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Right Mindfulness: Awareness

April 17, 2017

 

The term "mindfulness" is mentioned often as a form of meditation. In Zen, we seldom use the term meditation for in Zazen or just sitting, there is no objective nor an subject upon which to focus or "meditate." Rather, we settle-in to a posture allowing the sense of our own body to drop away or fade from the front of our awareness. As we do this awareness opens fully encompassing the universe in silent illumination. Taiun-Elliston, roshi refers to our just-sitting like being at a waterhole as all of the 10,000 things come into being-hence the power of "Big Mind" unfolding or being illuminated. Rich Hansen has a short essay in which he defines mindfulness as:

 

"Mindfulness is simply a continuous, non-judgmental, accepting awareness of your inner and outer world - especially your inner one: the flow of experience. It is a very grounded awareness, not some kind of lofty mystical state.( http://www.wisebrain.org/RightMindfulness2.pdf)."

 

So being fully aware is similar to the lens of a camera drinking in the moment of exposure. Hansen goes on to talk about how we can be mindful off the cushion. Breathing helps. That is being aware of breath means being cognition you are living, every 4-8 seconds we breathe in and out which is a simple definition of both moment and being alive. In this moment we have a sense of awareness, a kind of back-burner openness allowing soft shifts in awareness as the 10,000 things appear each moment. This practice produces equanimity allowing awareness to flow unimpeded by attaching to mental constructs such as internal voiced words, images, momentum connecting trains of thought accelerating "Monkey-Mind." This is an intimacy of all or even "Awe" at the intersection of right now & right here...

 

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Many bows to those who attended "Buddha's Birthday Bash" last Tuesday _/\_...

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

  • 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 at the house Friday and Saturday night 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 <elinkinney@gmail.com>.  

                                    

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