Wednesday, February 15, 2017- “The Fourth Reminder: Suffering and Trauma” – by Sokuzan

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Sokuzan talks about the last of the Four Reminders that Turn the Mind Toward the Dharma: “The homes, friends, wealth and comforts of samsara are the constant torment of the three sufferings. Just like a feast before the executioner leads you to your death, I will cut desire and attachment and practice with exertion.”

Sunday, February 12, 2017- “Dana: The Practice of Generosity” – by Sokuzan

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Dana, the Sanskrit word generosity, is the practice of giving your attention and receiving what arises. When thoughts arise in the mind or with what others are saying to you, give it your attention and just receive, even if it is in the form of negativity. The way we work with that is in the negativity itself, not separate. It takes some courage to just receive and not create the one who is against or wants to fix the negativity. If your awareness is powerful, you my watch yourself hold still or you may go into action without an agenda. No one is wrong that needs to be corrected. This is the practice of generosity.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017- “Forget The Self” – by Sokuzan

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Sokuzan talks about several lines in Genjokoan (Actualizing the Fundamental Point) from Dogen’s Shobogenzo: “To study the way of enlightenment is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no trace continues endlessly. “ (Translation edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi)

Sunday, February 5, 2017- “Dependent Origination” – by Sokuzan

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“Pratityasamutpada”, a Sanskrit work often translated as “dependent origination”, is a way talking about that which appears in terms of cause and effect. “The Twelve Nidanas”, the twelve links on the chain of existence, is a conceptual model used to look closely how one apparent situation conditions the next. It is a way of working with suffering in strengthening awareness of fixation.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017- “Realize Space” – by Sokuzan

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Observe what comes and goes and the space in which that occurs. Prioritize the space. Sit down, hold still and find out who you are. That is the basic instruction.