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Right Concentration and Right Mindfulness: Focusing

Sustaining is not a word we use often. Sustaining is holding awareness with bounded emphasis-a twinge of Right View and Right Effort. I am intrigued by the image to the left. It is a smiling Buddha with a halo of enlightenment with the Dharma Wheel of the Noble Eight-Fold Path. The Wheel is located where the "Dharma Eye" is normally centered on such icons.

There are two ways to look at the image. One is an expansive view of all, Right Mindfulness and the other is narrowing the focus, Right Concentration. The latter by focusing on the center of the hub of the wheel-if this were an actual wheel it would be the end of the shaft running through the hub. Wide-eyed or sharpe-focused, we have open-shutter and then pinpoint focus. Now, as you followed my written instructions (direction) you used Right Effort and Right View. Right Mindfulness is allowing all, as in all sensory awareness. Then we shift on our own as we narrow the focus similar to keeping our eyes half open (note the image again) in Zazen. In Right Concentration all of the senses do this. In deeply practicing Prajna Paramita, the same thing occurs.

Off the cushion we do both without stopping and starting. Again as in the picture we can shift between the two views before we are aware of it. When first leaning to ride the bicycle we are overwhelmed with what must be done. If we focus only on the parts for staying upright we miss being such or thus. That is, we aren't bicycling as much as we are trying not to fall. The very best telescopes have a wide full view. As something seems to arise from the large scale we focus-in on the detail. Through practice we can do something remarkable, that is we seem to intuit which type of awareness we need by just doing thus even before we are aware that such is happening...



  • Our Beach sitting on the Bike-Path at Oyster Pond and Surf Drive begins April 4, 2017, from 6:30AM until 7:00AM then we all go to PIE-IN-THE SKY in Woods Hole for coffee.

  • 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 Charyk, 45 Beebe Acres Rd, Falmouth, MA 02540. You may stay atght or return for each day's sessions. See Archives of Dharma Notes for detail and Email me to let me know you are coming. A minimum donation of $15 is requested.

1. Each January-April, 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! See Archives for previous Dharma notes.

2. 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 $15 per copy.

3. 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 <>.

4. Meditation is also held each TUESDAY at 10:00AM at the Falmouth Senior Center.

5, Our next book selection for the Buddhism Book Bunch is a wonderful treatise on The Bodhisattva Precepts. We will read this for both April and May, 2017 discussing the first half of the book, chapters 1-13 on April 30, at 14 Davis Road Falmouth, 02540 and the remaining chapters 14-23 on May 21. Remember we'll select a book for our summer reading (June-August) at our May 2017 meeting.

6. 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

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