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Zen in Three Part Harmony

Philip Kapleau in his book, Awakening to Zen, suggests that Zen can be looked at in a partitioned manner if you like, and he even suggests three parts. First, objectively and externally considered it is a sect of Buddhism with its own history and forms. Second, it goes to the heart of Buddhism, illumination of mind, pacification of heart, and freedom of action. Third, it transcends and when it does..."life in unconditioned integrity calls for Zen no more than water calls for wetness or fire for heat."

This is skillful means by O'Roshi as he tries to get us to sing and not just read the music or listen to the tune. In Zen we have, are and do. That is we have the history of Buddhism, we are practitioners, and we do our day-to-day stuff in harmony. When in IT there are no distinctions, when distinctions occur interconnectedness loses rhythm. So the parts are not stacks or plateaus but a snapshot of interrelationship. When IT is just SUCH, experience is pervasive.

Tuesday night we will look at this teaching of Kapleau-roshi, and may even "Dance the Sangha."


A few calendar notes. There will not be a service on Tuesday July 3, 2018. Also, I will be in Atlanta the month of July in my second 30-day Ango, having done the first in November 2017. Ango is a zazen and teaching intensive with my teacher Taiun Elliston-roshi. I will share the experience with you each week. Enjitsu Chris Charyk and other vow-takers of FSZS will facilitate Tuesday night service.

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