The Sangha or Spiritual Friendship is at the very core of the Buddha’s teachings. Since the inception of the Ordinary Zen Sangha in the spring of 2015, I have had the honor to practice with many wonderful human beings who have had a profound effect on my practice and life journey. I am very grateful and consider each and everyone without exception, to be a spiritual friend. I will always hold each of you in my heart-mind with compassion and […]
OZS exists because it is needed. It isn’t a church or religious institution. We have enough of those. It isn’t a Buddhist Temple and we do not worship a Buddha, a god or deity. We do not belong to or adhere to an ideology. Yet when you walk into our zendo, you will find the triple treasure is very much present. OZS is a modern practice center. Here, presence is what matters. It is palpable. What do we practice? Our […]
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 […]
My years at the American Zen Center – 1989-1999.
When I first began my practice, I was fortunate to spend time with the Korean Zen Master Gosung Shin (I lived on the American Zen Center grounds for 10 years). Two days ago I learned from an old friend (who I had not talked to in over 15 years) that there were some video’s on YouTube from 2014 and 2015 of Gosung Shin. How wonderful! This Dharma talk is typical of the Saturday lectures. How grateful I am to have known […]
I sometimes refer to our meditation practice by different names. It is called zazen, just sitting, shikantaza or silent illumination. These are just names that point at what we do when we get on the cushion. “Silent Illumination” best describes our meditation practice. I first learned the term “Silent Illumination” from a book titled “The Method of No-Method” by Chan Master Sheng Yen. Master Sheng Yen described Silent Illumination as another name for Shamatha-Vipashyana, a meditative practice of stilling the mind […]
Be safe and prepared for what might come.
There is a saying “Don’t believe everything you think!“. Here are two articles that advise us on how to be better at distinguishing the real from the fake. We all need to know how to spot a social media bot spreading fake news. Read this very informative article to understand how “bots” are working social media now. “Not knowing” is described by Wendy Egyoku Nakao Roshi as “the letting go of fixed ideas about yourself, others, and the universe” in her Tricycle […]