The Calm Before the Storm

Tracking Hurricane Dorian shows that it will be late Monday, Tuesday at the earliest that it will hit the east coast and possibly head this way. In preparation, we will have our Sunday Evening Meditation as usual. Our Dharma talk will be on “How can we focus our heart/mind in the midst of uncertainty and impermanence“. Those who have not awakened to the mind live enslaved to circumstance. They dream not only while they are asleep; even when their eyes […]

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Spiritual Friendship

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 […]

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Why OZS Exists

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 […]

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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 […]

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Weekly Dharma Talk with Zen Master Gosung Shin 1.24.2015

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 […]

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Silent Illumination – The Awakened Heart

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 […]

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