I am reading The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teachings of Hui-Neng. It is a wonderful translation and commentary by the Buddhist scholar Red Pine ( Bill Porter). Hui-Neng is the 40th Patriarch and the 6th in China. The Sutra depicts the Mahayana branch of Buddhism blossoming through Chan or Zen. This occurs with a shift from an emphasis on Nirvana to Enlightenment.
I find Hui-Neng and Nagarjuna to be somewhat the mavericks of Buddhism. Both are direct and somewhat fiesty at least as their words are translated. Mind, the emphasis is on the MIND/mind. As we use to say in the South"...the answer to where something is at, is behind the 'AT.'" Hui-Neng points to prajna or wisdom as the space before knowledge. Somewhat like a pregnant pause the space is ripe with possibility that arises wisely based on the practice and developed awareness of the student.
Buddhas do not fall from the sky rather they arise from within, when we awake to that understanding, we become aware of ourself unfolding to the point that we are no longer contained within our ignorance as the ego being separate from ALL. Beyond this, we see clearly interpenetrating conditions and variables. This awakening rises-up rather than being dropped-in on us. I and IT is less than two. This metta, or loving-kindness, is described by Sakyamuni Buddha when he said sometimes we are so aware we just look at the sky and smile. In fact sometimes I smile seemingly at nothing at all.
I think Hui-Neng penetrated the Dharma so quickly and thoroughly (traditional Buddhism would offer because of having come so far and being so close in previous lives) that Nirvana was seen as full awareness that the sky is Buddha Nature, but only after we realize we are Buddha...
Dharma Talk for Tuesday August 29, 2017 is "Buddhas Don't Fall From The Sky. "
As continued outreach in the Falmouth community, I will be working on a "Connectivity and Relationships" as a central feature of a group discussion fellowship on remaining sober and not using, as a path to address alcohol and drug abuse. More about this as it unfolds...
Please Add to your Calendar: On Saturday November 4, 2017 will:
Have a Zazenkai from 6:30 AM until 11:00PM
11:00-11:45 we will prepare for three FSZS members to take Jukai or Precepts
12:00 Jukai conducted by Taiun-Roshi, via Skype from Atlanta
12:45 Lunch and Celebration of the 7th anniversary of the founding of FSZS
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...
November 7, 14, 21 and 28
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. 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.
2. 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>.
3. Meditation is also held each TUESDAY at 10:00AM at the Falmouth Senior Center.
4. 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.
5. 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)
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. Also feel free to stay afterwards to chat and or ask questions...