Monthly Archives: April 2015

Apr 26 – May 2

“Become the person of no rank. Become the noble soul, and live in this awakened way, not imitating anyone. Whatever the circumstances your life asks of you, respond to them in your own individual Zen-spirited way. Don’t waste any time trying to be someone else…We are not here to have someone else’s experience. We are here to have our own vivid experience. So please don’t cling to yesterday, to what happened, to what didn’t happen. And do not judge today by yesterday. Let us just live today to the fullest! Moment after moment, each sitting is the only sitting.”

-Maurine Stuart

Practice Meetings

Friday May 1, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Book of Serenity #14
“Attendant Kaku Serves Tea”

Attendant Kaku asked Tokusan, “Where have all the past saints gone?” 

Tokusan said, “What? What?” 

Kaku said, ” I gave the command for an excellent horse like a flying dragon to spring forth, but there came out only a lame tortoise.” 

Tokusan was silent. 

The next day, when Tokusan came out of the bath, Kaku served him tea. 

Tokusan passed his hand gently over Kaku’s back. Kaku said, “This old fellow has gotten a glimpse for the first time.” 

Again, Tokusan was silent.

Apr 19 – 25

“I shall no longer be instructed by the Yoga Veda or the Aharva Veda, or the ascetics, or any other doctrine whatsoever. I shall learn from myself, be a pupil of myself; I shall get to know myself, the mystery of Siddhartha.” He looked around as if he were seeing the world for the first time.”

-Herman Hesse

Practice Meetings

Friday Apr 24, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Gateless Gate #13, Book of Serenity #55
“Tokusan’s Bowls”

One day Tokusan went down toward the dining room, holding his bowls.

Seppõ met him and asked, “Where are you off to with your bowls? The bell has not rung, and the drum has not sounded.”

Tokusan turned and went back to his room.

Seppõ mentioned this to Gantõ, who remarked, “Tokusan is renowned, but he does not know the last word.”

Tokusan heard about this remark and sent his attendant to fetch Gantõ. “You do not approve of me?” he asked.

Gantõ whispered his meaning.

Tokusan said nothing at the time, but the next day he ascended the rostrum, and behold! he was very different from usual!

Gantõ, going toward the front of the hall, clapped his hands and laughed loudly, saying, “Congratulations! Our old man has got hold of the last word!

From now on, nobody in this whole country can outdo him!”

Apr 12 – 18

“No practice exists in isolation.”

-Idries Shah

Practice Meetings

Friday Apr 17, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Blue Cliff Record #79
“Every Sound is Buddha’s Sound”

A monk asked Touzi, “Every sound is Buddha’s sound.  Correct or not?”

Touzi said, “Correct.”

The monk said, “[Then] Venerable, aren’t [your] farts the chirping sound of the Buddha’s bowl?”

Touzi hit him.

He again asked, “Coarse words and fine speech all return to the primary meaning.  Correct or not?”

Touzi said, “Correct.”

The monk said, “May I call the Venerable to be taken for one donkey?”

Touzi hit him.

[Xuedou added] “Fart.”

Apr 5 – 11

“If you love another person, you have to become a no-self, a nothing. When you love, you have to become a nobody. When you are a nobody, love happens. If you remain somebody, love never happens.

One becomes afraid of love, because love opens the inner emptiness.

Love is not an effort. If love is an effort, it is not love.

It is the same case with the ultimate experience, it happens when you do not make an effort. Then you can simply float with the river to the Ocean.” 

-Swami Dhyan Giten

Practice Meetings

Friday Apr 10, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Book of Serenity #68
“Kassan Brandishes the Sword”

A monk asked Kassan, “What if one sweeps away the dust and sees Buddha?”

Kassan said, “You must brandish your sword. If you do not brandish your sword, the fisherman dwells in a nest of reeds.”

The monk mentioned this to Sekisô and asked him, “What if one sweeps away the dust and sees Buddha?”

Sekisô said, “He has no country. Where can one meet him?”

The monk reported this to Kassan. Kassan ascended the rostrum and said, “As for the facilities in the garden, the old monk is superior to Sekisô, but for deep discourse expounding the true principle he is one hundred steps ahead of me.”