Jan. 1-7

January 5th, 2017

“Buddhism means not being concerned with whether you’re seen as a hot-shot Dalai Lama, or a hot-shot Pope, or a hot-shot parent, or even a halfway decent anything… the ego is just a construct. Get over it.”

-Christine Cox

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Describe your experience with Shikantaza (just sitting) meditation and how it has worked for you.

Dec. 25-31

December 28th, 2016

“Enlightenment is absolute cooperation with the inevitable.”

-Anthony de Mello

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
How has humility played a role in your practice?

Dec. 18-24

December 22nd, 2016

“We don’t have to get rid of all our neurotic tendencies: what we do is begin to see how funny they are, and then they’re just part of the fun of life, the fun with living with other people. They’re all crazy. And so are we, of course.”

-Charlotte Joko Beck

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What are some of your most prominent “neurotic” thought lines, and how do you deal with them?

Dec. 11-17

December 14th, 2016

“With only a change in perspective, the most ordinary things take on inexpressible beauty. When we don’t know, we don’t judge. And when we don’t judge, we see things in a different light. That is the light of our awareness, unfiltered by intellectual understanding, rumination, or evaluation.”

-Katsuki Sekida

 

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss the relationship between faith and doubt as it relates to your practice.

Dec. 4-10

December 9th, 2016

“If we indulge the human propensity to understate, exaggerate, and alter facts for whatever comfort or false security it might accord us, we forfeit our capacity to see reality clearly, and see only a world of our own invention.”

-Lin Jensen

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
When sitting, what techniques do you use to relate to thoughts, so you don’t become overly engaged with or controlled by them?

Nov. 27-Dec. 3

December 1st, 2016

“To use your mind in a natural way means to avoid trying to control it. The more you try to control your mind, the more stray thoughts will come up to bother you.”

-Master Sheng-Yen

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss the relationship between “effortlessness” and “effort” as it relates to your practice.

Nov. 20-26

November 24th, 2016

“The source of ethical conduct is found in the way things are, circumstance itself: unfiltered immediate reality reveals what is needed.”

-Lin Jensen

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What are some misconceptions you initially had about meditation/Buddhism that you’ve discovered aren’t true once you began earnestly practicing?

Nov. 13-19

November 17th, 2016

“As long as we think we shouldn’t feel something, as long as we are afraid of feeling vulnerable, our defenses kick in to try to get life under control, to manipulate ourselves or other people. But instead of either controlling or sequestering our feelings, we can learn to both contain and feel them fully.”

-Barry Magid

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What does the famous Zen saying “If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha,” mean to you?

Nov. 6-12

November 9th, 2016

“Zen is becoming one with all truths. It is easy to be misled by the word ‘zazen’ and think that it refers to some special practice, but this is not the case. If the goal of all religious practice in the world is to become one with the truth, then this is all Zen.”

-Harada Sekkei Roshi

 

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Has practice ever made your life seem more stressful than before you started? How so?

Oct. 30-Nov. 5

November 3rd, 2016

“I used to think the point was to pursue happiness and flee misery, and this attitude extended to Zen practice. But now I see a new way of looking at things: What if the point is to start by accepting suffering?”
-Henry Shukman

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What are some of the most persistent thoughts, anxieties, memories, etc. that have distracted you from the present moment in the past few weeks? Do you have any strategies for limiting their ability to steal your attention?