Newsletter Archive

Subscribe to our Newsletter here… July 28, 2018 : Ordinary Zen Sangha – Special Announcement July 19, 2018 : Ordinary Zen Sangha – Newsletter April 28, 2018 : Ordinary Zen Sangha – Newsletter January 13, 2018 : Ordinary Zen Sangha – Dharma Newsletter #1 December 15, 2017 : Ordinary Zen Sangha – Holiday Newsletter October 3, 2017 : Ordinary Zen Sangha – Newsletter July 30, 2017 : Ordinary Zen Sangha – Special Opportunity May 26, 2017 : Ordinary Zen Sangha – Newsletter May 7, 2017 : Ordinary Zen Sangha […]

Korean Zen Temple

OZS Buddha Sculpture

I found the perfect Buddha for our new Zendo! This beautiful bronze Buddha was for sale at Personalized Estate Liquidations Benefitting Youth, Inc. aka PEL. (They have been helping youth-at-risk in our community since 2000.) The person who placed the Buddha sculpture on consignment lived in Korea for a number of years and brought it with him upon his return to the U.S. This Buddha is 28 inches tall and fits perfectly in our new Altar (a beautifully hand-carved mahogany cabinet made in […]

Rain Ripples

Not Two

In our ordinary lives, we may struggle at times, are happy and content sometimes, distraught and hurt at others times. We are ensnared by all the constructs, narratives, and ideas we create about ourselves and the world. Thus we create discord, sometimes angry and disillusioned, sometimes righteous and right. Believing our discriminating mind, attached to being right. Thinking that this teaching is better than that one. Deludedly, chasing the finger pointing to the moon.  This can be called self-attachment or self-referencing, clinging to […]

Sea and Rocks

fixed or fluid

The difference between Delusion and Nirvana can be described in two words – fixed or fluid. When we have a fixed view, we are deluding ourselves. It is at the root of all our pain and suffering.  The problem stems from a false premise, a belief that we are separate and independent from each other. “I am not him, he is not me.” This causes all kinds of alienation, fear, greed, and hatred.  This belief is out of balance, the same way our body […]

Ordinary Zen Goes To Jail

In March of this year, I was offered a wonderful opportunity to share the benefits of Zen Meditation with the general population at the Sarasota County Jail.  I originally asked Sangha Member Judy Rosemarin to join me and she generously donated her time each Thursday morning for an hour of sitting and sharing the Dharma with inmates. Unfortunately, Judy will be unavailable for three months this summer.  In order to give the inmates continuity of experience, as much as possible given the situation, I have asked […]

Greeting Equanimity

It is common in Zen Buddhist and other traditions to greet one another by joining our hands together and bowing. Done with diligence and vigilance, embracing equanimity, it is practice. It is Zen. It is the doorway to awakening. Diligence, in this case, means letting go of self-referentiality and approaching with a joyful and open mind. Vigilance means embracing the equanimity of this moment. Without any judgment or labeling, we are at one with the essence of being. This is truly greeting reality.

Wumen’s Zen Warnings

The Zen warnings come at the close of the Gateless Gate, a collection of 48 Chan (Zen) koans compiled in the early 13th century by the Chinese Zen master Wumen Huikai (無門慧開; Japanese: Mumon Ekai; 1183–1260).  Wumen’s preface indicates that the volume was published in 1228. To obey the rules and regulations is to tie yourself without a rope. To act freely and without restraint is heresy and deviltry. To be aware of the mind, making it pure and quiet, […]

Lisa Cairns – Is Meditating Helpful?

Here is the thing. After the curiosity wears off, when the video stream ends, what do you have? What generally seems to be missing in the “Non-Duality Movement” is practice. How to get to know for yourself what is? How to know the objective, subjective, absolute/relative reality, to be free of identification and yet fully participating in life? How to know the same old you, through and through? That’s it. That old dusty mirror is the way! Here Lisa Cairns […]

Stuck in a Story with Lisa Cairns

A “Non-Duality” speaker that I like is Lisa Cairns.  She expresses unconditional love beautifully, as well as being clear and unpretentious. However entertaining it might appear, she is a Dharma teacher.