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 […]

Mountains and rivers are just so.  

In the quiet mountain air, the leaves rustle. Who sees their original face reflected in the babbling stream? Many opportunities are lost, mostly you don’t know they passed you by. The repository consciousness reflects the past, surfacing like reflections in a mirror. Be at peace, let the past go. Clear mirror, clear mind. Mountains and rivers are just so. — Abbot, Will Rauschennberger

OZS-Zendo

Important News – Our Zendo Is Open

Ordinary Zen Sangha has reopened. Based on recent studies, according to the C.D.C., it will be safe for those of us who have been fully vaccinated. I am inviting Sangha members to join me for all of our activities in person at our Zendo, the Wednesday Evening Practice Session, Sunday Morning Practice Session, and our upcoming Retreat. Newcomers are always welcome. Zoom sessions and podcasts of the Dharma Talks will continue. Please check the calendar for updates or cancellations before […]

Mind, clear like space

Join Abbot Will Rauschenberger of Ordinary Zen Sangha for  Zen Meditation Practice on Siesta Key Beach Saturday mornings (weather permitting).  Meditating in nature is ideal and we will have the beach mostly to ourselves this early in the morning. This is a wonderful opportunity to meditate together in a safe and beautiful environment (we will practice social distancing, by keeping 8 feet apart). No experience is necessary and all are welcome.  Please bring your own cushion or mat and arrive […]

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 […]