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, October 19, 2016 – “Tonglen” – by Sokuzan

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Sokuzan talks about the practice of “Tonglen”, or sending out positivity and receiving negativity while riding the breath, reversing the tendency of ego. He suggests that without a strong awareness practice, taking in negativity may cause more difficulty and instead recommends the practice of “Maitri Bhavana” or extending the intent of loving kindness to others.

Saturday, August 13, 2016 – “Working With Negativity–Part II” – by Sokuzan

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In his afternoon talk at the All-Day retreat at SokukoJi-Traverse City, Sokuzan responds to additional questions from the sangha in working with negativity.

Saturday, August 13, 2016 – “Working With Negativity” – by Sokuzan

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At the All-Day retreat at Sokukoji-Traverse City, Sokuzan talks about how to skillfully and sanely work with negativity without getting sucked into the negativity and end up being at war with ourselves.

Upaya or Skillful Means

Sokuzan talks about how wisdom and skillful means work together using various images. He emphasizes the sitting practice of meditation or shikantanza and encourages people to not miss their life and be with whatever arises including negativity. He also talks about different ways of working with negativity sometimes personified as demons using the example of Milarepa and his upaya with his own demons.