Wednesday, February 22, 2017- “That Which Appears;” – by Sokuzan

Sokuzan’s talk is inspired by Yogacara teachings on The Three Natures: the imaginary, the dependent, and the fulfilled. He references a verse from “The Teachings of the Three Own Beings” by Vasubandhu, a fourth century Indian Buddhist scholar-monk:
“The constant state of not being found of “how it appears” in that which appears, can be known as the fulfilled own being…”

Sunday, February 19, 2017- “Why Ritual Forms?” – by Sokuzan

If we don’t know what something is, instead of letting it be unknown we project onto it with our uninvestigated ideas, opinions, judgements and beliefs because of fear. In Buddhism, the ritual forms like sitting practice, bowing, and sutra chanting are intended to support your consciousness by providing the structure to train your mind. Have a willingness to not know, give this the benefit of the doubt, and trust yourself. Only you know what you have to do.

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)