

In Master Dogen's Genjo Koan he writes ...

In general, a quiet room is good for experiencing Zen balance ....

But where is a truly quiet room found?

"For at one time, Lord, Alara Kalama was on a journey, and he went aside from the highway and sat down by the wayside at the foot of a tree to pass the heat of the day. And it came about, Lord, that a great number of carts, even five hundred carts, passed by him, one by one. And then, Lord, a certain man who was following behind that train of carts, approached and spoke to him, saying: 'Did you, sir, see a great number of carts that passed you by?' And Alara Kalama answered him: 'I did not see them, brother.' 'But the noise, sir, surely you heard?' 'I did not hear it, brother.' Then that man asked him: 'Then, sir, perhaps you slept?' 'No, brother, I was not sleeping.' 'Then, sir, were you conscious?' 'I was, brother.' Then that man said: 'Then, sir, while conscious and awake you still did not see the great number of carts, even five hundred carts, that passed you by one after another, nor heard the noise? Why, sir, your very robe is covered with their dust!' And Alara Kalama replied, saying: 'So it is, brother



Highway Mandala - Click on picture to 'play'
.
Welcome to our Saturday "Live from Treeleaf" Zazen,

We start with 3 floor prostrations (or deep Gassho), then chant the Heart Sutra in ENGLISH, then sit about 40 minutes of Zazen, then 10 minutes of Kinhin, closing with the chant of the "Verse of Atonement" and "Four Vows".

Please join in, one and all.

Gassho, Jundo




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NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE TO SEE THE SCREEN OR START BUTTON,
PLEASE UPDATE FLASH. SEE HERE

.__________________

INO = CHANT LEADER ONLY
EVERYONE = ALL JOIN IN


AFTER 3x STANDING BOWS by EVERYONE:

INO ONLY =

The Heart of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra*
(Maka Hannya Haramita Shin Gyo in English)

EVERYONE =

A/vo/lo/ki/tes/va/ra/ Bo/dhi/satt/va/, A/wa/kened/ One/ of/ Com/pas/sion/,

In/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/, the/Deep/ Prac/tice/ of/ Per/fect/ Wis/dom/*

Per/ceived/ the/ emp/ti/ness/ of /all /five /con/di/tions/,

And/ was/ free/ of/ suf/fer/ing/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,

Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;

Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.

Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,

Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;

Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.

Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,

not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.

No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;

No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;

No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;

No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;

No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,

No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;

No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;

No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.

No/ gain/ – thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/ –

No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.

Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.

All/ past/, pre/sent/ and/ fu/ture/ Budd/has/

Live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

And/ re/al/ize/ su/preme/ and/ com/plete/ en/light/en/ment/.

There/fore/ know/ that/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/

Is/ the/ sac/red/ man/tra/, the/ lu/min/ous/ man/tra/,

the/ sup/reme/ man/tra/, the/ in/com/pa/ra/ble/ man/tra/

by/ which/ all/ suf/fe/ring/ is/ clear/.

This/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ Truth/.

There/fore/ set/ forth/ the/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ man/tra/.

Set/ forth/ this/ man/tra/ and/ pro/claim/:*

(1x)
Gate! Gate! (Already Gone, Gone)
Paragate! (Already Gone Beyond)
Parasamgate! (Already Fully Beyond)
Bodhi! Svaha! * (Awakening, Rejoice)

BE SEATED AS INSTRUCTED BY JUNDO

________________________________________________________________

VERSE OF ATONEMENT:

All harmful acts, words and thoughts, ever committed by me since of old,

On account of beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,

Born of my body, mouth and mind,

Now I atone for them all



FOUR VOWS:

To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible

To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless

To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path IV


The fourth branch of the 'Eightfold Path' is 'Right Action' ... being in accord with the Precepts ...

Neither commandments nor laws, but arrows pointing toward a peaceful, healthful life & world.

We are guided to abstain from harming others and ourselves, to abstain from taking life, from taking what is not given through stealing or dishonesty, to abstain from destructive sexual conduct. Positively stated, right action is to act kindly and compassionately, to be honest, to respect others, and to keep relationships healthful.

As we can, we act seeking to avoid harm to oneself or others, and in ways healthful and helpful to oneself and others ... knowing that there is, ultimately, no difference between oneself and others.


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path III


OUR NETCAST IS FINALLY WORKING ... (I THINK)!!!

ANNOUNCEMENT: WE HAVE STARTED OUR PREPARATIONS FOR OUR 'ALL ONLINE' JUKAI (UNDERTAKING THE PRECEPTS) ... FIND OUT MORE HERE
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The third branch of the 'Eightfold Path' is 'Right Speech' ... the first of three branches devoted to 'Ethical Conduct' (Sīla) ...

Our words have power to be weapons or constructive tools, to help or hurt others, express care or disdain, make enemies or friends, start wars or bring peace.

The Buddha advised that we should ...

... abstain from false speech, especially deliberate lies ...

... abstain from slanderous speech and words used maliciously against others ...

... abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others ...

... abstain from idle gossip.

This means that we should, as best we can amid the complexities of life, seek to tell the truth, to speak friendly, warm and gently, and to be careful in our words.



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No opening or closing bells for today ... no sound ... no particular time either, just a bit of Zazen between stations.

We usually sit in a quiet room, but the Buddha also liked to sit in noisy, busy places. He praises this tale of Ajara Kalama (Digha-Nikaya)

"For at one time, Lord, Alara Kalama was on a journey, and he went aside from the highway and sat down by the wayside at the foot of a tree to pass the heat of the day. And it came about, Lord, that a great number of carts, even five hundred carts, passed by him, one by one. And then, Lord, a certain man who was following behind that train of carts, approached and spoke to him, saying: 'Did you, sir, see a great number of carts that passed you by?' And Alara Kalama answered him: 'I did not see them, brother.' 'But the noise, sir, surely you heard?' 'I did not hear it, brother.' Then that man asked him: 'Then, sir, perhaps you slept?' 'No, brother, I was not sleeping.' 'Then, sir, were you conscious?' 'I was, brother.' Then that man said: 'Then, sir, while conscious and awake you still did not see the great number of carts, even five hundred carts, that passed you by one after another, nor heard the noise? Why, sir, your very robe is covered with their dust!' And Alara Kalama replied, saying: 'So it is, brother. And to that man, O Lord, came the thought: 'Marvellous it is, most wonderful indeed it is, the state of calmness wherein abide those who have gone forth from the world!' And there arose in him great faith in Alara Kalama, and he went his way."



<
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Today, a special sit-a-long (and bit of silliness) from the past

or, anyway, what the brain's temporal cortex considers the 'past' ...



Welcome to our Saturday "Live from Treeleaf" Zazen,

We start with 3 floor prostrations (or deep Gassho), then chant the Heart Sutra in ENGLISH, then sit about 40 minutes of Zazen, then 10 minutes of Kinhin, closing with the chant of the "Verse of Atonement" and "Four Vows".

Please join in, one and all.

Gassho, Jundo




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NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE TO SEE THE SCREEN OR START BUTTON,
PLEASE UPDATE FLASH. SEE HERE

.__________________

INO = CHANT LEADER ONLY
EVERYONE = ALL JOIN IN


AFTER 3x STANDING BOWS by EVERYONE:

INO ONLY =

The Heart of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra*
(Maka Hannya Haramita Shin Gyo in English)

EVERYONE =

A/vo/lo/ki/tes/va/ra/ Bo/dhi/satt/va/, A/wa/kened/ One/ of/ Com/pas/sion/,

In/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/, the/Deep/ Prac/tice/ of/ Per/fect/ Wis/dom/*

Per/ceived/ the/ emp/ti/ness/ of /all /five /con/di/tions/,

And/ was/ free/ of/ suf/fer/ing/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,

Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;

Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.

Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.

O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,

Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;

Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.

Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,

not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.

No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;

No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;

No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;

No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;

No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,

No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;

No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;

No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.

No/ gain/ – thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/ –

No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.

Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.

All/ past/, pre/sent/ and/ fu/ture/ Budd/has/

Live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*

And/ re/al/ize/ su/preme/ and/ com/plete/ en/light/en/ment/.

There/fore/ know/ that/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/

Is/ the/ sac/red/ man/tra/, the/ lu/min/ous/ man/tra/,

the/ sup/reme/ man/tra/, the/ in/com/pa/ra/ble/ man/tra/

by/ which/ all/ suf/fe/ring/ is/ clear/.

This/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ Truth/.

There/fore/ set/ forth/ the/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ man/tra/.

Set/ forth/ this/ man/tra/ and/ pro/claim/:*

(1x)
Gate! Gate! (Already Gone, Gone)
Paragate! (Already Gone Beyond)
Parasamgate! (Already Fully Beyond)
Bodhi! Svaha! * (Awakening, Rejoice)

BE SEATED AS INSTRUCTED BY JUNDO

________________________________________________________________

VERSE OF ATONEMENT:

All harmful acts, words and thoughts, ever committed by me since of old,

On account of beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,

Born of my body, mouth and mind,

Now I atone for them all



FOUR VOWS:

To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible

To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless

To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path II

(it was my intention to have this sitting posted a few hours ago ... )

The second branch of the 'Eightfold Path' is 'Right Intention' ... also spoken of as 'Right Aspiration' 'Right Thought' or 'A Will to the Truth' ...

... This is not some "black/white" promise to find "the one right answer", to never make a mistake, or to always "do the one right thing".

Instead, it is an aspiration to, as best we can, seek for wholesome conduct through a commitment to Practice. We aim to live in a way, as we can, (1) which softens and frees us from the dissatisfaction (Dukkha) brought about by inner desire and craving, while embracing life 'just as it is', (2) which nurtures good will and loving-kindness, reducing feelings of anger and aversion, and (3) which aspires to the avoidance of harm through thoughts, words or deeds, and to the development of Compassion.

In other words ... it is just the will to live, as best we can, a peaceful, healthful and nonharmful life ... at one with life and the world as-they-are ... through our Buddhist Practice.


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Eightfold Path I


The first branch of the 'Eightfold Path' is 'Right View' (sometimes called 'Right Perspective' or 'Right Understanding') ...


... It is to study and to come to understand the world through fundamental Buddhist perspectives and philosophies, and to make those ways of seeing a natural part of one's life. The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, The Precepts, the doctrines of Impermanence, the 'Middle Way', Non-existence of the 'Self', Cause and Effect, 'Dependent Origination', Buddhist views on the workings of the Mind ... the insights of later teachers such as Master Dogen ... the list goes on ...


It's not merely a matter of intellectual understanding, but of views which become a natural part of countless aspects of our lives.


Our Zazen Practice brings life to these doctrines, while each doctrine helps give shape to our Zazen.


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Silent Sitting





a silent sitting ...


... no words ...

<
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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Heart Sutra XXI


The next words of the Heart Sutra are shorthand for The Eightfold Path ...

No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/
No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.

... We will next take a few days to review that Path ...

... which, with the Four Noble Truths, is at the very heart of the Buddha's Teachings.

But before we do ... let's again recall what the Heart Sutra is saying about all this ...

... that the Truths, and the Path, are burned away in the fires of Emptiness.

There is no suffering,
no Truth of suffering, its cause, its end ...
and no Path to that end.



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Four Noble Truths IV

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As the Fourth Noble Truth, 'medicine' for Dukkha is prescribed via the 'Eightfold Path' ...

... Although the path is numbered sequentially, it is generally not seen as as series of steps, but instead (in modern terms) a 'holistic lifestyle' which is "to be developed more or less simultaneously, ... all linked together and each helping the cultivation of the others" (Buddhist Scholar Walpola Rahula in 'What the Buddha Taught'). For that reason, it is represented as the eight spokes of the Dharma Wheel, each supporting the entirety

The eight elements are typically divided into three groups ...

  • Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā)
1. Right View
2. Right Intention
  • Ethical Conduct (Sanskrit: śīla)
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
  • Mental Discipline (Sanskrit: samādhi)
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration


SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: September Zazenkai

Please 'sit-a-long' with our September "Zazenkai" (running time: approx. 4 hours) ...

The sitting schedule is as follows:

00:00 – 00:50 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA English Only / SANDOKAI) & ZAZEN
00:50 – 01:00 KINHIN
01:00 – 01:40 ZAZEN
01:40 – 01:50 KINHIN
01:50 – 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
02:30 – 02:40 KINHIN
02:40 – 03:20 ZAZEN
03:20 – 03:30 KINHIN
03:30 – 04:00 FUKANZAZENGI & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING

I 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.

ALSO, REMEMBER TO SET YOUR COMPUTER (& SCREEN SAVER) SO THAT IT DOES NOT SHUT OFF DURING THE 4 HOURS.
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NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE TO SEE THE SCREEN OR START BUTTON,
PLEASE UPDATE FLASH. SEE HERE

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Four Noble Truths III

REMINDER: OUR 4 HOUR MONTHLY ZAZENKAI IS TOMORROW, SATURDAY, FROM 9PM JAPAN TIME ... BE THERE OR JUST BE.

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An alternative wording of the Four Noble Truths is [emphasis added] ...

1. Suffering exists
2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desires ceases
4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path

Quiz: The 'self' strongly desires X, but the world gives Y instead (e.g., a 'failure' when 'success' was desired). Great dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear, grief and/or frustration are the result. In such cases, which of the following are an effective 'medicine' to desire and suffering, and a fruit of our 'Just Sitting' Zazen Practice? (Note: several answers will overlap):

A. For the 'self' to learn to redirect its desire from X toward Y or Q (a third, available object).
B. For the 'self' to soften or drop its attachment toward X.

C. For the 'self' to develop equanimity and acceptance toward any and all outcomes.
D. For the inner desires, drives and cravings to be calmed and, thus, to lose their force.
E. For the
inner desires, drives and cravings to be, when needed, forcibly restrained by willpower.
F. For the 'self' to drop all thought of both 'X' and 'Y' from mind.
G. For the sense of 'self' to soften, or fully drop away.
H. All of the above -- simultaneously or in various combinations at different times.

ANSWER: H
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My point: Practice provides a whole bag of available tricks.

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Four Noble Truths II

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In life, there's sickness, old age, death and loss ... other very hard times ...

But that's not why 'Life is Suffering'. Not at all, said the Buddha.

Instead, it's sickness, but only when we refuse the condition ...
...old age, if we long for youth ...
... death, because we cling to life ...
... loss , when we cannot let go ...
... violated expectations, because we wished otherwise ...

Our 'dissatisfaction', 'disappointment', 'unease' and 'frustration' ... Dukkha ... arises as a state of mind, as our demands and wishes for how things 'should be' or 'if only would be for life to be happy' differ from 'the way things are'. The gap is the source of Dukkha. Our Practice closes the gap

What's more, even happiness can be a source of Dukkha if we cling to the happy state, demand that it stay, are attached to good news, material successes, pleasures and the like ... refusing the way life may otherwise go.

The next words of the Heart Sutra are shorthand for The Four Noble Truths ...

No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/

... So, let's take a few days to talk about those Truths ...

...at the very heart of the Buddha's Teachings.

So elegant and direct, thus the very simplicity of the teaching can be lost ...


Life is Dukkha,
there is a cause for Dukkha,
there is a way to the cessation of Dukkha,
that way is the Noble Eightfold Path


So, what is 'Dukkha'?

No one English word captures the full depth and range of the Pali term Dukkha. It is sometimes rendered as 'suffering', as in 'life is suffering'. But perhaps it's better expressed as 'dissatisfaction', 'anxiety', 'disappointment' 'unease at imperfection' or 'frustration', terms that wonderfully convey a subtlety of meaning.

Your 'self' wishes this world to be X, yet this world is not X. The mental state that may result to the 'self' from this disparity is Dukkha.

Shakyamuni Buddha gave many examples ... sickness (when we do not wish to be sick), old age (when we long for youth), death (if we cling to life), loss of a loved one (as we cannot let go), violated expectations, the failure of happy moments to last (though we wish them to last). Even joyous moments ... such as happiness and good news, treasure or pleasant times ... can be a source of suffering if we cling to them, are attached to those things.

In ancient stories, Dukkha is often compared to a chariot's or potter's wheel that will not turn smoothly as it revolves. The opposite, Sukkha, is a wheel that spins smoothly and noiselessly, without resistance as it goes.

(THE FOLLOWING IS PART OF A SERIES OF TALKS & SITTINGS FROM LAST YEAR)

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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: LATE!!?



I'm late, I'm late ... for a very important date (and sitting) ...


But can we truly be "late" for anything?




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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Silent Sitting








a silent sitting ...


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Today's Zazen is only an instant (and I mean "INSTANT") ...

We are visiting the world's third largest sub-atomic particle collider, which happens to be located just 15 minutes by bicycle from Treeleaf Tsukuba. (Seen here, with Mt. Tsukuba in the background). So close, that Jundo and family will be some of the first matter sucked into the inevitable "Black Hole" ...

Our Zazen today is faster than an electron and positron will collide, hurtling at nearly the speed of light. In fact, as some of the scientists there are happy to explain, by some Heisenberg models our Zazen actually ends before it begins, while by other models it both begins and ends simultaneously, depending on the observor ... Jundo sitting Zazen endlessly in some extra dimension or parallel alternative universe ...

So, while our Zazen today will be faster than the blink of Buddha's eye ... it never ceases