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Showing posts from November, 2013

Giving Thanks; My Buddhist Prayer.

Thanksgiving is a complicated "holiday." Hear my prayer!

May we remember the indigenous and their stolen land. May we remember the 15th chapter of The Lotus Sutra, Emerging From the Ground, and take care of the soil from which our Bodhisattvas are born. May we stop splitting the dharma into doctrines and save all beings by including all beings. May we end racial and gender inequality. May we share the wealth of this planet equally. May we take up the vow of not killing, and stop killing trees, animals, the atmosphere, ourselves. May we remain non-violent, but not pacified. May we stop intoxicating ourselves and others and strive toward clear seeing. May we take refuge in the Buddha as the perfect teacher. May we take refuge in the dharma as the perfect teaching. May we take refuge in the sangha as the perfect life. May we have the courage to change the things we can, and the courage to question the things we think we can't. May we love, love, and love with equanimity and…

Selling Celibacy? I Don't Buy It.

Sometime, somewhere, Tenshin Reb Anderson said that those who stay home can practice the way, and those who leave home can practice the way, but we are all renunciates. I don't remember what he said we're suppose to renounce, but I'd say it's the view that anything we perceive is anything other than mind. The Lankavatara says:

"Mahamati, as for their attachment to codes, how do srota-apannas cease their attachment to codes? When they become adept at seeing the suffering where they might be reborn, they cease attachment. Attachment, Mahamati, refers to how foolish beings resolve to undertake ascetic practices for the sake of attaining greater bliss. Hence, they seek rebirth. But when they are not attached and [they] turn instead toward undertaking those practices and upholding those precepts that are free from projection and passion and that lead to the peerless realm of personal realization..."

"Attachment, Mahamati, refers to how foolish beings resolve to…

A Stone Woman Gives Birth

On Dosho's blog, I offered a verse from Dogen I hadn't really sat with. What could really mean? In our Dead Dogen Society study group, I fell behind most of the students as we proceeded and stayed with section 7 of the Mountains and Waters Sutra:

"A stone woman gives birth to a child at night" means that the moment when a barren woman gives birth to a child is called "night." There are male stones, female stones, and nonmale nonfemale stones. They are placed in the sky and in the earth and are called heavenly stones and earthly stones. These are explained in the ordinary world, but not many people actually know about it. You should understand the meaning of giving birth to a child. At the moment of giving birth to a child, is the mother separate from the child? You should study not only that you become a mother when your child is born, but also that you become a child. This is the actualization of giving birth in practice realization. 
*Kaz Tanahashi and Arn…

Practice Enlightenment: Right Speech, Writing, and Reddit.

"To practice the Way singleheartedly is, in itself, enlightenment.  There is no gap between practice and enlightenment or zazen and daily life." -Dogen Zenji
 I was called into practice discussion with the Tanto, our temple's head of practice. I made a passing comment that we were all Buddhas through Dogen's practice enlightenment and a discussion pursued. The short of it was that it may be dangerous to think of one's self as a Buddha, but helpful to think of others as Buddha. An idea arose that maybe there is an element of actualization that comes with the term Buddha, and that a Buddha is a Buddha when the activity of practice enlightenment is pursued with unparalleled effort, when there is no other option to practice enlightenment.

Practice enlightenment is Dogen's jam. It's the underlying philosophy of liturgical reenactment. Remember being Catholic and the wine turned into blood? Well, this is a human sitting Zazen turning into Buddha. So what about a…