Lojong Slogan 10: Always Train In The Slogans

While this slogan may seem like something of a pause and an invitation to revisit the slogans we’ve taken up these last 10 months, the wording is important. This slogan is reminding us to practice with the slogans in our actual, everyday experiences. We have to be careful to not make these intellectual playthings. They’re…

Lojong Slogan 9: Turn Things Around

Three Objects, Three Poisons, Three Seeds of Virtue Our Lojong slogan for September is, as phrased by Zen teacher Norman Fischer, Turn Things Around. Please join us tonight at 6:10 as Mary briefly introduces the slogan followed by 15 minutes of seated meditation, 10 minutes of walking meditation and a final 30 minutes of seated meditation….

Why we sit…

In this short video taken by a high school student comparing religious practices, Appamada teacher Peg Syverson describes her path. https://youtu.be/qS5HnNwewa0

Awareness of Space: June 14th’s Concentration Practice

While I was in England last week, Mary and Lindsay led the group in concentration practice, kinhin, and zazen. Mary selected one of Loch Kelly’s glimpse practices. Here’s a description of the meditation if you’d like to try it at home: Awareness of Space – In the Buddhist tradition it has a few other names; Choiceless Awareness,…

Zen in The United Kingdom

From June 6 through 15, my son and I engaged in a sort of genealogical scavenger hunt throughout England. It’s a beautiful country–so verdant and kind-hearted. I loved every moment of our time there. I’ve posted a slew of photos here. During our travels, I had the opportunity to visit three different sanghas, Stonewater Zen…

Lojong 6: In Post meditation, Be A Child Of Illusion

During Wednesday’s compassion practice we explored Lojong Slogan 6: In Postmeditation Be A Child Of Illusion. Norman Fischer was our guide into this territory and we read from the following excerpt: 2010 https://goo.gl/zszACI Following this reading, members sat for a few minutes in silent contemplation. In discussion that followed personal childhood qualities once had were shared…

Embodied Presence

This evening, Mary introduced us to another Loch Kelly “glimpse”–a practice of “unhooking” awareness from egoic thinking and shifting into open awareness. If you couldn’t make it this evening and want to try what Kelly calls the “ultimate-level” body scan, here’s how he describes the meditation in Shift Into Freedom: GLIMPSE 3 Embodied Presence In the…

Zhaozhou’s “A Newborn Baby” (Koan)

Small Group Koan Work Wednesday, May 24, 2017   Tonight, we took up this month’s case, Zhaozhou’s A Newborn Baby (Blue Cliff Record, #80).   The Players Zhaozhou Congshen (778-897, 10th gen) was a disciple of Nanquan (748-835), who was a disciple of Mazu (709-88). Touzi Datong (819-914, 11th gen) was a disciple of Cuiwei. Touzi…

In Memoriam, Cynthia Hood

The Big Bend area is mourning the passing of Cynthia Hood. She died suddenly early Wednesday morning.  Cynthia was amazingly strong, stunningly resilient, a loving mama, a gifted yoga teacher, a dedicated Vipassana practitioner, a graceful dancer, a lover of life, and a reliable friend to all.  My thoughts and prayers go out to her…

Gaia Contemplation: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Gaia Meditation for the Planet and Its Inhabitants Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Joanna Macy’s Five Personal Guidelines for The Great Turning As you may recall from our last Gaia meditation in February, the great work of bodhisattvas is to make and help others make what Joanna Macy calls, The Great Turning. There are, according to…