Koans for Troubled Times-Joan Sutherland

This week, I am sharing an article from Lion’s Roar in which Joan Sutherland shares the history of koans from a difficult period of time in Chinese history. She helps us to gain a historical perspective on our Zen tradition and our situation today. “What does it mean for each of us to be wholeheartedly part of this world? How do we fall willingly into the frightened, blasted, beautiful, tender world, just as it is?” Koans for Troubled Times  

The Very Ground Shaking Under Our Feet

We are faced with unbelievable instability and suffering as the upheaval of the unstable societal ground we thought we could stand on shifts, creating fissures, and shakes us to the core. We attempt to keep some sense of normalcy, seeking ways to cope, or just pretend that we are okay and build walls of stoicism.  The pandemic forces us to social distance and its effect can be feeling alienated and alone, limited in our ability to communicate intimately. What can […]

In a time of great change, what now?

My mission in founding OZS some 5 years ago was to provide a supportive environment in which we can directly experience the essential wisdom teachings of the Buddha through the timeless, ageless practice of what is called Zen, Chan, or Seon. Ordinary Zen Sangha (OZS) has been committed to bringing the benefits of this wisdom practice into our ordinary lives, just as they are, in this place and time. In our current situation, a time in which the whole world […]

4/5/20 – Online Practice Session at OZS and Won Kwang Sa Temple

Two Zoom Sessions this Sunday starting at 9:00 am… Sunday, April 5, 2020 – Online Practice Session at OZS and Dharma Talk at Won Kwang Sa Temple Dear Sangha, OZS is inviting you to two scheduled Zoom meetings this Sunday, April 5, 2020. We are changing the start time for this Sunday to 9:00 AM and adding a second Dharma talk with Chong An Sunim at 10:00 AM from Won Kwang Sa Temple in Budapest, Hungary. We had a wonderful […]

clouds

Making Clouds Disappear

When I was a child, I used to play a game with friends called “making the clouds disappear.” Days that clouds were scattered and puffy were ideal. We would each pick a cloud and focus all our energy on making it disappear, and sure enough, with patience, they would disappear! What was wonderful about the game was the experience of oneness, of sky, mind, space. It was the magic of active imagination! As adults we intellectually might grasp that this […]

Last few days of 2019 – Celebrating Buddha’s Awakening

Buddha’s enlightenment is said to have happened in December, so we celebrate his awakening. As we bring the year to an end, I would like to leave you with two Dharma Talk Podcasts. The first one is by Norman Fisher and includes a wonderful “Fairy Tale” about Buddha’s enlightenment that comes from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Old Path White Clouds. Norman Fisher – “The Buddha as a completely normal person“ http://everydayzen.org/teachings/2013/buddha-normal-person-all-day-sitting-december-2019/ The second Podcast is last Sunday’s Dharma talk at […]

Sunday Meditation Practice – Times are Changing

Our Sunday evening practice is changing to Sunday morning practice! Starting October 6, 2019. At the close of our last retreat, it was the consensus of the sangha members present that it would be easier for most to have our Sunday practice be in the morning instead of the evening. So starting on Oct 6, 2019 we will be meeting at 10:00 am for our meditation practice. Sunday Morning Practice Session: The doors open at 9:30 am and the practice session […]

An uprising of decency

In his opinion piece in the New York times today David Brooks makes the poignant point that “We need an uprising of decency”.  He refers to the last debate where Marianne Williamson made some very interesting observations about politics in our country. He says “It is no accident that the Democratic candidate with the best grasp of this election is the one running a spiritual crusade, not an economic redistribution effort.”  Here is a link to the article. I always […]

Earth Day – Every Day

Some 40 years ago I went back to the land, built a homestead and grew much of my own food. It was a dream many shared back then and still do today. It is in our nature to be in nature. It was during this time that I came across the writings of Wendell Berry.   I went for a hike a couple of days ago at Myakka State Park. As I walked alone in solitude among the Oak hammocks […]