Last week I wrote about the teaching of Right View. Right as in addressing the issue of suffering. With this step we look back over the Four Noble Truths attentive to Dukkha as uneasiness which is in turn a condition that can unfold clinging through greed, hate and delusion. This and each of the other Eight Fold Steps, I suggest, should be seen as movement. Not unlike a dance step, while each can be seen as separate,, they are more an aligning process such we experience in Tia Chi, or Kinhin. Each step is a gliding and guiding us, moving us away from Dukkha or disillusion.
The second of the steps of the Middle Way is Right Thought or Intention. If view is perception then intention is analytical leaning. It is said that Shakyamuni Buddha differentiated thoughts as viewing or seeing patterns or clusters that added to Dukkha or decreases or eliminates it. I remember something called the "Eight Ball." This was a black plastic sphere the size of a softball that you would ask a question. Then shake it and there was a small window in which an "answer to your question appeared." Our intention, the more clearly looked into garners possible consequences, a kind of two step...clarity of view and thought/intent.
I have sometimes played this game of "What if" with Siri, on my iPhone. Siri is cleaver in her response to queries like..."Is the Hokey-Pokey what it's all about?"You should try this. My unfolding point is thought is shaping of options. We know this in the volitional aspect of karma. Therefore thought conjures-up, sorts, and directs intent. This sorting is what the mind does as it patterns, expectations, desire, and projection. Clarity of view and thought suggests a dropping-away of cloudiness allowing light-to-come-in. This illumination as enabler allows us to not be consumed by suffering, but practice the movements in the Eight-Fold "Dance," enable us see it for what it is and extends our steps intentionally to lessen or eliminate Dukkha.
May you dance.
Mark your calendar: Our Spring Sesshin will be April 28 starting at 6:00PM and concluding at Noon on April 30, 2017. It will be held in Falmouth at the lake house of Enjitsu Chris Chryak. You may stay at the house Friday and Saturday night or return for each day's sessions. There will be more about the agenda in the next view weeks.
1. Many thanks for our BRING A FRIEND OR TEN TO ZEN NIGHT last week On average we have 8-10 inquires a month about what we are up to. If you have a friend who might like to just talk with me about Zen, please let me know. And please invite your friends to come see what we are all about. And, or course direct them to our new website falmouthsotozensangha.net
2. We had ten people watch the movie ARRIVAL Sunday at Koin-ni house. Ire commend the movie as it has a transcendent quality offers many tie-in to Zen. Next Month we will discuss Zen In The Art of Archery. You can read more about this under our archives section of this Blog.
3. Each January-March, we return to the basics, that is discuss the life and teachings of the historical Buddha as the foundation of our Soto Zen practice. This will include the Five Turnings of the Dharma Wheel, The Three/Four Seals, The Four Noble Truths and Noble Eight-Fold Path. This is a good opportunity for new comers to explore these teachings. Please ask friends to join you and us as we do so!
4. Like String for Beads, is a compilation of my Dharma talks, notes, poems and Facebook comments I have produced over the last five years. Special thanks to Enjitsu-san Chris Charyk for pulling the pieces together in this book! There will be copies available every Tuesday night, or let me know if you want me to mail you a copy. The book is $25 for the first copy and $15 for extra copies while they last.
5. Visit our new library named for Diane “Yugen” Tucker. The cart was a donation to the Sangha by Kyoshin Elin Kinney as Dana for her Jukai on November 5, 2016…many bows! The books will be added over the next few weeks and Kyoshin-ni has agreed to be our Librarian. A donation of $1 is recommend to check out books and magazines for up to three weeks. It really is a cute cart drop-by and see it soon. Oh, we wheel it out each Tuesdays and for zazenkai and sesshin, or if you would like to see if we have a book you want, get in touch with Elin <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
6. Meditation is also held each TUESDAY at 10:00AM at the Falmouth Senior Center.
7. Our Zendo is open at 6:30PM (good time for newcomers to get aquatinted) at the UUFF, 840 Sandwich Road, for our weekly service which starts at 7:00PM.
Silent Thunder Order (STO) ACTIVITIES: See our website for details.