Sunday, October 9, 2016 – “Vulnerability and Compassion” – by Sokuzan

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016 – “Feeling Balloons” – by Sokuzan

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Sokuzan suggests an off the cushion practice: When intense feelings like negativity arise without a story, imagine wordless feeling balloons, go into the texture and stay with it before you give it a name like depression. When you call it something you look away from the basic situation.

Sunday, October 2, 2016 – “Samatha and Vipashyana” – by Sokuzan

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It is often taught that one should begin with samatha practice (sanskrit; mindfulness meditation, calming abiding, resting the mind) by using the technique of observing the breath and labeling thinking before vipashyana (sanskrit; panoramic awareness, openness, seeing not two) occurs. After many years of his own pracitice and of teaching others, Sokuzan sees the importance of starting off with samatha and vipashyana together by holding still and watching what continues to move, trusting the mind to rest on whatever needs to be observed. This is the practice of “shikantaza” (Japanese) or sitting, observing “just precisely this”.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – “Strict Solitary Retreat vs. Group Retreat” – by Sokuzan

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Sokuzan talks about the benefit of two types of retreat practice: participation in scheduled sitting, study and practice forms with a group and simplified intensive sitting practice with just one’s self in a supported space with few external distractions.

Sunday, September 25, 2016 – “Elation and Depression” – by Sokuzan

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