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Jundo
05-18-2017, 04:50 PM
http://www.echelfordprimary.co.uk/_files/images/A4FA954248CFE2CC36020F9795D2A729.png

Dear All,

As you know, we've asked folks to write “SAT TODAY” next to their signature before posting in this Forum. "SAT TODAY" means that someone has sat Zazen sometime during the past day, and that they will have “sat before chatting” in the Forum.


Signing "SatToday" - Please "Sat" before Forum "Chat" (LINK (http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?12995-Signing-SatToday-Please-Sat-before-Forum-Chat))

Now, to enliven and activate our Treeleaf “ENGAGED & CHARITABLE PROJECTS CENTER (LINK (http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?67-ENGAGED-CHARITABLE-PROJECTS-CENTER)) we're are requesting something more:

I am asking that all Treeleaf members, in some way, perform an extra “good deed” each day (something that they do not otherwise daily do) dedicated in their heart to Treeleaf Sangha. When they do so, they should put “LAH” or “Lent A Hand” next to their signature too, as a way to show their participation by having done a special deed during the previous day. For example:




“SatTodayLAH” or “ST/Lent A Hand” etc.



This should be a Practice done each day. Be "on the lookout" for each day's special deed. The “good deeds” can be big or small, perhaps helping a senior citizen cross the street, or marching for peace in the streets, or cleaning a city street! It can range from saying a small kind word to someone who looks like they need a smile that day, to finally bringing peace in the Middle East! Donating a penny or a million dollars to a charity, all good deeds. Most may take a moment, some may take all day. If someone has a physical disability or the like, then writing an email to support a social cause or posting something kind online will count. Making a financial donation to a charity you do not otherwise make will count.

Any size act, big or small, is welcome. They can be very imaginative or most ordinary. We leave it to your own conscience and heart. Yes, of course, many of these things are acts that our good people at Treeleaf would "have done anyway" [gassholook], but just should be a little “extra something” that you suddenly do and dedicate to this Sangha in your heart. It can be part of a regularly scheduled weekly volunteer or like activity, but even there we ask that you add a little something extra, a special extra act or deed of some kind, that you dedicate to this "Lend A Hand" Project.

One difference from “Sat Today” is that "LAH"will not be a “requirement” in any way, no asking someone not to post or join in here, and no criticism or “finger wag” by me in any way if you don’t do this or put “LAH” on your post. I will regularly offer just positive encouragement. The point of all this is simply to build a group spirit of charity, and a sense of participation as a Sangha community “Team Project.” By other folks seeing “LAH,” we are not bragging in any way (there should be no indication by you whatsoever of how or what you did) … and offering an extra smile or rescuing a child from a burning building are all the same. We leave it to individual conscience, circumstances and your heart and feeling each day.

HOWEVER, we will encourage folks to submit ANONYMOUSLY their stories of “Good Deeds” from time to time to our “GOJO BODHISATTVA” anonymous publication system, found at the following links. The reason is not to brag, but to provide examples of good deeds to inspire others.:


GOJO BODHISATTVA LINK (http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?15139-Stories-of-Compassion-and-Kindness-GOJO-BODHISATTVA)

Submit to Gojo, the Treeleaf Bodhisattva of cooperative compassion, by sending an email to: gojo@treeleaf.org

By telling these stories ANONYMOUSLY, the good deed doer takes little credit, yet your posting will serve to motivate and inspire countless others. (You can write an email with your deed to our ombudsman for GOJO who will remove your name and identifying information before posting. Everyone can then read the story, but nobody except the confidential ombudsman will know who did so).

In fact, in traditional Buddhist belief it is the GIVER who is indebted to the RECIPIENT for an opportunity of merit, as much as the other way around. We try not to be too proud or take too much credit, but it is okay to feel good about it too. Giver, Gift and Receiver are truly one.

I confess to having stolen this idea completely from several like movements around the world (this kind of good idea is free to steal with only good Karma resulting). For example "Pay It Forward" "Pass It On" and the like:




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU



So, THANK YOU!!

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Byokan
05-18-2017, 05:47 PM
Thank you Jundo,

LAH di da, I think this is cool, I'm on board. It's really just moving from a vague intention or vow to be helpful, to an intentional intention. Dedicating it in our minds to Treeleaf is a lovely practice. It reminds us that there is no separation, that when we help our neighbor we are serving the Sangha, when we help a stranger we are offering a bow to Jundo, when we help a lost dog we're saving all sentient beings. Picking up trash in the park is feeding the starving Buddha. It's all the same. I do hope someone will cure cancer and clear up that pesky Middle East situation, that would be awesome.

On the lookout for today's good deed, with gratitude,

Gassho
Byōkan
sat today

Jundo
05-18-2017, 06:00 PM
Thank you Jundo,

LAH di da, I think this is cool, I'm on board. It's really just moving from a vague intention or vow to be helpful, to an intentional intention. Dedicating it in our minds to Treeleaf is a lovely practice. It reminds us that there is no separation, that when we help our neighbor we are serving the Sangha, when we help a stranger we are offering a bow to Jundo, when we help a lost dog we're saving all sentient beings. Picking up trash in the park is feeding the starving Buddha. It's all the same. I do hope someone will cure cancer and clear up that pesky Middle East situation, that would be awesome.

On the lookout for today's good deed, with gratitude,

Gassho
Byōkan
sat today

All lovely, Byokan. No need to offer a bow to me, however. Thank you though.

Gassho, Jundo
SatTodayLAH

Kyonin
05-18-2017, 06:13 PM
Hi Jundo,

I'm in in this. As a matter of fact I just came from buying some groceries and I had the chance to do something for someone.

So for today and to kick this off... LAH :)

Gassho,

Kyonin
SatToday

Meian
05-18-2017, 10:23 PM
My mother in law had her first chemo and radiation treatment today, was an all day affair. I made a big vat of chicken with rice for my in-laws' dinner and am about to take it over, dishes, etc. Nothing unusual, just the beginning.

Gassho
Kim
Sat today/lah

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Jundo
05-18-2017, 11:50 PM
Lovely, Lovely.

This is all Practice, which is something in Mahayana Buddhism that is actually not about us, but is always dedicated to the world. We sit for the world, we act for the world and others. So, this is just another form of Shikantaza, like Chanting Metta ... it is Metta in Action. Like placing an offering on the Altar, this is making small offerings to the Altar which is the world. Like working in Samu to pick weeds or cook, or eating Oryoki, this is working to pick a few weeds in our town, to feed others as we feed ourselves.

One can speak about what is done, but primarily to inspire others through our anonymous Gojo Bodhisattva system (email stories to gojo@treeleaf.org ) where only the ombudsman will know, will publish free of names and keep it all secret (we are looking for a system where even the ombudsman, now Sekishi, will not know). It is wonderful to feel joyful for doing good, but at the same time we learn not to be prideful or to overly pat ourselves on the back. We learn that the whole world supports each other. My hope is to gets dozens and dozens, hundreds ?, of postings to Gojo in the coming weeks, and to keep Sekishi Ombudsman busy.

You can also post here if you wish to tell a little story directly, not problem! All the room for good deeds in the world.

Big or small all get equal "LAH" treatment, and we all have times in life we do both as the heart guides.

I will be offering a sit-a-long talk on these themes, later today, to get the ball rolling.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Shingen
05-19-2017, 12:43 AM
Wonderful wonderful, this is a great idea and I am on board. =)

I had an interesting experience today in regards to LAH. Just before work I was early so I was drinking my coffee and reading emails in my truck. Sadly I noticed an intoxicated male stumbling across the road, well down the road. I got out of my truck and asked if I could help him to the side walk. He was happy for the help and to tell me his life story. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sattoday/LAH

Shingen
05-19-2017, 12:52 AM
My mother in law had her first chemo and radiation treatment today, was an all day affair. I made a big vat of chicken with rice for my in-laws' dinner and am about to take it over, dishes, etc. Nothing unusual, just the beginning.

Gassho
Kim
Sat today/lah

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

A wonderful way to "Lend a Hand" Kim. I have been there, as my Mom went through chemo ... just being there is such a powerful support!

Gassho
Shingen

SatToday/LAH

pdharness
05-19-2017, 01:06 AM
Thank you for this Jundo, I can't wait to get started planting seeds of kindness tomorrow!

Gassho,
Paul
Sattoday

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Jakuden
05-19-2017, 01:13 AM
Haha I have trouble posting to Gojo, because all my stories have to do with people and their animals and that immediately gives me away [morehappy] I am fortunate in that I am in a position where I can help people and animals all day and make a living off of it. My business will probably never be as personally profitable as it was under my predecessor, but that's because I choose to trade in financial reward for "right livelihood" as often as I want. (I am getting used to the idea that he would think me foolish, but it feels right and it's ok to be a business owner that doesn't bow to the all-powerful money god.)

It's a good reminder, though, for me to work on "lending a hand" outside of work. Thank you for helping to reinforce the things I am trying to get better at.

Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday

Geika
05-19-2017, 01:52 AM
Excellent idea! I will participate.

Gassho, sat today

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Meian
05-19-2017, 02:14 AM
Jakuden, that's why this time I did not post it to Gojo, because of the subject (too obvious). Jundo's mention of a completely anonymous option in the future, I am interested in. I don't usually feel comfortable discussing what I do, but i don't want a sour face from Jundo either =)

Shingen, yes, very much - it was sharing a meal, but more it was spending time, listening to her tell about her day at the hospital, getting updated, being given her nutrition list, and telling goofy jokes =)

Gassho
Kim
Sat today

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Jundo
05-19-2017, 02:25 AM
Jakuden, that's why this time I did not post it to Gojo, because of the subject (too obvious). Jundo's mention of a completely anonymous option in the future, I am interested in. I don't usually feel comfortable discussing what I do, but i don't want a sour face from Jundo either =)

Shingen, yes, very much - it was sharing a meal, but more it was spending time, listening to her tell about her day at the hospital, getting updated, being given her nutrition list, and telling goofy jokes =)

Gassho
Kim
Sat today

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

Lovely. Thank you.

I guess the people submitting to Gojo can just write the submission to be very general. For example, Jakuden's "I was helping someone with a sick puppy" could become "I was helping someone with a sick kitty", and we would have no idea. :)

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

lorax
05-19-2017, 02:41 AM
Gassho Jundo

SAT TODAY

Jakuden
05-19-2017, 03:04 AM
Jakuden, that's why this time I did not post it to Gojo, because of the subject (too obvious). Jundo's mention of a completely anonymous option in the future, I am interested in. I don't usually feel comfortable discussing what I do, but i don't want a sour face from Jundo either =)

Shingen, yes, very much - it was sharing a meal, but more it was spending time, listening to her tell about her day at the hospital, getting updated, being given her nutrition list, and telling goofy jokes =)

Gassho
Kim
Sat today

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

[emoji120]
Thanks for sharing your visit and please keep us posted on how you mother-in-law is doing! Would she enjoy knowing that we all are sending Metta?
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday


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Hoko
05-19-2017, 04:54 AM
Totally on board.

Gassho,
Hōkō
#SatToday
LAH

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Washin
05-19-2017, 06:37 AM
Wonderful project! I'm joining in...
Thank you, Jundo gassho2

Washin
sat today

Kotei
05-19-2017, 07:48 AM
There are days with no reminder needed.
And then, there are the other ones.
Together, there is always a helping hand.

Thinking about sharing via Gojo still feels strange.
With being trained to "do good and shut up... the reward is the deed itself", it makes me feel like soiling the whole thing.
As there is some 'soil' in soiling, there might also be a certain lotus, growing out of it, when shared here. ;-)

Gassho,
Kotei sat and lah today.

Jundo
05-19-2017, 08:27 AM
There are days with no reminder needed.
And then, there are the other ones.
Together, there is always a helping hand.

Thinking about sharing via Gojo still feels strange.
With being trained to "do good and shut up... the reward is the deed itself", it makes me feel like soiling the whole thing.
As there is some 'soil' in soiling, there might also be a certain lotus, growing out of it, when shared here. ;-)

Gassho,
Kotei sat and lah today.

Hi Kotei

The role of Gojo is simply to inspire others or put a suggested action into mind.

There is no name or credit whatsoever for the person who shares the story. They are just an anonymous vehicle.

I would even say that to share a story is thus itself a further act of giving and not instead withholding.

Gassho J

SatTodayLAH

Kotei
05-19-2017, 09:15 AM
Hi Kotei

The role of Gojo is simply to inspire others or put a suggested action into mind.

There is no name or credit whatsoever for the person who shares the story. They are just an anonymous vehicle.

I would even say that to share a story is thus itself a further act of giving and not instead withholding.

Gassho J

SatTodayLAH

Thank you for the new perspective, Jundo.

Maybe feeling uneasy with it comes from having a too close relationship with my inner reward-system.
I just don't trust myself very much, when it is involved.
Posting something, seeing some replies, feeling great, doing again for that feeling, etc. etc.
But yes, this thoughts is only about me and there is a wide span between not posting at all and doing it every day.
Opportunity for practice, eh?

Gassho,
Kotei sat and LAH today.

Eva
05-19-2017, 09:55 AM
Thank you Kotei, for voicing something that was also on my mind .
Thank you Jundo for giving it a larger perspective to look at .

Gassho
Eva
sat today

Jundo
05-19-2017, 10:34 AM
Maybe feeling uneasy with it comes from having a too close relationship with my inner reward-system.
I just don't trust myself very much, when it is involved.
Posting something, seeing some replies, feeling great, doing again for that feeling, etc. etc.


Hi Kotei,

But I feel that the Dalai Lama does what the Dalai Lama does, Dogen did and even Buddha did what made each feel right and good and pleasant in the respective "inner reward systems" for doing Dalai/Dogen/Buddha things. Who said (in fact, nobody said) that one cannot take a modicum of pleasure and feel right for doing good?

The Dalai/Dogen/Buddha thus each do an action, receive positive inner and outer reinforcement, feel good, repeat. What is wrong with that? Perhaps one should not encourage positive feelings for doing bad, but all felt good about doing good.

And the Buddha got lots of compliments ... the most over the top compliments that end every Sutra ... and I never heard him complain at being the "World Honored One" and the like. From a Sutta chosen almost at random ...


When the Exalted One had spoken thus, Sigala, the young householder, said as follows:

"Excellent, Lord, excellent! It is as if, Lord, a man were to set upright that which was overturned, or were to reveal that which was hidden, or were to point out the way to one who had gone astray, or were to hold a lamp amidst the darkness, so that those who have eyes may see. Even so, has the doctrine been explained in various ways by the Exalted One.

From the "Sigalovada Sutta"

I never once heard the Buddha say at the end, "Oh, please, you are too kind. Turn it down a notch." [monk]

As a matter of fact, in the same Sutta, the Buddha advises the layperson Sigalovado to earn enjoyment and reasonable praise ...


Who is hospitable, and friendly,
Liberal and unselfish,
A guide, an instructor, a leader,
Such a one to honor may attain.

Generosity, sweet speech,
Helpfulness to others,
Impartiality to all,
As the case demands.

These four winning ways make the world go round,
As the linchpin in a moving car.
...

Since these four winning ways
The wise appraise in every way,
To eminence they attain,
And praise they rightly gain.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.31.0.nara.html

My point is that even getting some praise from the outside is not a bad thing if (1) reasonably deserved (2) accepted with equanimity and mutual gratitude (3) not clung to and excessively craved. If somebody pays you a compliment because you truly did a good thing, accept the compliment with grace and equal humility.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Jishin
05-19-2017, 10:52 AM
I just donated a trillion dollars [emoji385] to the band The Hokey Pokers for their fantastic and uplifting songs so they can continue their world tour in case they run out of funds.

Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

Kokuu
05-19-2017, 11:55 AM
Hi all

In Britain there is also a culture of not boasting about kind deeds but the Gojo system seems to get around that well, as does the anonymity of what you have done in LAH.

As most of us do, I try to do as many small good deeds as I can but have already noticed that this new proposal has me looking for even more ways of doing so.

Thank you for your inspiring talk on the subject, Jundo.

Gassho
Kokuu
-sattoday/LAH-

Jundo
05-19-2017, 12:15 PM
As most of us do, I try to do as many small good deeds as I can but have already noticed that this new proposal has me looking for even more ways of doing so.



Ah, you are always bragging about yourself Kokuu! :p

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Jundo
05-19-2017, 12:18 PM
I just donated a trillion dollars [emoji385] to the band The Hokey Pokers for their fantastic and uplifting songs so they can continue their world tour in case they run out of funds.

Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

Thank you. I have their record.

Dogen quotes this Koan on Compassion, a version of the natural Hokey Pokey ..

Ungan asked Dogo, “How does the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion (Kannon) use so many hands and eyes?”
Dogo said, “It’s just like a person in the middle of the night reaching back in search of a pillow.”
Ungan said, “I understand.”
Dogo said, “How do you understand it?”
Ungan said, “All over the body are hands and eyes.”
Dogo said, “What you said is all right, but it’s only eighty percent of it.”
Ungan said, “I’m like this, Senior brother. How do you understand it?”
Dogo said, “Throughout the body are hands and eyes.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_P9PU5FcMQ

The Hokey Pokers

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Joyo
05-19-2017, 12:40 PM
Wonderful, I am in. =)

Gassho,
Joyo
sat today

Jundo
05-19-2017, 12:58 PM
Wonderful, I am in. =)

Gassho,
Joyo
sat today

A lot of folks like Joyo are already so focused on caring ... for family, kids, friends, those who they love and love them. They give all day and sometimes ask little for themselves.

Still, we even ask them to give one inch more each day for this. Just one minute more, one comforting look more, just one nice word more, for this on top of all they do. There is always room for one inch more. :)

(But don't forget to be kind, and take some time and nurturing for yourself too. Even the Buddha would take a break from Buddhaing each day).

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Kotei
05-19-2017, 03:07 PM
Thank you Jundo.
Got your points. gassho2

Sitting, being mindful, watching myself should be the right antidote to what I wrote.
Nothing was meant as a valid reason for not sharing. No need to look like that ;-).
Just thinking about why it feels like it does to me.

Kokuu's post made me think more about cultural differences.
Different, but related... I once shared some descriptions and pictures of my living-room coral reef in a German and a US reef discussion forum.
The first 3 US replies were something like: What is that coral in the upper left... Wow, how do you maintain such a clean water... I like the wave motion..
The first 3 German replies were like: Were did you get all that money from... What did it cost... I bet you were born rich...



I never once heard the Buddha say at the end, "Oh, please, you are too kind. Turn it down a notch." [monk]

Wasn't he born as the son of the ruler of Kapilavastu? Maybe, he was used to be addressed like that. ;-)

Gassho,
Kotei sat/LAH today.

Shugen
05-19-2017, 03:20 PM
I look forward to exploring new opportunities to be of service - find that extra "inch".

Gassho,

Shugen

Sattoday


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Banto
05-19-2017, 03:39 PM
This is wonderful. I love the idea of motivation each other too look for LAH opportunities. <3
Perhaps to balance the concerns Kotei mentioned we could ALSO from time to time share stories when we are recipients of LAH actions, inspiring gratitude.

For instance, my fam was recently on vacation and while away our house sitter who volunteered to watch the house and pets also did many extra unexpected things while we were gone. We've found things cleaned, extra care given to things here and there like plants, even welcome home balloons and funny notes to find upon our return. She blessed us with extra loving care.


SatToday/LAH and RAH (received) ;)

Eishuu
05-19-2017, 04:55 PM
What a great idea.

Gassho
Lucy
Sat today/LAH

Entai
05-19-2017, 06:29 PM
I love the idea. I try doing little things when I can. I think it will be a wonderful practice to do it daily. Our local grocery store is selling brown bags of food that get donated to a food pantry. We bought a couple.

Gassho, Entai
ST/LAH

Meitou
05-19-2017, 06:36 PM
I'm so grateful for this suggestion as an extra motivation because I have to admit that sometimes I can be a bit arbitrary with daily kindness. For instance, there's an African refugee guy who sells small items outside my local supermarket and I often buy him something while I'm doing my shopping. Today when I got to the checkout I realised I had forgotten, but because the queue was so long behind me, I didn't want to leave it and start queueing again. Selfish me! Tomorrow with LAH in mind, I'll be back there buying him a treat :)

Gassho
Sat with you all this morning gassho1

Joyo
05-19-2017, 08:23 PM
A lot of folks like Joyo are already so focused on caring ... for family, kids, friends, those who they love and love them. They give all day and sometimes ask little for themselves.

Still, we even ask them to give one inch more each day for this. Just one minute more, one comforting look more, just one nice word more, for this on top of all they do. There is always room for one inch more. :)

(But don't forget to be kind, and take some time and nurturing for yourself too. Even the Buddha would take a break from Buddhaing each day).

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Thank you, Jundo. You made me cry. That is very touching. [gassholook]

Yes, I can give one more inch, to myself and others.

Gassho,
Joyo
sat today/lah

Zenmei
05-19-2017, 08:52 PM
This is a beautiful exercise. It's making me realize how much time I spend wrapped up in my own problems. When you're not actively looking for ways to help, it's so easy to miss the moments when you can do something good.

Gassho, Zenmei
#sat/lah

Jundo
05-19-2017, 11:39 PM
Hi Guys,

Yes, just to emphasize that it is an experiment and we will assess how it went, based on the actual experience, in a couple of months.

It is voluntary, but I hope folks will give it a try and join in the great experiment. I bet that most folks will find it beneficial to those around them, to their society, as a contribution to Sangha ... to their own Practice, to themselves. Thank you thank you thank you.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Shingen
05-19-2017, 11:40 PM
Hi Guys,

Yes, just to emphasize that it is an experiment and we will assess how it went, based on the actual experience, in a couple of months.

It is voluntary, but I hope folks will give it a try and join in the great experiment. I bet that most folks will find it beneficial to those around them, to their society, as a contribution to Sangha ... to their own Practice, to themselves. Thank you thank you thank you.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH
Thank you Jundo ... Looking forward to see what it cultivates. =)

Gassho
Shingen

SatToday/LAH

Jika
05-20-2017, 06:15 AM
I've only today read this and I don't want to participate, please.

Upon reading, my mind started racing what good deeds I have done during the last week, and what I could do in future.

The strange thing is, once it is a task for the sangha, it is distant from me.

I notice that on days when my health is better, my practice allows me to be more friendly and outgoing (like talking to a refugee, mother of three, on the bus, which I usually would not do. But yesterday I thought it a good idea and she liked it.)
On other days I try to limit being an assh... I know inside it is hard work, but does it qualify for LAH??

What you are asking is (to me) like asking a flower to blossom when there is no sun, no don't be an ordinary flower, you have a mission!
Push yourself! Grow that extra bud!

If this is a bodhisattva's vow, to have target numbers and continually improving statistics, like a salesman, I'm happy to be neither.

With respectful bows,
Jika
#sattoday

Jundo
05-20-2017, 06:25 AM
I've only today read this and I don't want to participate, please.

Upon reading, my mind started racing what good deeds I have done during the last week, and what I could do in future.

The strange thing is, once it is a task for the sangha, it is distant from me.

I notice that on days when my health is better, my practice allows me to be more friendly and outgoing (like talking to a refugee, mother of three, on the bus, which I usually would not do. But yesterday I thought it a good idea and she liked it.)
On other days I try to limit being an assh... I know inside it is hard work, but does it qualify for LAH??

What you are asking is (to me) like asking a flower to blossom when there is no sun, no don't be an ordinary flower, you have a mission!
Push yourself! Grow that extra bud!

If this is a bodhisattva's vow, to have target numbers and continually improving statistics, like a salesman, I'm happy to be neither.

With respectful bows,
Jika
#sattoday

Hi Jika,

There is no demand and, certainly, no statistics.

Just do what you can, or don't do what you feel unable. Yes, being gentler than you would otherwise be on a certain day would certainly qualify if that is what you can manage.

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Jishin
05-20-2017, 08:01 AM
I've only today read this and I don't want to participate, please.

Upon reading, my mind started racing what good deeds I have done during the last week, and what I could do in future.

The strange thing is, once it is a task for the sangha, it is distant from me.

I notice that on days when my health is better, my practice allows me to be more friendly and outgoing (like talking to a refugee, mother of three, on the bus, which I usually would not do. But yesterday I thought it a good idea and she liked it.)
On other days I try to limit being an assh... I know inside it is hard work, but does it qualify for LAH??

What you are asking is (to me) like asking a flower to blossom when there is no sun, no don't be an ordinary flower, you have a mission!
Push yourself! Grow that extra bud!

If this is a bodhisattva's vow, to have target numbers and continually improving statistics, like a salesman, I'm happy to be neither.

With respectful bows,
Jika
#sattoday

4232

I don't think you can not not participate.

Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

Enjaku
05-20-2017, 12:33 PM
I'm not sure about this one - it's certainly an interesting idea. Good to hear others are already finding it helpful.

I think I'm in agreement with Jika. When I sit with emptiness and impermanence, compassion blooms (or doesn't) without effort. For me, deciding whether my post warrants the LAH tag would feel like a daily self-assessment, or a form of self-improvement. For me personally, this kind of reflection can sustain the notion that there is a faulty self that requires perfection.

As I drop thoughts of self-improvement and sit with the messiness, I'm naturally becoming more compassionate. I'll continue to reflect on this but I'll respectfully choose not to participate for now.

Gassho,
Enjaku
Sat

Jundo
05-20-2017, 01:22 PM
I'm not sure about this one - it's certainly an interesting idea. Good to hear others are already finding it helpful.

I think I'm in agreement with Jika. When I sit with emptiness and impermanence, compassion blooms (or doesn't) without effort. For me, deciding whether my post warrants the LAH tag would feel like a daily self-assessment, or a form of self-improvement. For me personally, this kind of reflection can sustain the notion that there is a faulty self that requires perfection.

As I drop thoughts of self-improvement and sit with the messiness, I'm naturally becoming more compassionate. I'll continue to reflect on this but I'll respectfully choose not to participate for now.

Gassho,
Enjaku
Sat

I would say that there is no "you" that requires self-improvement, but yet there is. This is one of the great Koans of our way: If there is nobody in need of improving, and all is just as there is ... then why nonetheless do we need to Practice and improve? There is a self which requires improvement, and it is beyond all fault. Compassion naturally arises, and yet it must be nurtured too.

In Shobogenzo Bodaisatta-Shishobo (The Bodhisattva’s Four Embracing Actions), Dogen spelled out a very wide definition of "good deeds" and charity (for example, he included gifts to nature, to one's family and even sometimes to oneself], yet he made the benefits quite clear:


Even if we give something humble—a single penny or a stalk of grass—it will plant a root of goodness in this and other ages. Dharma can be a material treasure, and a material treasure can be Dharma. This depends entirely upon the giver’s vow and wish. Offering his beard, a Chinese emperor harmonized his minister’s mind. Offering sand, a child gained the throne. [NOTE: During the T’ang dynasty, when an officer in the court of Emperor T’ai-tsung fell ill and needed the ashes from a beard for medicine, the emperor burnt his own beard and offered the ashes to the officer. Once when the Buddha was on an alms round, a child who was playing in the sand put a few grains in the Buddha’s alms bowl as an offering, and, due to this act, the child was later reborn as King Ashoka. ] These people did not covet rewards from others. They simply shared what they had according to their ability. To launch a boat or build a bridge is the practice of dana paramita [the Virtue of Giving]. ... Not only should we urge ourselves to make offerings, but we must not overlook any opportunity to practice dana. Because we are blessed with the virtue of offering, we have received our present lives.

... The mind of a sentient being is difficult to change. We begin to transform the mind of living beings by offering material things, and we resolve to continue to transform them until they attain the Way. From the beginning we should make use of offering. This is the reason why the first of the six paramitas is dana paramita. The vastness or narrowness of mind can not be measured, and the greatness or smallness of material things can not be weighed. But there are times when our mind turns things, and there is offering, in which things turn our mind.
https://terebess.hu/zen/dogen/KS-Bodaisatta.html

Participation is purely optional and voluntary, of course, but I sure do think most of us will benefit ... and our towns and the people we help in big and small ways will benefit.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Enjaku
05-20-2017, 02:12 PM
Participation is purely optional and voluntary, of course, but I sure do think most of us will benefit ... and our towns and the people we help in big and small ways will benefit.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

I hope many benefit and I appreciate the permission to opt out until I decide how I feel about it gassho1
Just to be clear, I'm opting out of LAH, not cultivating compassion and generosity!

Gassho,
Enjaku
Sat

Rich
05-20-2017, 05:01 PM
Thanks Jundo. Great idea. When you give your presence and attention to someone , the lights go on. Opportunities to help and receive help appear.

SAT today LAH

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Jakuden
05-20-2017, 06:31 PM
I've only practiced at one brick-and-mortar Monastery, but there, it was a pretty essential part of the experience to do one's part, kind of like a bee in a hive. I'm sure no one is forced to participate, (you could hide in the dormitory and refuse?) but I think the benefit to that person overall would be greatly reduced.

Of course, participation is risky because your efforts are right out there. You can try to cut your finger off in the kitchen ([emoji5]) or fail to complete whatever your expected duties are... it creates the same mental resistance as other aspects of practice, including Zazen, and pushes you out of your comfort zone... But it's pretty clear that the whole point is to serve the Sangha, the local community, and the world. Daily assignments are given on all of those levels.

Here at Treeleaf, we can't always see easily how as a group we are benefiting the Sangha, the community, and the world, so if we can generate that same spirit by checking in here (on the honor system, at our convenience) I think it gets us closer to some essential Zen lessons. To me, it's what makes Treeleaf a real Sangha, not just a support group or a discussion forum.
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday


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Meian
05-20-2017, 06:32 PM
This morning I realized I am quite grateful for the note included for Internet options. Our wild weather this week has knocked me out, but the Internet is a great resource and tool for advocacy. Thank you, Jundo, for thinking of all members. ♡

Gassho
Kim
St/LAH

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Meian
05-20-2017, 06:45 PM
"Participation is purely optional and voluntary, of course, but I sure do think most of us will benefit ... and our towns and the people we help in big and small ways will benefit."

For me, like the request to "sit today" first - it serves as a reminder and declaration in itself on why i am here, and what path i have chosen to walk. Not merely Buddhist "in name only" as the saying goes, but the reminder to put my feet, hands and practice where my mouth is. My way of life usually is about helping others, but I don't think about it, so my challenge is thinking about what i did that was helpful to others. But again, it's putting conscious thought to my practice and making sure that i am living what i profess to follow and believe. This is just how i see it, not a judgment on anyone. I feel it calls me to meet a higher standard, but in a good way. ♡

Gassho
Kim
Sat today/LAH

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Jundo
05-21-2017, 12:18 AM
I've only practiced at one brick-and-mortar Monastery, but there, it was a pretty essential part of the experience to do one's part, kind of like a bee in a hive. I'm sure no one is forced to participate, (you could hide in the dormitory and refuse?) but I think the benefit to that person overall would be greatly reduced.

Of course, participation is risky because your efforts are right out there. You can try to cut your finger off in the kitchen ([emoji5]) or fail to complete whatever your expected duties are... it creates the same mental resistance as other aspects of practice, including Zazen, and pushes you out of your comfort zone... But it's pretty clear that the whole point is to serve the Sangha, the local community, and the world. Daily assignments are given on all of those levels.

Here at Treeleaf, we can't always see easily how as a group we are benefiting the Sangha, the community, and the world, so if we can generate that same spirit by checking in here (on the honor system, at our convenience) I think it gets us closer to some essential Zen lessons. To me, it's what makes Treeleaf a real Sangha, not just a support group or a discussion forum.
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday



BOY! You really really hit on something vital!

If one goes to any bricks and mortar Zen place in the West or in Japan (anywhere in Asia for that matter), every body is expected to contribute with Samu (Work Practice) contributions to the place each day ... one person cleans the Altar, one person puts out the Zafus and Sutra books, folks help with cooking and washing up in the kitchen, everyone (especially the teachers) gather in the garden to pull weeds and sweep leaves. People rush to volunteer to be the ones to clean the toilets and the dirty bath!

This is not just necessary work to allow the day, weekend or weeklong Retreat ... it -IS- the Practice of the Retreat, it -IS- moving Zazen as vital as the seated Zazen (and done with the same "non-gaining" idea too, but done).

And in the temple or monastery, for the monks, it is expected ... it is their Training ... from morning to night, the Tenzo who cooks in the kitchen, the washing of the floors ...


http://jakobsdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/sweeping_monk.jpghttps://i.ytimg.com/vi/6pllQ_-ZxEA/hqdefault.jpghttp://bhoffert.faculty.noctrl.edu/HST330/Dogen.Tenzo.jpg


... and more toilet and bath cleaning, more weed pulling (the Master takes the lead) in the garden, bells are rung including the lucky fellow who gets up earlier than everyone else to wake the group. Monks spend more time on this than sitting Zazen ... and it all --IS-- Zazen too, neither sitting nor work to be neglected.

Yes, it is the individual monk's practice, but it is also a donation to the group and a manifestation that all in the group are One!

Dogen wrote in the Tenzo Kyokun (Instructions for the Cook) ...


In the past, eminent men in possession of the way practiced in this way [as cooks], working energetically with their own hands. In this latter day, how can we who are so late getting started [in our practice] be negligent about this? The ancients said that cooks regard tying up their sleeves [for manual work] as the way-seeking mind. ...

When I was staying at Tiantong-jingde-si [temple in China], a monk named Lu from Qingyuan fu held the post of tenzo [Cook]. Once ... I came upon him in front of the Buddha Hall drying mushrooms in the sun. He had a bamboo stick in his hand and no hat covering his head. The heat of the sun was blazing on the paving stones. It looked very painful; his back was bent like a bow and his eyebrows were as white as the feathers of a crane. I went up to the tenzo and asked, "How long have you been a monk?"

"Sixty-eight years," he said.

"Why don't you have an assistant do this for you?"

"Other people are not me."

"Venerable sir, I can see how you follow the Way through your work. But still, why do this now when the sun is so hot?"

"If not now, when?"

... In the many monasteries of the mountains of Song China that I have seen, the monks holding the various offices train in these posts for a year at a time, each of them in each moment practicing by three standards. Firstly, to benefit others benefits yourself. Second, make every effort to maintain and renew the monastic environment. Third, follow the standards set forth by the examples of excellent practitioners of past and present and come to stand with them.

And everyone is seen to do this, most is not hidden. Everybody sees the others, the teachers are watching the group. It is like our LAH, in that nobody asks who does more or who does less according to their abilities ... yet ALL do for ALL.

Do you know that even the sick monk in the monastery hospice is not excused? If it is all he can do, his work becomes to stay in bed, take his medicine and to offer a kind word to those who nurse him.

At Treeleaf, we have been able to provide sitting, but for many years we have lacked in our ability to create a way of Service to the Sangha. Well, in this place, "All of Life, and All the World, is our Temple." We have no kitchen and bathrooms here or a garden for weeds.

So, we will feed the world, pull some weeds of ugliness in our town, offer a kind word to those around us. Our Sangha is for busy working parents and folks out in the world, so we do not ask much time. Folks are already taking care of so much ... a moment and a single task each day dedicated to this Community and to others is enough.

But, would someone go to the "bricks and mortar" retreat and say, "I will just sit, and let the others clean the bath or cook?" Of course not! "If not now, when?" One would be sitting Zazen, but not truly sitting Zazen!

I cannot emphasize enough that LAH is bringing a missing aspect of the "Zen Experience" and Practice to Treeleaf!

Thank you for putting this so well, Jakuden. Nine Bows.

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

PS - I feel a Sit-a-Long Talk on this coming up next week. :)

Jakuden
05-21-2017, 01:55 AM
Do you know that even the sick monk in the monastery hospice is not excused? If it is all he can do, his work becomes to stay in bed, take his medicine and to offer a kind word to those who nurse him.


Yes, after I got the tip of my finger stitched back on, my work assignment the next day was "self care." I went up to their little cemetery, and swept and tidied while I was there.

I will admit that I whined a bit to my Ango partner Zenmei during Ango about trying to find time and motivation to do helping deeds, when I already spent my day serving others. To my knowledge, he has kept his promise not to throw me under the bus about that [smile]. When I have had Dokusan/Daisan during Sesshin at ZMM, most of my questions surrounded this topic: help with defining "compassion fatigue," how to know when to do self-care vs. helping others, how does compassion originate and manifest... I felt and still feel the need for a teacher to guide me with this, but I am starting to understand that if "self-care" is what you need to do in order to benefit others, then self-care is your practice... if your day is spent helping others, then do it earnestly and perhaps a little better, more kindly and patiently, with awareness of the "sameness" of yourself and the others you are helping, and that is your practice.

Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH

Jundo
05-21-2017, 03:03 AM
I felt and still feel the need for a teacher to guide me with this, but I am starting to understand that if "self-care" is what you need to do in order to benefit others, then self-care is your practice... if your day is spent helping others, then do it earnestly and perhaps a little better, more kindly and patiently, with awareness of the "sameness" of yourself and the others you are helping, and that is your practice.

Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH

That is right. We try to stay "other directed" on this as best we can, but sometimes all we can manage is to nurse ourselves.

And because so many folks are already doing so much for others, and have such busy days, all we ask is a second, a minute, a little touch extra, a drop more caring, one act more.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Enjaku
05-21-2017, 03:34 AM
Is it me or is there sometimes a confusion between Treeleaf and Treeleaf Monastery? I feel quite happy as a lay Buddhist, accessing Treeleaf as a frequent visitor and practitioner. I try to participate and contribute where I can and I carry the sangha in my heart. I also meditate, clean floors, scrub toilets, cook and wash dishes (just not in a monastery). As Jundo says, ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE. I'm not trying to imitate a monastic experience.

I'll join in the LAH experiment as an act of solidarity (and to avoid being viewed as the person who isn't cleaning the toilets...) but I do feel it's a shame that what could be a "way of being" is reduced to a daily good deed. I guess I need to be a little more humble and open-minded. I'm also aware others are keen to try it so I don't want to disrupt that.

Deep bows,
Enjaku
Sat

Zenmei
05-21-2017, 04:01 AM
Is it me or is there sometimes a confusion between Treeleaf and Treeleaf Monastery? I feel quite happy as a lay Buddhist, accessing Treeleaf as a frequent visitor and practitioner. I try to participate and contribute where I can and I carry the sangha in my heart. I also meditate, clean floors, scrub toilets, cook and wash dishes (just not in a monastery). As Jundo says, ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE. I'm not trying to imitate a monastic experience.

I'll join in the LAH experiment as an act of solidarity (and to avoid being viewed as the person who isn't cleaning the toilets...) but I do feel it's a shame that what could be a "way of being" is reduced to a daily good deed. I guess I need to be a little more humble and open-minded. I'm also aware others are keen to try it so I don't want to disrupt that.

Deep bows,
Enjaku
Sat

It's a "daily good deed" in the same sense that zazen is "staring at a wall". Yes, it's true on the surface, but there is a universe of depth behind it. We're not reducing kindness to a check mark on a list, we're saying that kindness to others is such a foundational part of our practice that in the same way we encourage sitting, we should encourage kind action. It's just as important to our practice, and it should be emphasized as our way of being.

That's what it means to me, anyway. I hope we're not setting up a dichotomy of "if you don't do this, you're not pulling your weight", because no one should feel obligated if they choose not to. For me, I need the extra motivation. Some days the only thing that gets me on the cushion is my obligation to Treeleaf, and so far, this lah thing is providing the same push. If it doesn't feel that way to you, don't do it.

Gassho, Zenmei
#sat/lah

Jakuden
05-21-2017, 04:20 AM
Is it me or is there sometimes a confusion between Treeleaf and Treeleaf Monastery? I feel quite happy as a lay Buddhist, accessing Treeleaf as a frequent visitor and practitioner. I try to participate and contribute where I can and I carry the sangha in my heart. I also meditate, clean floors, scrub toilets, cook and wash dishes (just not in a monastery). As Jundo says, ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE. I'm not trying to imitate a monastic experience.

I'll join in the LAH experiment as an act of solidarity (and to avoid being viewed as the person who isn't cleaning the toilets...) but I do feel it's a shame that what could be a "way of being" is reduced to a daily good deed. I guess I need to be a little more humble and open-minded. I'm also aware others are keen to try it so I don't want to disrupt that.

Deep bows,
Enjaku
Sat

As I spent time perusing the archives of Treeleaf, its history and mission, it always seemed clear to me that Jundo (and Taigu) were attempting to create an online Zen Monastery... but since that term implies a building, Sangha was more appropriate. Jundo has defended Treeleaf to critics by declaring that an online Sangha could indeed replicate the important aspects of a traditional sangha. I have never heard any indication that it was supposed to be "Zen lite" or "layperson easy Zen," although it is meant to be more easily accessible than a brick and mortar monastery. So if someone is not looking for a monastic experience, there will probably be confusion, because Treeleaf is a monastic experience--complete with teachers giving assignments to students, chanting,sitting, vows, samu, sewing, bell-ringing, and service to the Sangha and to ones own life.
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH



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Tom
05-21-2017, 07:00 AM
Jundo,
I took on your advice from ages ago, and have done pro-bono work, very underpaid work (ie only costs covered, I broke even, essentially donation of labor time.) I've just signed up for another four full days over the next six weeks. Does this count as LAH? Or is it the idea of a little mindful gesture each and every day, when the opportunity presents itself?
Tom
Sat Today.
Not sure if I've LAH.

Jundo
05-21-2017, 09:16 AM
Jundo,
I took on your advice from ages ago, and have done pro-bono work, very underpaid work (ie only costs covered, I broke even, essentially donation of labor time.) I've just signed up for another four full days over the next six weeks. Does this count as LAH? Or is it the idea of a little mindful gesture each and every day, when the opportunity presents itself?
Tom
Sat Today.
Not sure if I've LAH.

Hi Tom,

Sure it is LAH! But even there, in that pro-bono work, take one moment or do one thing a little extra each day. Then it sure is LAH for sure!

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Jundo
05-21-2017, 09:30 AM
Is it me or is there sometimes a confusion between Treeleaf and Treeleaf Monastery? I feel quite happy as a lay Buddhist, accessing Treeleaf as a frequent visitor and practitioner. I try to participate and contribute where I can and I carry the sangha in my heart. I also meditate, clean floors, scrub toilets, cook and wash dishes (just not in a monastery). As Jundo says, ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE. I'm not trying to imitate a monastic experience.

I'll join in the LAH experiment as an act of solidarity (and to avoid being viewed as the person who isn't cleaning the toilets...) but I do feel it's a shame that what could be a "way of being" is reduced to a daily good deed. I guess I need to be a little more humble and open-minded. I'm also aware others are keen to try it so I don't want to disrupt that.

Deep bows,
Enjaku
Sat

Hi Enjaku,

I have to disagree with Jakuden a bit. Treeleaf is not a monastery and was never intended as a monastery, as far as a place behind walls where folks do long term, concentrated residential training.

But Treeleaf is a Community, a Sangha, as is any local Zen Center or group. And there, when people show up for a day's Zazen or a longer Retreat, someone makes the tea, someone puts out the cushions, someone scrubs the floors. Now, as in those places, this LAH is purely voluntary, there is no obligation or requirement at all. However, we are very happy to have members all join in together for the community effort of the work to do. This is part of our Training too.

For example, here is a typical Soto Zen Center, not a monastery, and the community work is the center of Practice:

http://www.meditation-zen.org/en/meditation-samu

The request for "one good deed for a moment" is a minimum request (not even a requirement!). Please feel free to do many good deeds each day, there is no maximum either!

To not say "LAH" is, as some have pointed out, a kind of humility, not wishing to show off or take credit. That is excellent. But there is also a kind of selfishness to it too, saying that one is so "humble" that one is not willing to encourage others simply by saying "I'm here too." I understand that people do not wish to brag about their good deeds (that is why we created a system asking for anonymity), but by putting "LAH" one encourages others by saying "we are all in this together, we are all sweeping together, we are all a Community." LAH declaring folks do not say anything about WHAT they did, they merely are communicating "I'm in this too."

Okay, I will go back on what I said at the start, Jakuden was also somewhat right: This place is intended as a new kind of "monastery" in a way, in which our work and family life is our bell ringing and Samu, changing diapers a sacred ceremony, and cooking in the home kitchen is our version of Tenzo. Yes. But we do not have tea to make here, we do not have Treeleaf floors to clean. So, we are asking (no demands, no requirements) our Treeleaf members to do this ...

... to help Treeleaf, to help their towns, to help people in need, to help themselves.

If someone does not want to help, or helps but does not wish to encourage other members by showing the "LAH," that is fine too. All are welcome to sit and participate here, doing what they can or wish, freely, without demand, following their own heart.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Enjaku
05-21-2017, 10:30 AM
So if someone is not looking for a monastic experience, there will probably be confusion, because Treeleaf is a monastic experience--complete with teachers giving assignments to students, chanting,sitting, vows, samu, sewing, bell-ringing, and service to the Sangha and to ones own life.
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


It's true, I view my practice as being very different from living in a Monastery and I wouldn't choose to live in a Monastery. I see Treeleaf as my local Zen Group and I attend ceremonies and I visit and contribute when I can. I have to be honest, it felt pretty hurtful to see this described as "Zen Lite" and "easy Zen". I know you wouldn't have meant it to be hurtful and I appreciate your honesty.

Let me also say that you've been one of the warmest and wisest people I've met on this forum and I'm grateful to have this opportunity to practice with you. If I've failed to be clear or sensitive in this thread or elsewhere, please forgive me.


It's a "daily good deed" in the same sense that zazen is "staring at a wall". Yes, it's true on the surface, but there is a universe of depth behind it. We're not reducing kindness to a check mark on a list, we're saying that kindness to others is such a foundational part of our practice that in the same way we encourage sitting, we should encourage kind action. It's just as important to our practice, and it should be emphasized as our way of being.

This is an interesting point and it helps me see past some of my initial reservations. Thank you for making this clear. I see now that LAH is a small thing but one that also emphasises the equal importance of daily action alongside daily sitting. I couldn't see the wood for the trees.



To say "LAH" is, as some have pointed out, a kind of humility, not wishing to show off or take credit. That is excellent. But there is also a kind of selfishness to it too, saying that one is so "humble" that one is not willing to encourage others simply by saying "I'm here too."

LAH putting folks do not say anything about WHAT they did, they merely are communicating "I'm in this too."

Thank you Jundo. I've taken this on board. As with many things, I see now that I've been a little narrow-minded when I could have been curious and just given this a try.

I'd like to bow out of this thread at this point. I've already said far too much and I fear I've not been as sensitive as I could have been. These discussions are not so easy sometimes but often the most valuable lessons are "between the lines".

Gassho,
Enjaku
Sat

Jundo
05-21-2017, 11:33 AM
Thanks Enjaku. Give it a try and, in a couple of months, we will reassess how the experiment has gone.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Jakuden
05-21-2017, 01:55 PM
It's true, I view my practice as being very different from living in a Monastery and I wouldn't choose to live in a Monastery. I see Treeleaf as my local Zen Group and I attend ceremonies and I visit and contribute when I can. I have to be honest, it felt pretty hurtful to see this described as "Zen Lite" and "easy Zen". I know you wouldn't have meant it to be hurtful and I appreciate your honesty.

Let me also say that you've been one of the warmest and wisest people I've met on this forum and I'm grateful to have this opportunity to practice with you. If I've failed to be clear or sensitive in this thread or elsewhere, please forgive me.



This is an interesting point and it helps me see past some of my initial reservations. Thank you for making this clear. I see now that LAH is a small thing but one that also emphasises the equal importance of daily action alongside daily sitting. I couldn't see the wood for the trees.



Thank you Jundo. I've taken this on board. As with many things, I see now that I've been a little narrow-minded when I could have been curious and just given this a try.

I'd like to bow out of this thread at this point. I've already said far too much and I fear I've not been as sensitive as I could have been. These discussions are not so easy sometimes but often the most valuable lessons are "between the lines".

Gassho,
Enjaku
Sat

Sincere apologies Enjaku, I can see where my words could be hurtful. It was an unskillful way to try to make a point. As usual, we react to the things we see of ourselves in others, ( which is another Zen experience) so in seeing your reluctance I'm sure I was arguing with my own. Zenmei's reply above was closer to what I should have said.
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday


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Jakuden
05-21-2017, 03:43 PM
P.S. The above illustrates how IMHO yes, being less of an as****e may qualify some days! As a 50-year-old female, I have days where I want to bite everyone's head off from the get-go and on those days I consciously struggle, at work, home, and the grocery store, to not be crabby. It also makes me much more aware of the battles my fellow human beings are fighting that I do not see.

Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday and will try not to hurt anyone else's feelings.

lorax
05-21-2017, 04:09 PM
Been chewing on this. I think my reservation is based in Jundo’s description that LAH would be a special extra act or deed of some kind, that you dedicate to this "Lend A Hand" Project”. Many of us have chosen Treeleaf as our Sangha and place of practice because we live complicated lives or in isolated communities. Both diminish the opportunity to formally engage in charitable projects. This morning a friend of mine posted on FB one of those Thai Government videos that promote loving kindness in the community and within families. Taking the belief that we strive for loving kindness and compassion in our lives, we really only have to add one thing I draw from my years in emergency services, that of situational awareness. By adding the last factor to our daily lives we will see the person dropping their groceries or the old man struggling to carry out a simple task, the person in a wheelchair unable to negotiate rough ground. So I think compassion and loving kindness is not enough, but by adding situational awareness we will find and engage LAH opportunities at every turn in daily lives.

Troy
05-21-2017, 05:27 PM
I have mixed feelings about this mostly because it feels like an added obligation. Something to check off the to do list and more pressure in my already busy life. I completely support compassionate giving and I do participate in it. I get motivated to do so when touched emotionally by someone or some situation. It comes from a place of love not obligation. I will sit with it for awhile and maybe I can find a way to channel the proper emotional motivation. Also, I don't give of myself everyday. There are days I have nothing to give, some days I am socially withdrawn and other days I am total jerk. The most I can do on those days is to mitigate the damage I cause to others. I applaud the effort of trying to bring this community together in away that encourages acts of compassion.


sat2day

Troy

pdharness
05-21-2017, 05:34 PM
I have found, in my life, that I subconsciously do more to help out when I am spending more time being present. It is almost a side effect of a solid zazen practice for me. In fact I can tell that I need to practice more when I float through life taking, taking, taking while not giving back. So for me this experiment is an extension of our normal everyday practice.

Gassho,
Paul

Sattoday/LAH

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Troy
05-21-2017, 05:46 PM
I have found, in my life, that I subconsciously do more to help out when I am spending more time being present. It is almost a side effect of a solid zazen practice for me. In fact I can tell that I need to practice more when I float through life taking, taking, taking while not giving back. So for me this experiment is an extension of our normal everyday practice.

Gassho,
Paul

Sattoday/LAH

Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk

So true. Thank you for that.


sat2day

Troy

Jika
05-22-2017, 04:58 AM
P.S. The above illustrates how IMHO yes, being less of an as****e may qualify some days! As a 50-year-old female, I have days where I want to bite everyone's head off from the get-go and on those days I consciously struggle, at work, home, and the grocery store, to not be crabby. It also makes me much more aware of the battles my fellow human beings are fighting that I do not see.

Would never have guessed that!! Thank you for sharing, Jakuden.


...that LAH would be a special extra act or deed of some kind, that you dedicate to this "Lend A Hand" Project”. ... we really only have to add one thing I draw from my years in emergency services, that of situational awareness. By adding the last factor to our daily lives we will see...

This is what I'm experiencing, thank you Shozan.
Had three situations this weekend where I simply saw a situation to help "naturally".
No thought of Treeleaf, or being a good Buddhist. Just being myself with my eyes open on an non-ass...e day.

It's the same difference as having a salad because it is healthy and one should eat more plants, or having a salad because it's delicious.
Same result, but I prefer the second.

Gassho
Jika
#sattoday

Jundo
05-22-2017, 06:01 AM
It's the same difference as having a salad because it is healthy and one should eat more plants, or having a salad because it's delicious.
Same result, but I prefer the second.


Yes, this is true Jika. We are all eating and all may be doing kind things.

But one way supports the group and communicates to others in the Community, "Well, we are all eating the salad together out of the same bowl." It is a good thing to support the Sangha by saying, "I am part of the team, and we are all helping. I support the others and they support me, and that is what Sangha is about." Doing something secretly might be very good works, but it does not encourage others so well in their efforts.

We are not a monastery, but any Zen group is the same, for monks or lay folks. Notice that the monks all see each other washing the floors, which brings group energy! Look at how many of these activities are communal, visible, support all. Watch the floor cleaning at 2:00 mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pllQ_-ZxEA

(By the way, the descriptionn of Zazen in the film is a bit over the top but, well, it s a film maker's dramatic touch) :)

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Tairin
05-22-2017, 02:04 PM
I have to admit, when I first read this request I clenched a little. Sadly I am not a naturally generous person. Early on in life I learned to be self-reliant. As a consequence I assume others should be too. This means that I have trouble both accepting help as well as giving it (giving is easier but again it isn't instinctual).

Many years ago my wife suggested that at supper each night we take a turn describing what we are grateful for that day. Some days it is easy but some days it is really hard to find something to be grateful for. The routine is a good reminder to find something in each day. That's how I see this LAH request too. Before I post I must consider whether I LAH or not. Maybe I shouldn't post if I haven't.

Thank you Jundo. This exercise is a good practise for me.

Gassho
Warren
Sat today and LAH to my wife who is recovering from surgery and an unfortunate infection that came as a result.

Jundo
05-22-2017, 02:57 PM
Sitting for your wife, Warren.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

PS - You can post without a LAH, but try to do some small LAH before posting! That answers the problem right there.

Zenmei
05-22-2017, 04:00 PM
I have to admit, when I first read this request I clenched a little. Sadly I am not a naturally generous person. Early on in life I learned to be self-reliant. As a consequence I assume others should be too. This means that I have trouble both accepting help as well as giving it (giving is easier but again it isn't instinctual).

Many years ago my wife suggested that at supper each night we take a turn describing what we are grateful for that day. Some days it is easy but some days it is really hard to find something to be grateful for. The routine is a good reminder to find something in each day. That's how I see this LAH request too. Before I post I must consider whether I LAH or not. Maybe I shouldn't post if I haven't.

Thank you Jundo. This exercise is a good practise for me.

Gassho
Warren
Sat today and LAH to my wife who is recovering from surgery and an unfortunate infection that came as a result.

Very sorry to hear about your wife, Warren. Wishing her a full recovery.
I feel the same way, it doesn't come naturally to me. But it's a part of me that I have wanted to change for a while now. It's geologic, the change comes from slow, steady pressure over time, and I see this as a tool to apply that pressure.

Gassho, Zenmei
#sat/lah

Byokan
05-22-2017, 08:53 PM
Hi All,

Sending metta your way Warren, hoping for a good recovery for your wife.

I so appreciate the generosity of those who have shared their thoughts about this LAH exercise. This is great practice! I mean aside from the “good deeds” themselves. This discussion -- thinking about service and how it fits into the moments of our day -- is so beneficial. The Buddha said to test everything and try it out for yourself, and that’s what’s happening right here. Figuring out what works for your life and your practice.

Looking at what comes up in your mind and heart when the Teacher sets a task can be as important as the actual task. Working with what arises can be more work than doing the thing itself! I’m guessing we all have some mixed feelings for and against this new thing.

Anyone who feels resistance... I say that’s great! Here, then, is something new to look at, to be with, and to puzzle out: where is that resistance coming from? Is there fear, defiance, feelings of overwhelm? Is there a wholesome reason to abstain from this practice, a benefit to your particular practice, a valid reason to draw a boundary line? After looking deeply, that resistance may fade. Or it may not fade at all, but may bring you to a clearer understanding of how service fits into your life and what’s important and essential to your practice now. And what’s not. This seems like a very good thing.

Same for those who embraced LAH quickly... that’s something to look at too. We all benefit from looking at our motivations. From pleasing the teacher, to feeling good about ourselves, to atonement, to gratitude, to saving all sentient beings, to peer pressure, self-image, attaining merit, challenging oneself, or whatever; looking at your motivation to take on this experiment is bound to clarify and enhance your practice.

We don’t all sit in the same posture in shikantaza. And yet... we do really, in a way. Some of us might benefit greatly from a daily bowing practice, while others might find themselves in hospital if they attempted it. We won’t all practice service to others in the same way. And yet, the truth is that there is no separation. When you act appropriately, when you care for and help yourself or someone else, you serve all. And in practicing appropriately, you do support the practice of all. I think it’s up to you to work out what’s appropriate in whatever situation you find yourself in. How you sit, how you serve, how you sign your post on Treeleaf, it’s all practice and the teacher can guide and point, but your practice will take its shape from your own hands and heart.

I think Lorax goes to the center of it when he points to situational awareness. Increasing this awareness can only bring benefit for all; there is really no downside to it.

And what Jika says about helping “naturally,” yes, this is the real thing: the natural and instinctive move to do the right thing in the right place and the right time. I think, if practice has goals, that must certainly be one of them: to train and learn so that when the moment comes, one responds appropriately, wholesomely, with no need to embrace or resist -- just flowing in the moment.

I think this LAH exercise brings us closer to that, even just in the thinking and sharing about it. (The fact that actual good deeds will be done, regardless, is pretty awesome too.) Whether you find yourself signing on for LAH, or deciding not to, any way you go, it’s a win if you go with a not-knowing mind and an earnest and open heart. As I see it, there’s benefit either way. A refining of clarity and intention. Wonderful!

For the record I fully expect to fail at this experiment, as I do with each and every one of my vows. And so it goes. Vow and repent, and just keep walking, checking the compass, and doing the best I can on any given day.

Gassho
Byōkan
sat today & lent a hand too

Shingen
05-22-2017, 08:57 PM
Sat today and LAH to my wife who is recovering from surgery and an unfortunate infection that came as a result.

I am sorry to hear about your wife, sending much metta and hope she feels better soon.

Also, I know what you mean ... I too find it hard to receive help, as I too had to be self-reliant. However I actually found the more I start giving and sharing with others, the more I found it easier to receive from others. =)

Gassho
Shingen

SatToday/LAH

Jakuden
05-22-2017, 09:11 PM
Bingo Byokan!! Anyone who doesn't learn something about themselves from their reaction to this assignment isn't looking hard enough :-)

Warren, I hope your wife is on the mend, is she doing any better? Sending Metta.

Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday

Tairin
05-23-2017, 01:58 AM
Warren, I hope your wife is on the mend, is she doing any better? Sending Metta.

Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday

Thank you all for your kind thoughts. Yes she is improving. Surgery is scary enough but then to end up back in the hospital to deal with the infection made it worse. Fortunately there are great health care professionals. She is back home now and taking it easy.

Gassho
Warren
Sat today and LAH

Kyonin
05-23-2017, 11:33 AM
Hi all,

I think it's natural to find resistance to our little LAH experiment. But in my experience and to agree with Byokan, we also must be aware where is this resistance coming from. Are we really resisting to just add 3 letters to a signature? Aren't we missing the point of doing a community effort to just be kind to others?

To me this is not to brag or to point finges to others. It's about practicing together as a sangha and feel we are in the team. In a brick and mortar sangha where people meet under the same roof you don't need anything but to just show up to the event. And even then people tend to wear same t-shirts or hats to show their support to the cause.

We don't have that because Treeleaf traded the buildings for an online space. So the equivalent thing to wear the same t-shirt is to just ad LAH to our signatures.

Or each of us could go and get a dark green t-shirt and post a photo to support the activity. [morehappy]

I guess adding LAH is cheaper and faster!

So we together help sentient beings next to us. We make someone smile or donate to a charity. We together do a little effort to be kind. I know we already do because that's part of our Four Vows, but LAH is just a reminder that we are Treeleaf and we don't need no stinking buildings to be a beautiful sangha that practices compassion. We are together in this and we lend a hand to all who need it.

Gassho,

Kyonin
Sat/LAH

Risho
05-24-2017, 02:08 AM
Warren I hope your wife is feeling better.

So I'm confused; you mean to say that we actually have to sit before we can post that we sat for the day? I kid, I kid :)

This is a great idea; with all the crazy in the world, this is a great antidote.

Gassho

Risho
-sattoday

Daijo
05-24-2017, 03:23 PM
This is great.

Daijo

sat today

Troy
05-24-2017, 05:34 PM
After some thought I want to participate. I think my initial reaction was from feeling overwhelmed because I am still working on getting back to a daily meditation practice and participate more. An extra thing felt like a lot. But on reflection doable.


sat2day

Troy

Shingen
05-24-2017, 06:56 PM
After some thought I want to participate. I think my initial reaction was from feeling overwhelmed because I am still working on getting back to a daily meditation practice and participate more. An extra thing felt like a lot. But on reflection doable.


sat2day

Troy
Good to hear Troy....welcome aboard the LAH train. =)

Gassho
Shingen

SatToday/LAH

Jakugan
05-24-2017, 10:09 PM
I think this is a fantastic idea.

Gassho,

Jakugan

Sat today/ lah

Troy
05-24-2017, 10:47 PM
Good to hear Troy....welcome aboard the LAH train. =)

Gassho
Shingen

SatToday/LAH

:)


sat2day

Troy

Jundo
05-25-2017, 12:08 AM
....welcome aboard the LAH train. =)

http://dailyvocab.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Lend-a-hand.jpg

(why the cat? Very Zen.)

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Gokai
05-25-2017, 07:56 PM
Hello everyone
Very good project! I want to join everyone in this. Thank You very much for this beatiful project, Jundo.
I am grateful for sharing this practice with all of You.
Gassho, Gokai
Sattoday

Theophan
05-26-2017, 05:16 AM
Thanks Jundo,
What a wonderful group practice idea. I'm in.
Being disabled and homebound, doing lend a hand (LAH) daily may take some creative thinking on my part.
I will do what I can. I look forward to the practice. I need to get back into the swing of things. This practice will help me regain my focus.
Gassho,
Theophan
Sat Today

Jundo
05-26-2017, 05:28 AM
Thanks Jundo,
What a wonderful group practice idea. I'm in.
Being disabled and homebound, doing lend a hand (LAH) daily may take some creative thinking on my part.
I will do what I can. I look forward to the practice. I need to get back into the swing of things. This practice will help me regain my focus.
Gassho,
Theophan
Sat Today

"Do what I can" is all that it takes, and there is always something big or small that can be done!

Found this on line, not much idea about it ...

http://www.lend-a-hand-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/birthday-hymn.png

(Apparently, it is written for a group in Boston, the "Lend a Hand" Society, who help poor inner-city families fund decent housing ...

http://www.lend-a-hand-society.org/

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Jundo
05-26-2017, 05:42 AM
Oh, apparently it is a quote by American author, historian, Unitarian minister and philanthropist Edward Everett Hale (granted, some of his ways of putting things below are rather 19th Century ... but he meant well ... )


Five years out of Harvard, after several successful interim ministries Hale settled as pastor of the Unitarian church in Worcester, MA. The congregation was close enough to Boston by train for him to keep in touch with his family, and open to their minister being a social advocate, in this case, for the Irish emigrants who arrived in Worcester fleeing from the potato famine.

Edward Hale quickly took up the cause of refugee relief, both the immediate relief of charity, and the further relief of finding opportunities for the refugees to find work and flourish in their new homeland. Hale combined his activism for the Irish with his activism for emancipation by founding the New England Emigrant Aid Society to help fund emigrants willing to move into the new Western states and keep them free states. In Worcester he organized a group that settled in what became Lawrence, Kansas. The support from the Emigrant Aid Society was crucial because the new settlers met with much violence from southerners opposed to a new free state. ...

Edward Hale had long been an activist for emancipation as well as for the education of freed slaves. Unlike many abolitionists and emancipationists, who wanted freedom for blacks but still considered them inferior intellectually, Edward Hale contended that blacks had an “equal capacity for learning as whites.” ...

... Perhaps the most lasting achievement of Hale’s life was the result of a magazine he published for five years called Old and New. Among its first serials was one by Hale, titled Ten Times One is Ten. Based on the life of a dear friend from Hale’s Worcester days, Edward Greenleaf, it tells the story of mourners meeting at the funeral of a friend and each relating how the man had changed their lives. They decide to form a club in his memory with the motto: “Look up and not down. Look forward and not back. Look out and not in. Lend a hand.” ...

... Eventually the clubs came to be known as Lend a Hand Clubs and by 1886, Edward Hale was editing a new monthly journal, Lend A Hand: A Record of Progress, which reported the activities of the clubs and also included articles on social issues of the day, such as Indian Rights. Although the Lend A Hand Clubs are no longer, the Lend A Hand Society in Boston has served as a nonsectarian benevolent organization which each month for over 100 years has lent a hand by giving out small but crucial grants to those facing financial crises, as well as giving out grants for camperships for Boston youth and book grants to institutions throughout the country. Lend A Hand is funded by an endowment and from gifts from the public



http://izquotes.com/quotes-pictures/quote-to-look-forward-and-not-back-to-look-out-and-not-in-and-to-lend-a-hand-edward-everett-hale-77728.jpg

And Theophan, kinda looks like you with them 19th Century whiskers! :p

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Tai Shi
05-26-2017, 10:31 AM
I spent yesterday afternoon with my volunteer job and with my mental health support group NAMI the National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI Connection helping those liked myself fully myself with sever mental illnesses mine fully recovered according to my providers in psychological AND psychiatric professionals.

Tai Shi
LAH
std
Gassho

Sent from my SM-T113 using Tapatalk

Tai Shi
05-28-2017, 03:34 PM
Hi Jundo and All, Tai Shi here and in an unusual mode, I am looking for helpful words, an you might know that as a 65-old-male very happily married to the love of my life, still I follow the words of Jakuden very closely, and I like so much about what she says with openness and candor; I wonder if I might have limits to money and always allowing my own helping nature to come forward. Truly I am a helping man, and this I have been told by the best of therapists. And yet, I find myself coming to an end of giving sometimes, and money which I send to only one charity enough, and having to put limits on taking friends. What do you think?
Tai Shi Helped today,
sat to day
Gassho

Jishin
05-28-2017, 03:43 PM
Intent is of utmost importance. It is priceless.

Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

Jundo
05-28-2017, 03:43 PM
Hi Taishi,

One does what one can, which may change with time and each day.

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Shingen
05-28-2017, 06:49 PM
Intent is of utmost importance. It is priceless.

Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
Very true ... Intention is very important. =)

Gassho
Shingen

SatToday/LAH

Guish
05-29-2017, 01:13 PM
Hi Everyone,


I really like this idea and I have been doing this since my early 20's when I started to get maturity in meditation. Haha, not sure whether the wording is right here. I remember helping a fellow friend of mine to finish her project while I didn't even finished mine. Our state of mind reflects our Zazen and I believe that kindness is spontaneous and an aspect of our true nature. I also see what Jundo is saying though. Harmonious actions lead to a harmonious mind. Everything is linked.

Gassho,
Geerish
SatToday.

Kyonin
05-29-2017, 05:42 PM
Hi guys.

Saturday here at home we helped a couple of lost dogs get back home. Their families were happy, but the puppies were ecstatic to be reunited with their families.

Watching puppies lose it with happiness and get all excited, warms the heart and makes us know we are doing small things for all sentient beings.

Gassho,

Kyonin
Sat/LAH

RichardH
05-29-2017, 10:02 PM
Count me in.

Daizan

Sat Today/ LAH

Shokai
05-29-2017, 11:00 PM
I dropped off a few articles at the Good Will. I told the lady that works at the receiving door how nice he hair looked and got a big thank you and even bigger smile in return.

Gassho

Sat/LAH

Kyousui
05-29-2017, 11:12 PM
Count me in. Will report via the anonymous email link as appropriate.

ST/LAH

MikeTango
06-01-2017, 03:56 PM
Hello Dear Sangha,
greetings from Alek, at the Warrap County, in the Northern part of South Sudan, where I'm in humanitarian mission supporting malnutrition programs here to cope with the pre-famine situation in this region.
I'm of course in, in this project.
Lending a hand every day to this people in need in this complicated context, as I did in my last mission in Somalia... and before there in Yemen... and before there in Sierra Leone (during the Ebola crisis) ... and ...
Thanks a lot for your support in my life...
Miguel
Sat today/LAH gassho2

Shugen
06-01-2017, 09:14 PM
Hello Miguel,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how you are doing.

Keep fighting the good fight!

Deep bows,

Shugen

Sattoday/LAH


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Jundo
06-02-2017, 01:25 AM
Hello Dear Sangha,
greetings from Alek, at the Warrap County, in the Northern part of South Sudan, where I'm in humanitarian mission supporting malnutrition programs here to cope with the pre-famine situation in this region.
I'm of course in, in this project.
Lending a hand every day to this people in need in this complicated context, as I did in my last mission in Somalia... and before there in Yemen... and before there in Sierra Leone (during the Ebola crisis) ... and ...
Thanks a lot for your support in my life...
Miguel
Sat today/LAH gassho2

gassho2

Tai Shi
06-24-2017, 03:32 AM
I have decided last month to give to a more-well established charity, one having raised a daughter, oh my precious little one, our only one gift almost lost, yet remains in every picture I have of her fight with the pink bike learning then on the school parking-lot, yes and success, and yet today and always it will be with her great and gifted mind she will earn her living, and oh even at birth I experience first then to touch her tummy at one hour old when the nurse said, "You may touch her--she's yours." Oh so tentative was my man hand to this and I say no cliche, the precious new-born, and she was only ours to guide, and today, this fall entering a Ph D in Japanese Literature with a fellowship. I gave to UNICEF and will give to UNICEF again.

Tai Shi
std
Gassho

Tai Shi
07-11-2017, 11:57 PM
Today it is Mike Tango who I see in the south of Sudan on a humanitarian mission, an what that might be today I can only guess. It hardly compares my paltry amount given to UNICEF, but back in the day, yes, I was 30 on the NAVAJO Reservation teaching speech and social science to people who lived speech in tribal ceremonies, and social science in the forced foster parent programs meant to socialize the children, and so much still goes on. Me earning $1800 for 2 college courses incorporating Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Tai Shi
std LAH
Gassho

Heisoku
08-09-2017, 08:41 PM
Well I was wondering what LAH was about. So now I know and you can count me in. Gassho
Heisoku
Sattoday LAH.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

Tai Shi
08-09-2017, 08:53 PM
Also Jundo, every week I work in the coffee shop at my Senior Center, I teach creative writing once a month at my Senior Center, and each day I call a disabled person to just add support--I love my work, and I just hope my health holds out so I can continue my work.

Tai Shi
st-lah
Gassho

Ryudo
09-09-2017, 10:47 AM
Hi all,

Often I go trough some forum threads in the morning when I have not yet had oportunity to "Lend a hand" so I just put the LAH after the SatToday in case it is later in the day when I actually did LAH. That way many of my post will occur without the LAH simply becourse I did not yet but will/might do later in the day.

Q: Is that the correct way to handle it?

The "SatToday" is different for me since I start every day with sitting first so the question does not arrise.

Thank you

Gassho
Marcus
SatToday

Jundo
09-09-2017, 12:42 PM
Hi all,

Often I go trough some forum threads in the morning when I have not yet had oportunity to "Lend a hand" so I just put the LAH after the SatToday in case it is later in the day when I actually did LAH. That way many of my post will occur without the LAH simply becourse I did not yet but will/might do later in the day.

Q: Is that the correct way to handle it?

The "SatToday" is different for me since I start every day with sitting first so the question does not arrise.

Thank you

Gassho
Marcus
SatToday

Hi Marcus,

Thank you for caring. This is not a some rigid standard. I would say that anytime in the previous day is fine.

Keep going!

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Ryudo
09-10-2017, 11:40 AM
Hi Marcus,

Thank you for caring. This is not a some rigid standard. I would say that anytime in the previous day is fine.

Keep going!

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Thank you Jundo, much obliged.

Gassho
Marcus
SatToday/LAH

cosmiceye
05-22-2018, 05:42 PM
Good Afternoon!
The nicest thing just happened to me! I am an office manager at a charter school in Toledo & once a week I go & spend about 20$ on snacks for the kids at my school that come in & missed breakfast or are hungry during the day. (Pop Tarts, breakfast bars, crackers.. etc.) When I was at the register being rung up, the cashier said something about me coming in to buy these students food every week. I told him that I just had 2 students come in my office for food, but I was out of snacks, so I ran up here real quick to replenish my stock for the week. Well, the lady behind me said, “Excuse me, but can I please pay for that food?” She had heard us talking & wanted to do something nice. She was so sweet, she said, "just payin' it forward"! Her name is Tammy, if anyone would like to join me in sending her positive energy!

We are in a poor community where every student gets a free breakfast (if they make it to school on time) & free lunch. For a lot of these kiddos, the food they eat here daily is the best food they get.

Gassho
Sat2day LAH

Shoka
05-23-2018, 04:28 PM
Good Afternoon!
The nicest thing just happened to me! I am an office manager at a charter school in Toledo & once a week I go & spend about 20$ on snacks for the kids at my school that come in & missed breakfast or are hungry during the day. (Pop Tarts, breakfast bars, crackers.. etc.) When I was at the register being rung up, the cashier said something about me coming in to buy these students food every week. I told him that I just had 2 students come in my office for food, but I was out of snacks, so I ran up here real quick to replenish my stock for the week. Well, the lady behind me said, “Excuse me, but can I please pay for that food?” She had heard us talking & wanted to do something nice. She was so sweet, she said, "just payin' it forward"! Her name is Tammy, if anyone would like to join me in sending her positive energy!

We are in a poor community where every student gets a free breakfast (if they make it to school on time) & free lunch. For a lot of these kiddos, the food they eat here daily is the best food they get.

Gassho
Sat2day LAH

How wonderful.

The conversation in the engaged center right now is about hunger, and this type of situation is happening all over the place. It is not usual for many children in America to only eat the free meals that are available at school. Then they go without dinner, and maybe eat over the weekend. But what happens when there are summer, winter and spring break? Well the kids probably go without even more.

But thank you so much for your contribution to your students.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Tai Shi
05-24-2018, 03:23 AM
In three ways I give money to those charities where I can. I wish the world were an easier softer way.
Gassho
st/ lah
Tai Shi

Doshin
05-24-2018, 03:44 AM
Good Afternoon!
The nicest thing just happened to me! I am an office manager at a charter school in Toledo & once a week I go & spend about 20$ on snacks for the kids at my school that come in & missed breakfast or are hungry during the day. (Pop Tarts, breakfast bars, crackers.. etc.) When I was at the register being rung up, the cashier said something about me coming in to buy these students food every week. I told him that I just had 2 students come in my office for food, but I was out of snacks, so I ran up here real quick to replenish my stock for the week. Well, the lady behind me said, “Excuse me, but can I please pay for that food?” She had heard us talking & wanted to do something nice. She was so sweet, she said, "just payin' it forward"! Her name is Tammy, if anyone would like to join me in sending her positive energy!

We are in a poor community where every student gets a free breakfast (if they make it to school on time) & free lunch. For a lot of these kiddos, the food they eat here daily is the best food they get.

Gassho
Sat2day LAH

Thank you and thank Tammy.

Gassho
Doshin
St

Frank Murray
05-27-2018, 05:02 AM
Thank you everyone. This is good!

I feel this as being very much in unity with our core Zazen practice. Right effort and paying attention are two ingredients we are looking to integrate outside of our physical sitting space.

Reading through the thread, so many good points and experiences have been shared. Thank you everyone!

Interestingly, just as the mind can have a tantrum about sitting, our mind can quickly overthink, have an opinion or ‘talk judgementally to’ our inspired or loving actions. It is sometimes quite shocking to realise what we may have just been thinking. Hopefully, bringing awareness to these realisations, ‘calling them out’, will help to lessen any significance we give this suffering.

Gassho,

Frank

Sat today, lent a hand


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Kyousui
07-07-2018, 07:35 PM
If one is living the Bodhisattva ideal, it seems incumbent to LAH daily as a matter of course.

sat/lah

Jundo
07-07-2018, 11:39 PM
If one is living the Bodhisattva ideal, it seems incumbent to LAH daily as a matter of course.

sat/lah

gassho2

leon
09-07-2018, 10:42 AM
Hi all

I'm sharing this un-anonymously because it is more about an attitude towards LAH, practice, and general life. How often do think of doing or saying something nice, but hold back for some unknown reason, and then wish later (when the moment has passed) that you had done/said it after all. Since the start of Ango I have made a deliberate effort to acknowledge others efforts. A non-specific example is a person telling me the story of how stressful it was to do something for me at work, that I had no idea they were doing, to resolve a situation without me having to get involved. I acknowledged the deed, the stress that had arisen for them because of it, and that they hadn't needed to do that for me. Their stress lifted and they had that bashful "oh it was nothing" demeanour about them. Although I often do this anyway, because I was coming from a place of "practice" I felt that the encounter had a non-ego-reward aspect to it - call it what you will - the vow to save all beings - bodhicitta in there too. Yes this LAH created a positive vibe in me (that I did not attach to) but it also reminded me of the Three Tenets (a-la Zen Peacemakers), not-knowing, bearing witness, and compassionate action, which not so much underpin the LAHs, but enable LAHs to arise spontaneously if you are fully present in the not-knowing to begin with. Thinking and typing out loud. gassho1gassho1

Sat and LAH today, Leon

Tai Shi
09-29-2018, 01:59 PM
It's very strange to look at my posts of two years ago, and I'm not as bad--life is good, though my health? Well? I have no resistance to LAH, and I've been volunteering for more than 10 years with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and I've received award after award for my service. Basically, I'm retired from that as I don't drive a car anymore. I drive to and from with my wife, and I am more sensitive,

Finally, I will say I've tried to be kinder to my wife, and care for others. This is tough for me because I have had the habit of easily getting mad. This is, however, changing.

Tai Shi
Gassho
sat today

Shokai
09-30-2018, 01:45 AM
That's wonderful Taishi. We do what we can and our abilities change over time. The main point is you are committed and engaged. Don't beat yourself up over the things you can no longer do. As it says in the Desiderata; "gracefully surrendering the things of youth."

be well
gassho, Shokai
stlah

Tai Shi
09-30-2018, 09:45 PM
I don't drive anymore because my neck and back are bad, so I give each month to Spondylitis Association of America.

Tai Shi
sat today/lah
Gassho
Deepest sincere bows.

Richard1
12-21-2018, 07:11 PM
Am currently living in a Nursing home, and have aides and Nurses as caretakers.
I am not in a position to go out into the community to do " good deeds ".
Most of the time my good deeds are to be pleasant with the people who take care of me instead of
getting to the point of raising my voice and making things worse. The seed practice is useful here,
As it enables me to not water the seed of anger, even though I feel justified in doing so.

Richard Carlsen

Doshin
12-21-2018, 09:47 PM
Howdy Richard,

Your being nice to those around you is a good thing to do. You have a positive affect on them and that is good

Gassho
Doshin
St.

Jundo
12-21-2018, 10:13 PM
Howdy Richard,

Your being nice to those around you is a good thing to do. You have a positive affect on them and that is good

Gassho
Doshin
St.

Precisely. gassho2

Jakuden
12-22-2018, 02:13 AM
Am currently living in a Nursing home, and have aides and Nurses as caretakers.
I am not in a position to go out into the community to do " good deeds ".
Most of the time my good deeds are to be pleasant with the people who take care of me instead of
getting to the point of raising my voice and making things worse. The seed practice is useful here,
As it enables me to not water the seed of anger, even though I feel justified in doing so.

Richard Carlsen

Thank you for your practice Richard, it is in no way less meaningful or significant than anyone else’s. We practice right where we are with what we’ve got, and it sounds like you have plenty of opportunity for that. Deep bows [emoji120]
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


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Shingen
12-22-2018, 03:41 PM
Howdy Richard,

Your being nice to those around you is a good thing to do. You have a positive affect on them and that is good

Gassho
Doshin
St.Lovely! =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Ippo
05-24-2019, 11:08 AM
I was wondering what LAH was and was going to inquire but luckily I found this thread! I have to say I am so touched and surprised at what it means! It's great to see the encouragement for kindness and compassion active in the forums. I am grateful for the future recipients of any good deeds. I am grateful for the opportunity to post future LAH's. I am grateful for Zen.

Thanks Jundo

Gassho,

SatToday

Tai Shi
05-24-2019, 12:17 PM
I have had to give up volunteering with the Senior Center in Sioux Falls. Too far for my wife to drive. I still cry when I think of your gift of my rakusu. I tell you I care for you all very much.
Tai Shi
Gassho/ LAH
sat

Tai Shi
10-20-2020, 03:59 PM
I was poor as a kid, and we had the wrong types of food, sometimes less food than others. From my heart, thank you cosmiceye! I appreciate you.
Gassho
st/ lah
Tai Shi

Jakuden
11-22-2020, 06:10 PM
Some little examples of recent LAH activity here: I received a receipt for my donation to the political party I feel best supports the causes I believe in.

My husband and I gathered and recycled some items around the house.

I helped some folks, outside of work who have messaged me with pet issues the past several days.

I am putting in extra horse care duty for my daughter who is studying for college exams.

In recent weeks we have heard from members who have run races for charity, purchased from local small businesses to help support them (yay, thank you! There are real people like me, my staff and my family behind those doors trying to make a living!) and streamed the ingestion of a reaper [emoji892] for sick children. Let’s keep ‘em coming everybody! We can bypass the debate and the Bompu Zen and go right to the practice of saving all beings.

Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH




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Shokai
11-22-2020, 08:04 PM
:encouragement:[claps]

Jeff Naylor
11-23-2020, 04:03 PM
Good idea! Will do. Thanks.
Gassho, Jeff
St, Lah

RobD
11-23-2020, 07:45 PM
This year has certainly brought about some unique challenges and opportunities for lending a hand. I generally prefer to keep my LAH activities anonymous, but in case they provide others with ideas, here are just a couple to share:

Like Jakuden above, we have been working to reduce our household waste on a daily basis, and we now recycle about 2-3 times as much waste as we send to landfill. This year, we've also started composting again to further minimize waste while also contributing to our annual garden. Going forward, I want to do even more to engage with meaningful environmental groups/causes, but the current restrictions are making it difficult to gather. Therefore, I figure we can do more at our personal level for now and expand next year as restrictions (hopefully) ease.

Additionally, within my means, I've been trying to tip more generously when picking up take-out (even just from a coffee shop) as our food service workers are bearing a disproportionately large amount of the financial burden from the pandemic.

Lastly, without the ability to smile at strangers (due to mandatory mask wearing), I have been working hard to find other ways to express a sense of friendliness through other small actions and have even trying to "smile with my eyes" more. There is enough fear and uncertainty these days, and every little gesture we make can go a long way toward making others (especially complete strangers) feel just a bit more at ease in their day. I'm finding that, even here in America, some folks respond well to a very slight bow/head tilt as a sign of thanks or friendly acknowledgement. gassho2

I look forward to learning of new ideas from others, especially with regard to what folks are doing to LAH during these unusual times.

Gassho,
Rob

-stlah-

Onka
11-24-2020, 01:20 AM
I stopped writing LAH because it felt weird. I am legally my partner's fulltime carer although the roles have been reversed this year. I don't care to notice when lending a hand, I am just me and do what feels right. Today for example I went to check on the older bloke I used to walk daily with. We had a yarn about how he's travellin' and organised to start walking daily again. Is this LAH? Absolutely, but I feel uncomfortable thinking of it in this way. I prefer to frame it (if I have to) as my intrinsic personal politics and my Practice in practice without the need to label it as anarchy in action as I once would've.
Gassho
Sat today

Jakuden
11-24-2020, 03:11 AM
There are many others that feel as you do, Onka, it has surprised me greatly to hear how many people find it so difficult to post about their engaged activities. As if boasting about them will destroy their fragile karma. It makes me sad too though; in the business world, so many people have no reservations whatsoever about expressing their greed and desire as the normal way to be that I always felt like a fish out of water. I wonder if the accepted normal topic was LAH, putting others welfare first, instead of “me, I feel like and think that and want you to give me this”—maybe we wouldn’t be inundated by so much anger and greed all the time. If we want to make it the norm, we gotta blab about it and make it cooler than the quite accepted selfishness, greed and delusion.

Sorry to blab on so much.
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


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Jundo
11-24-2020, 03:49 AM
There are many others that feel as you do, Onka, it has surprised me greatly to hear how many people find it so difficult to post about their engaged activities. As if boasting about them will destroy their fragile karma. It makes me sad too though; in the business world, so many people have no reservations whatsoever about expressing their greed and desire as the normal way to be that I always felt like a fish out of water. I wonder if the accepted normal topic was LAH, putting others welfare first, instead of “me, I feel like and think that and want you to give me this”—maybe we wouldn’t be inundated by so much anger and greed all the time. If we want to make it the norm, we gotta blab about it and make it cooler than the quite accepted selfishness, greed and delusion.

Sorry to blab on so much.
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


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The only reason to put "LAH" (Lent A Hand) at the end of posts is to encourage/stimulate others to do the same through group spirit ... --NOT-- to brag about ourselves and our acts.

That's one reason that we don't say what we did, big or small.

Gassho, Jundo

STLah