Skip to main content

E-mail to E-mail Transmisson



Over at Full Contact Enlightenment is a great post on dharma relationships on the internet. Inspiring! 
About 80% of my teacher-student relationship happens online, while I pursue very traditional Soto Zen training. It’s like this: My teacher, Kosho, leads the Austin Zen Center in Texas, but trains his students where he trained, Zen Center in California (Green Gulch, City Center, and Tassajara). This a requirement for ordination. So, I see him about once every 3 months, and we e-mail once a week. We would skype, but our internet is weak out on the farm.
This e-mail to e-mail transmission of the dharma has been criticized as lacking the nuance of a hossu, a fist, or a staff (body language). However, I have a couple years worth of questions asked and answered, there for reference, in addition to listening to his dharma talks as many times as I need to.
In addition to this relationship is my extended sangha in the blogosphere. The Dalai Grandma has seen me through many phases. Dangerous Harvests, too. Wild Fox Zen, though we have clashed in the past, has bared witness to my practice. At some level, just like my teacher, these people who write these blogs keep the continuum of my practice (our practice!) and they feel as familiar to me as the people I sit next to every morning.

And these people are my elders. Their blogs are well established, and I am but one of hundreds, and they find time respond. I'm full of gratitude for the encouragement, the forgiveness, and the occasional kick in the ass. This is actually the only reason I blog; to connect to a larger world. 

Comments

  1. Today a sociologist PhD, who is nevertheless a friend, told me there is ample evidence that the creative process is not finished until the work is shared. Right there is why I keep choosing to blog instead of bending to other more serious forms of writing (and marketing). It is satisfying.....Nondualistically, it seems to me the world always has these people who see the new invention (the telephone! gasp, TV!) as destroying the human spirit and all. So perhaps they have a place in the whole evolution thing. Though actually, I am more of an agnostic on evolution than most people. I believe in the force of accident. As in Andy Warhol becomes famous. lvu (evil online abbreviation that diminishes genuine etc.) Thank you for mentioning me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for helping me finish the creative process. You always ask the hard questions, and I really, really appreciate that.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Boredom and Buddhism

To say I feel bored feels disrespectful. How could that be? I have a three month old daughter, I'm training for a demanding job in the temple, I'm a wilderness medic responding to incidents every 4 days or so, and I'm sewing my priest robes for ordination. And I have this sense of disinterest.

I have a few theories as to why I feel bored. One could be the natural come down from having the baby and becoming stable in our schedule. Another come down plays out in the adrenaline crash after responding to a medical emergency or the general up keep work I do at the temple when compared to fixing something crucial to operations. When I hear there's a fire in the area I'm pretty excited to be mobilized for stay and defend duty. I feel pretty guilty about that, too.

So I read Beyond Boredom and Depression by Ajahn Jagaro and I was reminded to be careful about looking outward by this passage:

So what is boredom? It is a subjective experience that occurs when the mind is not i…

Goodbye Green Gulch Sama! Hello Tassajara!

About two years ago I left Mid City Zen in New Orleans. I feared I was leaving something, and now I'm about to leave Green Gulch and that same fear has arisen. I imagined there was wealth, a sort of freedom, and a lot to "renounce."  I had a car (a fast one!), a playstation 3, many books, many articles of clothing, and as I look around our little cabin, that same perception has arisen- I have too much stuff! And I like it!

My book collection that I sold or gave away in New Orleans has somehow manifested out here. And I have quite the collection of farm hats and farm boots. Rubber ones, Redwings, Ropers, Bogs to the ankle, Bogs to the knee, a navy seal Solomon for the wet spring weather. Most of them are fit to throw away, glued back together and stitched with fishing line, and just so smelly, so smelly my wife won't let me keep them in the cabin, so I hide them all around Green Gulch.

So I started packing, and while that fear of renunciation has arisen, it's not …

Vows and Compass

Being in new Orleans reminds me that my way seeking mind ripened here. Maybe it was the level of maturity my father's recovery actualized. Maybe it was the Ben Wren book I found at Beaucoup Books on my lunch break. Maybe it was my step mom's copy of things fall apart by Pema Chodron sitting in the bathroom.

Later I would witness the host of suffering post-katrina offered to a young public school teacher. How could I help? I took my first set of vows not really knowing where they would lead, like the old black metal compass my dad put in my Christmas stocking when I was about ten. Beautiful to hold, difficult to understand.

Now, years later, I feel a bit subdued as form,sensation, perception, impulse, and thought tag everything, beckoning some purchase for the price of belief. I'm home, but a home leaver. People wonder when I'll move back and being a home leaver means being ready to leave home again and again, which could mean coming back.

How will I actually engage all…