I’m heading back from my fiftieth college reunion. There were about 100 of us including spouses. We were told sixty-seven of our class had died since we graduated in 1967.
Normal reunion events happened from wine tasting (for others) to tours, lunch and dinner with the President of The University of North Georgia. When I graduated we had about 1,000 students, now it is 19,000. When I was there I was a member of the Corps of Cadets. All residential male students had to be in the Corps at the time. So we were 800 and there were also 200 women who at the time could not be in the Corps. North Georgia College (NGC) was a unique Essentially Military College, like the Citadel, VMI and Texas A&M, of course we were/are much better.
Over the weekend, I experienced a phenomenon I’ll call “Layering.” It was looking at the here and now but seeing the then and there. As an example I am sitting at a gate in the airport where the ceiling tiles are removed exposing the soft underbelly of ductwork, electrical lines, light fixtures, and assorted dangling lines. Yet I can see tiles if I look at the space in my mind. So on Campus I saw 1967 and in certain places I felt 22, and the 2017 classmate faces would shift (on occasion) to their yearbook 1967 look. This continued throughout the days on campus.
It is all still there. That is my point, all of it is still there. The question is where is there? Dogen might posture there is always but where isn’t, that is why we can be there at ANYTIME. I believe this is important. As a portal of the universe this being (me) is experiencing. That is why someone can say do you remember when we carried a Nike missile from the armory to the Professor of Military Sciences house’s front lawn and Shazamm we are all there (1964, I “think”). This is a shifting from foreground to background in a way that seems effortless.
In Zen we are less surprised phenomenally with these see through layers, as they just seem to happen. So what do we do with phenomena? Expereience.
Before my Mother died her dementia allowed her to remember the events of 1955 when I was ten and we lived in a small sub division in a small town with about a million kids! She was at home “there” and we stayed there in our conversations as I learned more and more about her and me and that, then and there.
Great is the meaning of birth and death…
Please note that we have now have a way for supporters to make contributions on our FSZS website: www.falmouthsotozenangha.net. Many readers receive weekly Dharma notes and you may wish to help us continue our work as we near our seventh year celebration. Remember we are a 501c3 through the STO and contributions go tour rent at UUFF and to support the Silent Thunder Order as well as our basic materials and supplies. Any amount is appreciated...
Dharma Talk for Tuesday September 19, 2017 is "Layering "
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. We are now using two months to read more deeply our BBB selections please keep this in mind: Our next Book is Sit-down and Shut-up, by Brad Warner: The book received mixed reviews. MetroActive stated "At times Warner comes off as pandering, with his cutesy pop-culture tangents and I-know-what-you're-thinking-right-now comments" while Buddhadharma ultimately summed the book up with "Too much of an adolescent rant for most Zen readers and too much of a middle-aged strut down memory lane for most punk readers, Sit Down and Shut Up will likely get an enthusiastic reception only from the small group of readers who already identify as Zen punks." Razorcake, however, stated "Irreverent, cocksure, glib, and wise, this is one damn good book."
5. 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...