Monthly Archives: October 2012

What to Fear

“Most men are born drunk and die while still asleep.” I don’t know who said it. Some Zen master. I heard it long ago and never forgot it. Could it be that reading this struck terror in your heart as … Continue reading

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Cause and Effect, and Documentaries

I’m helping out in the Zen 1 class on Wednesday evenings and I enjoy listening in as a review. Last week the Abbot’s lecture on on causation & effect was particularly interesting to me since I had, the night before, … Continue reading

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Putting the Cookies on the Lower Shelf

Since I mentioned it earlier, I should include a run down on the Big Man’s visit. Last Friday night at 5pm during rush hour, we took the charter bus out to Buddha Gate in Lafayette. Several of us had to … Continue reading

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If I take Refuges and Vows and become a Buddhist, do I add anything to myself? If I refrain from taking Refuges and Vows, do I lessen myself?

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Dealing with Beauty

1. The Woman from the North I was tired and it had been a long week. We were a huge group, attending one of the interminable post-retreat “tea parties” in the monastery dining room. Person after person was getting up … Continue reading

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The Same Thing–Yet Again

My husband doesn’t like it that I occasionally get impatient with Zen teachers, but sometimes it’s inevitable. In Buddhism III we’re studying The Sutra on Impermanence and we come to these lines: “All who are born will die, All beauty … Continue reading

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Encountering a little Zen Story

…and it’s permutations. I remember, years ago, my first teacher told it like this: “A man is walking along, and suddenly a tiger appears. It chases him till he reaches the edge of a cliff, and he ducks over the … Continue reading

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A Fact of Life

The 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism are as follows: The truth of dukkha: Life is permeated with suffering, anxiety & stress The truth of the origin of dukkha: Our suffering is caused by craving or desire The truth of the … Continue reading

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The Unanticipated Results of Practice

In Ch’an they call it “cultivation,” but I came out of a Japanese school several years ago–“cultivation” is okay; “practice” is fine, too. It doesn’t just involve bottom-on-cushion-control-your-thoughts. What you learn seeps out into real life. But let’s look at … Continue reading

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“Got merit?”

To open this blog, here’s my version of a little Buddhist story from one of the recommended books, What the Buddha Never Taught, by Tim Ward. Let me begin it like a Grimm’s Fairy Tale…. Once upon a time, at … Continue reading

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