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"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose," was a major line belted out by Janis Joplin in Bobby McGee. This is a mighty strong statement and worthy of comments this July 4, 2017. To begin let's look at the difference between freedom and nothing. In the Buddhist tradition the word fetters is used to imply what hobbles us, ties down, keeps us from walking. Similar to bondage it smells of slavery. These are things that must be removed to enable-us to take actions we chose-nothing else will do. Here the word nothing can suggest not allowing anything to keep us from being free. I like this.

Then there is Patriotism. This is an embellishment of follow-ship as in engagement in actions furthering values and causes of a nation state. They are not they same. Chained in the hole of a ship one leans toward release not toward a construct of values. By 1776 our Colonial and slave fore-parents removed and retained fetters at the same time. For some it meant fighting for the right to own slaves without being taxed without representation and for others nothing changed. What an irony, or what Buddhists call a delusion they lived.

This July 4, 2017 we should celebrate one and disavow the other, rise to openness and not containment as we practice in Zen to drop away those thoughts and actions that disable us. That is ignorance of not knowing the importance of impermanence and our interrelationships, our interdependence that remove shackles of self bonded delusions. For it is these that attempt to replace our freedoms from bondage, with the misplaced tome of Patriotism of greatness for some, at the expense of displacing others-may all beings be free...


IMPORTANT: Our Silent Thunder Order Training Center, The Atlanta Soto Zen Center, will be celebrating it's 40th Anniversary on July 17, 2017. One of the fund raisers for the event is a raffle! I am asking you to consider buying and or selling these tickets-they are $5 a piece and you can buy in blocks of five. You DO NOT need to be present to win. The items in the raffle are being inventories and I'll get the list out asap. In the meantime, please consider and then email me if you would like to buy and or sell tickets.


  • July 4 Dharma Talk will be on "FREEDOM"

  • Dokusan will be offered...

DATES SENSEI IS AWAY: Sangha Services will be lead by different members who have taken Jukai.

In November I will be away on a 30 day Priest's Ango or teaching sesshin, but will Skype in Dharma Talks...

July 11,18 and 25

Oct 22

November 7, 14, 21 and 28

December 5

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

1. Jacquline-ni will be hosting a Picnic for our Sangha and friends on JULY 8. starting at 1PM at 39 Happy Hollow Road. PLEASE EMAIL JACQULINE IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS AND TO LET HER KNOW YOU WILL JOIN US... jacqueline Lee <>.

2. During May and June, we will explore The Six Perfections, or paramitas that are guides for Mahayana Buddhist practice. They are virtues to be cultivated to strengthen practice and bring one to enlightenment. The Six Perfections describe the true nature of an enlightened being, which, in Mahayana practice, is to say they are our own true buddha-nature. If they don't seem to be our true nature, it is because the perfections are obscured by our delusion, anger, greed, and fear. By cultivating these perfections, we bring this true nature into expression. For an excellent overview go to:

3. 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.

4. 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 <>.

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

6. Last night the Buddhist Book Bunch met and finished discussing Being Upright which we found to be practical and inspirational. Look for a copy in our rolling yellow library. (Thanks Phil!) At the meeting, Sensei announced our summer book. Remember that the Falmouth Soto Zen Buddhist Book Bunch does not hold meetings from June to August and we will resume our monthly meetings in September.

7. Over the summer, we invite you to read, The Fruitful Darkness by Joan Halifax. Grove Press describes the book published originally in 1993 as: Buddhist teacher and anthropologist Joan Halifax Roshi delves into "the fruitful darkness” --the shadow side of being, found in the root truths of Native religions, the fecundity of nature, and the stillness of meditation. In this highly personal and insightful odyssey of the heart and mind, she encounters Tibetan Buddhist meditators, Mexican shamans, and Native American elders, among others. In rapt prose, she recounts her explorations--from Japanese Zen meditation to hallucinogenic plants, from the Dogon people of Mali to the Mayan rain forest, all the while creating "an adventure of the spirit and a feast of wisdom old and new” (Peter Matthiessen). Halifax believes that deep ecology (which attempts to fuse environmental awareness with spiritual values) works in tandem with Buddhism and shamanism to discover "the interconnectedness of all life,” and to regain life’s sacredness.We will discuss The Fruitful Darkness at our meeting on September 24th from 6:30-8:00 at 41 Carol Avenue in East Falmouth.Gassho~Koin-ni (Sue)

8. 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. Also feel free to stay afterwards to chat and or ask questions...

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