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Saturday, February 29, 2020

John Eric Nelson Memorial

John Eric Nelson cuke page

with more photos and memories

Miss you John! - DC

Not the Goal

Emptiness is not the goal of practice or purpose or aim of activity. The only way to realize the absolute is through our practice-- in its true sense.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, February 28, 2020

Buddhamama Burl

She's all dressed up at the Backporch Zendo Occidental California.

BPZ Facebook page

Buddhamama Burl page on cuke

Back Porch Zendo is a mom and pop neighborhood zendo founded by Ken and Elizabeth Sawyer in 2004. We meet on Monday nights at 6:30 and end at 8:30. We sit zazen together followed by a Soto Zen service then we have tea/treat and read/discuss Buddhist literature. We have a one day sitting once a month on the first Sunday of the month from 9-5:15. Well being ceremony is performed every week. Other ceremonies by request or by whim


Cannot

All what you do is somethingness [laughs], and you cannot understand emptiness. So that is why it is called emptiness.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Somethingness

All that we do or all that we think is not absolute itself. So there is no reason why we should attach to it. The only thing we should observe is as a absolute is emptiness, which is the absolute in its true sense, which is quite different from somethingness, you know [laughs].  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Back to the first power

And the first power of a Buddha, devotion to the Buddha's teaching and no attachment to anything. This is our practice, which cannot compare with any other activities we have or any other effort we make.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Ten Powers of a Buddha

One is the devotion to the Buddha's teaching and no attachment to anything else. The second one is increasing one's devotion. The third is expedient ability to instruct people and alter their conduct. The fourth one is understanding what people think. And fifth is satisfying people with what they want. And sixth-- no cessation] of exertion. The seventh one including all vehicles or all teachings without giving-up Mahayana way. The eighth one is mysterious power of showing the appearance of the Buddha in every world in every pore of the body. The ninth is making people turn towards Buddhism and leading people to perfection. The last one is satisfying all kinds of people with even a single phrase. Those are ten powers.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, February 24, 2020

First Power

This morning I want to continue the explanation of the ten powers. This-- those ten powers are that of bodhisattva's ten powers.
One is the devotion to the Buddha's teaching and no attachment to anything else.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-08-25 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Forget

Especially for young people, it is necessary to try very hard to achieve something. And you must stretch out your arms and legs as wide as they will go. (Demonstrating.) Form is form. You must be true to your own way until at last you actually come to the point where you see it is necessary to forget all about yourself.

Until you come to this point,
______________________
[From Trudy Dixon's handwritten note in an early manuscript of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. The note is to insert this into the "No Dualism" chapter and says "From Roshi's lecture, Aug. 4, '68, in S.F." The rest of the lecture has not been found.]   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-08-04 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Helping

You should be able to accept things as it is, and you should be able to help others in various ways, not just by sitting. So although we have no koan, we have various kinds of ways of helping people, not just by sitting.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Rinzai

In comparison to Soto, Rinzai teachers did not have so many followers. But most Rinzai students are people who actually practice zazen.. This is very good. Even though they do not have many followers, the followers they have are sincere students who practice zazen. But the practice itself is narrow. It is a kind of special practice for some special people. So that is why Rinzai school did not develop to have many supporters. That is the bad point of Rinzai school. We cannot compare actually-- we cannot say Soto is good or Rinzai is good. It is difficult to say which is better. I think both Rinzai and Soto should exist.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  [DC comment - I frequently feel uncomfortable when he talks about other sects.].

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Andrew on Ruthie

photo from Ruth Friend's Facebook page. She's on the left with Sophie Harris. Sophie posted a bunch more there.

Andrew Atkeison sent his thoughts on our dear friend, Ruth Friend, who died recently. (See post here from the 14th). Am posting

Ruth Friend, known to most as Ruthie, was truly a friend to all without regard to perceived social status of wealth. I sometimes wondered what she saw in her husband, but could only conclude that love works in strange and wonderful ways, and that he was certainly a lucky man to have her.

Soto

All the Soto believers in Japan are not Zen students. But they know somehow who is a good teacher and who is not. And they believe in him rather than believe in his teaching, or Buddha's teaching, or teaching of Dogen, or Shobogenzo. They just believe in his way or his character. In this way, Soto developed. This is the characteristic of Soto school.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Fil Lewitt has a new novel

And this one is Zenish.

Hover Over Bear River:  a novel of meditation & mayhem.

Amazon link for Hover over Bear River

Amazon page for all his books

The four books are: ARCHEOPOETICS (Stone Age humans); CANYON WREN’S RAG (poems for pathfinders); THE ZEN FOLLIES; and now HOVER OVER BEAR RIVER (Vipassana Insight Meditation, plus some mayhem).

Fil Lewitt cuke page

Help

For a Buddhist it is necessary to make some special effort to help people. That is a duty for the enlightened one. But the enlightened one has some ability to help people in various ways. Whether they understand it or not, he is actually helping people. In this way, you know, our religion exists in a social framework.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Lew Richmond has a new book

NEW BOOK ON AGING FOR MEN. Lew Richmond's new book on Aging--The Final Mountain: Aging With Honor and Dignity--a Guide for Men  will be published in October, 2020 by North Atlantic Books.  This book follows on his earlier aging book Aging as a Spiritual Practice, but is specifically geared toward men's aging needs (though women can buy it for themselves or the men in their lives).  The theme of this new book is that aging is emotional and intuitive, and men need to open themselves to those aspects to really negotiate growing older.  See Lew's latest blog post to learn more click HERE.

Lew Richmond Cuke page with a link to books by Lew

Are, are Not

Everyone is Buddha. But for those who are not aware of it, they are not Buddha.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Kill

Student asks if it's okay from a great samurai to kill, "through and through, is it all right for him to kill?"
SR: Maybe [laughs]-- but that kind of thing will not happen to him [laughter]. He should have complete freedom, but there will be no need to use all his ability. In all of his ability, you know -- one phrase is enough. That is one of the ten powers. To save people just by one phrase or one blink of eye is enough.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, February 14, 2020

RIP Ruth Friend

Received the following message on Facebook:

Our beloved Ruth died on Saturday, February 8th. She was at home, peaceful and with her family. Please send her love and encouragement as her spirit transitions towards her next adventure.
She touched so many of our lives as a friend, mentor, mother, sister, partner and fun loving companion. We will be holding a memorial in the coming months, please feel free to reach out here for more information.
Now we carry on all that she instilled in us about love, about making the world a better place, about taking care of each other and about taking care of ourselves.

Boiling Heart

You know, Japanese people think anger is [laughs, laughter] [probably gestures]. His heart is boiling [laughs, laughter] and his face is, you know, as calm as water [laughs, laughter]. And this is not so good, you know [laughter]. If that is to be more kind to others or something, it may be all right, but if it is to keep his own prestige or something, it is not good [laughs, laughter]. It's much better to be natural. And to be natural some effort is necessary, some special kind of effort like “just to sit” without leaning like this or without too much tension.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thunderstorm

Anger should be just anger, but unless you practice our way or unless you understand what “form is form” or “emptiness is emptiness” means, it is rather hard to be just angry like a thunderstorm [makes sound like thunder] [laughs]. Next moment nothing [laughs]. That is beautiful, you know. [Makes loud sound like thunder.] [Laughs, laughter.] That's all. This is very good for who can do that and for others too. If you could do so-- I wish I could... [makes sound like thunder] [laughs, laughter].  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Form

Student: What does “form is form” mean?

SR: Form is form-- form is form means, you know, form is emptiness, emptiness is form, and form is form, and emptiness is emptiness. There are four meanings in it. Before you say, in its true sense, “form is form,” you should get through “form is emptiness” and “emptiness form.” Or else “form is form” doesn't mean anything. 
  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Loving?

Student D: Well what about loving?

SR: Loving, yeah, also, you know, according to our understanding, love usually is very ego-centered idea. And we know it. But we make some excuse [laughs, laughter] for it. But we know pretty well, you know, why I love her. There are many “because, because, because” [laughs, laughter], and you don't “just love” anyone. 
 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Even more on Anger

Student: Isn't it possible to become so angry you forget about all that? Or just to become so foolish or so stupid or so ignorant you don't think about anything else?

SR: I don't think so for human being. If you are animal, they may-- they may be able to do it. But for us, that is not possible. 
-------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

More on "Just Angry"

The student who'd asked about being "just angry" as if that's the same as "just to sit," says, "But if you 'just do it,' how can you lose it?" 

There's more back and forth and then Suzuki says that anger builds and, "Y
ou will become more angry because you are not just you. That is that is why we say you cannot just to sit when you're angry. Anger or delusion or greed appear when you are not just you.-------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Just Angry

A student asks Suzuki, what about "just anger?" If we're just angry isn't that the same as "just to sit?" It goes on for a while back and forth and then Suzuki says, "You cannot be angry when you loose yourself." -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

You Yourself

Only when you can “just to sit” you can find out your own way, the best way for it. I am explaining it as if this is some good teaching, as if I know something, some secret. But it is not so. I am speaking about everyone's own way. That is why we put emphasis on “just to sit,” - because everyone has their own way and myriad of ways or dharmas. And moment after moment, you will find out your own way when you “just to sit,” when you are exactly you yourself. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

RIP John Nelson

John Nelson, our dear Zen Center brother just died. Condolences to Kim and their offspring, Bergen and Eric. Learned from Chris Fortin who read it in Bergen's FB post which I copy here.

It is with a very heavy heart I share that my father, John, took his last breath this morning. It was very peaceful, at my parents' home. My mom Kim, brother Eric, and I were by his side. He battled stage 4 colorectal cancer for the past 1.5 years and had a sudden turn for the worse just over 2 weeks ago. We are thankful for the good care he received in the hospital and then with home hospice, and forever grateful for the support we have received from family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.

Some Idea

Because you are bound by some idea, you cannot find out your way for yourself. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Direction

But before you realize who you are, you know, it is not possible for you to go your own direction. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, February 3, 2020

clock

To have a kind of accurate understanding of ourself is very important. It is same thing to have a clock. To know it is ten past nine is very important. But actually, there is no such time, you know [laughs]. There is no ten past nine. When I am saying something [laughs], it will be eleven past ten [nine] [laughs]. I am pointing at something which is non-verbal. We say “just to sit,” but this “just to sit” is extra [laughs]. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Effort

Student A (Bill Shurtleff): It seems that on some evenings you emphasize the idea of non-attainment and that there is nothing to do except simply to give up and to just sit and to be whatever you are at each instant. And yet at other times, it seems that you speak of exerting your best effort. And when I think of exerting my best effort, it's in order to attain something. Why do you bother speaking about effort at all? Why not simply stay to the teaching of not trying to do anything at all?
SR: [Laughs.] Yeah. That is very good question. Even though I say do whatever you like, you are doing [laughs] something with some effort [laughs, laughter]. Can you do anything without any effort? No, you cannot. Anyway you have some problem. So it is better to have some good problem rather than bad one [laughs, laughter]. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-07-24 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC