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The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby partofit22 on Sun May 07, 2017 7:51 pm

flutemaker wrote:
partofit22 wrote:
flutemaker wrote:
partofit22 wrote:I've noticed what I want to call "congestion" of some sort to the north/northeast of the navel, which feels to me is the location where I'm holding onto my stress, which in turn impacts the rest especially posture and breathing because my body seems to want to surround and protect that spot instead of release it- Sounds crazy, I know- Just something I've noticed ..

If I may, I'd like to comment. Can we talk of the "bodily" body, the "body of breath", the "body of emotional sphere", and the "body of thought", as some of the "fields" where we mostly "are" during meditation? If you can recognize them, and see the difference, then try to see where you tend to feel the "congestion"? I'd bet, in the "body of emotional sphere". Sometimes your successful "release" in the "bodily" body, and the "body of breath" doesn't lead to the total release in the "emotional body". First, tie ("glue") them all together, and this establishes connection, then - "release" the whole ("composite") thing totally. I know, sounds no less crazy...


Thank you .. yes- Sounds equally as crazy but makes complete sense-

But. It could make sense only if we talk just about a "congestion", and not an old injury. Try to "release" injury on your physical body... We must try to heal it first, cure it, by all means known to us. This healing is not just a matter of a one-time right effort. I am almost 50, and perhaps not looking "old" from where you are, still my observation is that old injuries to the emotional "body" are accumulating, and are no less injuries than those to the physical body. And of course, the major "emotional" centers (incl. the one near the solar plexus, means the place where we physically "feel" sadness, or fear) are affected directly.


What I'm understanding you to be saying, at the moment, is that a full breath cannot be taken and/or that breath can't be "returned to" completely due to "congestion"- Breathing, yes- Completely breathing, no-

my observation is that old injuries to the emotional "body" are accumulating, and are no less injuries than those to the physical body. And of course, the major "emotional" centers (incl. the one near the solar plexus, means the place where we physically "feel" sadness, or fear) are affected directly.


The best I can do with this ^^^ ,at the moment, is to consider it- Because I'm not so sure that the process of healing and releasing are separate -- meaning that they may not work in unison- I do see that emotional injury can accumulate due to the way in which you have explained it-
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby flutemaker on Sun May 07, 2017 8:01 pm

I would very much want Guo Gu laoshi to shed more light on how "in the weak body there nonetheless can be freed/liberated mind" and how this align with Meido-sensei's "embodiment" of the recognition and the "transformational nature" of practice. My apologies if I have misspelled/misinterpreted our teachers.

Maybe this will clarify whether or not "injuries" in certain spheres can and do accumulate. I have never seen things from within the "Vast emptiness" side so don't listen to me much! I write just what I feel from the "relative" side of all that. Though, the two sides are but all the same. Means, Shiva and Shakti. Means, "not two". FWIW.
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Meido on Sun May 07, 2017 10:15 pm

Guys, at this point maybe better to start separate topics RE these other interests, yoga and Zen, etc.?

I'm happy to stay on top of this thread to talk about Rinzai Zen practice.

:Namaste:

~Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby partofit22 on Sun May 07, 2017 10:58 pm

:Namaste:
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Jok_Hae on Mon May 08, 2017 12:06 pm

Meido wrote:Guys, at this point maybe better to start separate topics RE these other interests, yoga and Zen, etc.?

I'm happy to stay on top of this thread to talk about Rinzai Zen practice.

:Namaste:

~Meido


Very late to the topic, but a big "Svaha!" to your new endeavor Meido. I look very much forward to reading it. _/|\_

Good luck and thanks for practicing
Keith
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Meido on Mon May 08, 2017 2:46 pm

Thanks, Keith!

Incidentally, before I was called Meido, it was Keith. My mother still prefers the latter :)

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby flutemaker on Mon May 08, 2017 6:02 pm

Meido wrote:I'm happy to stay on top of this thread to talk about Rinzai Zen practice.

Sorry for [unintentionally] probing Rinzai Zen way to deal with distractions, and keep folks back "on track"! [Thanks Lord that was not martial arts way of probing ...]

desert_woodworker wrote:Attend sesshin with teacher and sangha, and trust that the magic will work. Don't go there expecting anything, though.

Meido:

With regards to the expectations people may have going to attend a sesshin, wouldn't such words of Joe (and others) re. "the magic" be of disservice to prospects?

Firstly, I can't resist to "expect" the said magic to happen. Further, having an idea of "awakening", though this "guesswork" tends to change day by day, this idea is persistent, so it is quite difficult to clear the mind from such things. And, accordingly, I would be inclined to "expect" something to happen along the lines of this idea. Even further, there are expectations with respect to the irreplaceable role of a live teacher, based on yet another idea formed while reading/hearing on the subject. The mind is kind of "hardwired" to generate these 3 kinds of expectations. At least 3. And, when someone pays 2 or 3 thousand bucks for a plane ticket, and several hundreds to cover expenses, this is "natural" (or habitually natural) to see this as a sort of "investment". Yet another expectation.

"Don't go there expecting anything, though." Right???
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Meido on Mon May 08, 2017 7:20 pm

flutemaker wrote:With regards to the expectations people may have going to attend a sesshin, wouldn't such words of Joe (and others) re. "the magic" be of disservice to prospects?

Firstly, I can't resist to "expect" the said magic to happen. Further, having an idea of "awakening", though this "guesswork" tends to change day by day, this idea is persistent, so it is quite difficult to clear the mind from such things. And, accordingly, I would be inclined to "expect" something to happen along the lines of this idea. Even further, there are expectations with respect to the irreplaceable role of a live teacher, based on yet another idea formed while reading/hearing on the subject. The mind is kind of "hardwired" to generate these 3 kinds of expectations. At least 3. And, when someone pays 2 or 3 thousand bucks for a plane ticket, and several hundreds to cover expenses, this is "natural" (or habitually natural) to see this as a sort of "investment". Yet another expectation.

"Don't go there expecting anything, though." Right???


At sesshin, one may reasonably expect...

...to practice a great deal, perhaps setting aside one's usual preferences and comforts.
...to be challenged, and to face one's own obstructions clearly.
...to be respectfully treated, welcomed, and supported; it is a communal activity, not a solitary one.

Beyond that, one finds there isn't much room or energy for expectations during sesshin. Practice itself is the focus, and if one has parts of oneself that hold back or stand aloof from practice - watching from a distance, expecting, judging, worrying, hesitating to dive in fully - one may expect to be pushed by both sesshin conditions and teacher to bring these back into the whole. Such things are not "hardwired," they're just habit. Habit can be changed if one wants.

Regarding the role of a teacher in this practice, it is not something to make the focus of extra expectation; it is just the path itself, connected to the actual means of practice and how they function. If one is interested in this path, it is just a matter of course. It's not something to worry about, any more than one worries when meeting any friend. Of course one may develop relationships with one's friends gradually, patiently, and carefully.

A kind of courage is required, I guess. One can't stand on the edge of the water forever, wondering what it's like underneath. At some point, better to just dive in (or sometimes, be nudged) and see for oneself. It's anticlimactic, actually. After the dive, we find that all that's expected of us is to just relax, practice, and do our best. Wonderfully, we find we now have a community of brothers and sisters interested in supporting us as we do that, and who've been through what we're going through. We understand that the path arises and is brought to fruition within human relationship.

And then, students should just take 10 years or so to get their bearings and see what's what. If in the end one finds it not a correct path for oneself, still nothing has been lost at all. What is certain, of course, is that nothing is gained by not trying.

Regarding costs: sure, it can be expensive to travel. Most places offer scholarships or work-exhange in cases of financial need...folks may find that if they can arrange to travel to someplace, their expenses after that could be minimal. I was grateful to receive such assistance at my first retreats.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon May 08, 2017 9:47 pm

Universe,

Meido wrote:Most places offer scholarships or work-exhange in cases of financial need...folks may find that if they can arrange to travel to someplace, their expenses after that could be minimal. I was grateful to receive such assistance at my first retreats.

At places I practiced, I soon donated in order to enable folks to participate who might have been challenged only by "money". Thousands and thousands. I still hope it's helped, in those "scholarship" funds, at several centers. It was lots of skin off my nose, but my nose regenerates daily. And, this is the most important thing in the world (as Aitken Roshi said).

For folks who agree; and wish to practice with all their might; Wishes!

--Joe
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Anders on Wed May 17, 2017 5:47 pm

Meido wrote:
flutemaker wrote:With regards to the expectations people may have going to attend a sesshin, wouldn't such words of Joe (and others) re. "the magic" be of disservice to prospects?

Firstly, I can't resist to "expect" the said magic to happen. Further, having an idea of "awakening", though this "guesswork" tends to change day by day, this idea is persistent, so it is quite difficult to clear the mind from such things. And, accordingly, I would be inclined to "expect" something to happen along the lines of this idea. Even further, there are expectations with respect to the irreplaceable role of a live teacher, based on yet another idea formed while reading/hearing on the subject. The mind is kind of "hardwired" to generate these 3 kinds of expectations. At least 3. And, when someone pays 2 or 3 thousand bucks for a plane ticket, and several hundreds to cover expenses, this is "natural" (or habitually natural) to see this as a sort of "investment". Yet another expectation.

"Don't go there expecting anything, though." Right???


At sesshin, one may reasonably expect...

...to practice a great deal, perhaps setting aside one's usual preferences and comforts.
...to be challenged, and to face one's own obstructions clearly.
...to be respectfully treated, welcomed, and supported; it is a communal activity, not a solitary one.

Beyond that, one finds there isn't much room or energy for expectations during sesshin. Practice itself is the focus, and if one has parts of oneself that hold back or stand aloof from practice - watching from a distance, expecting, judging, worrying, hesitating to dive in fully - one may expect to be pushed by both sesshin conditions and teacher to bring these back into the whole. Such things are not "hardwired," they're just habit. Habit can be changed if one wants.

Regarding the role of a teacher in this practice, it is not something to make the focus of extra expectation; it is just the path itself, connected to the actual means of practice and how they function. If one is interested in this path, it is just a matter of course. It's not something to worry about, any more than one worries when meeting any friend. Of course one may develop relationships with one's friends gradually, patiently, and carefully.

A kind of courage is required, I guess. One can't stand on the edge of the water forever, wondering what it's like underneath. At some point, better to just dive in (or sometimes, be nudged) and see for oneself. It's anticlimactic, actually. After the dive, we find that all that's expected of us is to just relax, practice, and do our best. Wonderfully, we find we now have a community of brothers and sisters interested in supporting us as we do that, and who've been through what we're going through. We understand that the path arises and is brought to fruition within human relationship.

And then, students should just take 10 years or so to get their bearings and see what's what. If in the end one finds it not a correct path for oneself, still nothing has been lost at all. What is certain, of course, is that nothing is gained by not trying.

Regarding costs: sure, it can be expensive to travel. Most places offer scholarships or work-exhange in cases of financial need...folks may find that if they can arrange to travel to someplace, their expenses after that could be minimal. I was grateful to receive such assistance at my first retreats.

~ Meido


I kinda empathise with Flutemaker's point here. I think the kind of expectation building he outlined are very natural behaviours and I am not sure being told "don't expect that" or "you won't have energy to keep up those expectations" (I am sure there'd be plenty of practitioners thinking 'lol, you've obviously never sat zazen with my monkeymind' to that one :PP: ) is necessarily the most skilful way of dealing with those expectations. I guess checking your expectations can help manage them a bit. But they are not necessarily just going to go away. Indeed, some expectations, as flutemaker points out, can be quite persistent. Even pernicious.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"
--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 17, 2017 6:02 pm

Good to see you, Anders.

Anders wrote:Indeed, some expectations, as flutemaker points out, can be quite persistent. Even pernicious.

It's been known to happen, yes. But that's not what's at issue here (there... ).

FM regularly harps-on expectations of "awakening", you see (and requests ever more "technical details of methods"). Exercising "expectations of 'awakening' ", though, we've been hinting to him, is a sure way of preventing any such opening. We've also hinted for years that if one is interested in practicing Zen Buddhism, it's by definition done with teacher and sangha. We've emphasized that it's not "technical details of methods" that are most relevant, but the very conditions and setting of practice, instead (i.e., e.g., teacher and sangha), which can and do enliven and deepen one's practice, and help body and mind suddenly to fall away. So it's been recognized for 2000 years, anyway, to-date, and I'm grateful to say I don't have reason to disagree.

--Joe
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Meido on Wed May 17, 2017 6:10 pm

Anders, true enough, and I do empathize also. I well remember my own nervousness and expectations...and not just for the first sesshin, more like the first 10 years.

My main point is that at the end of the day we have to find it within ourselves, expectations or not, to go find out for ourselves. And once there, if we just really try to throw ourselves into it - noticing the habit of wanting to stay aloof and hold back, wanting to follow our own preferences, and working with that habit again and again - we can enter this process of seeing through.

It is true that the sesshin schedule is designed to energetically starve aspects of self-clinging, fear, and expectation. Not something one always experiences as pleasant, to be sure. But again, I think it safe to say that one may realistically expect the 3 things I mentioned:

...to practice a great deal, perhaps setting aside one's usual preferences and comforts.
...to be challenged, and to face one's own obstructions clearly.
...to be respectfully treated, welcomed, and supported; it is a communal activity, not a solitary one.

Certainly enough to work on there for anyone (and, I am a stickler for #3...call me a grandmother if you like). Since we tend to hold onto expectations, I hope at least that hearing realistic ones could be helpful, and allay some obstructing fear.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Meido on Wed May 17, 2017 6:44 pm

You know, thinking about this, I wonder if it's helpful to emphasize again to newbies that what they experience - expectations and fear - are common, not unique at all.

I can say that during my first Zen/Chan retreats, I was so nervous to enter the interview room with the teacher that my body shook uncontrollably. "Very nervous person!" he said to me. In my mind, I had tremendous expectation of what "Zen master" must mean. Later, under my main teacher with whom I did sanzen for years, it took almost a decade for me to be at ease in his presence. But in the early years, whenever I finished bowing in dokusan and sat up to meet his gaze, I could barely breathe or speak. I remember the feeling of real dread that would build in the week before a sesshin. And the feeling of despair when the wake up bell rung at 4am on the first morning of a sesshin, jarring me out of sleep. And of course, I remember all the ridiculous things I said to my teachers, filled as I was with expectations of experiencing some kind of "awakening."

I can't say why I started and kept going, except that somehow I did. The alternative - not practicing, and accepting that the shallow, self-obsessed, insipid person I know as myself was pretty much what I had to look forward to - just seemed worse than the challenge of the training.

I've told this story before, it may be worth repeating: one of my Dharma brothers, in the early days of his training, had just finished a sesshin, during which he suffered a great deal both physically and mentally. Afterward, he said to his teacher: "Zen works for you, but for me it's just too hard, I don't think I can do it." His teacher asked, "Are you happy?" "No," replied my friend. "Well," said the teacher, "how bad do you want it?"

This particular kind of wanting is not unwholesome. In some cases at least, it may be that someone has to reach a point of utter desperation in order to find the power to really jump in, really decide to be willing to face one's stuff. A spirit of, "Damn it, enough of this!" might sometimes be needed.

Such was my case, at least.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Anders on Wed May 17, 2017 7:22 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Good to see you, Anders.

Anders wrote:Indeed, some expectations, as flutemaker points out, can be quite persistent. Even pernicious.

It's been known to happen, yes. But that's not what's at issue here (there... ).


It was for me when I wrote that post though. But you're welcome to take it back to your issue of course.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"
--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Anders on Wed May 17, 2017 7:25 pm

Meido wrote:You know, thinking about this, I wonder if it's helpful to emphasize again to newbies that what they experience - expectations and fear - are common, not unique at all.

I can say that during my first Zen/Chan retreats, I was so nervous to enter the interview room with the teacher that my body shook uncontrollably. "Very nervous person!" he said to me. In my mind, I had tremendous expectation of what "Zen master" must mean. Later, under my main teacher with whom I did sanzen for years, it took almost a decade for me to be at ease in his presence. But in the early years, whenever I finished bowing in dokusan and sat up to meet his gaze, I could barely breathe or speak. I remember the feeling of real dread that would build in the week before a sesshin. And the feeling of despair when the wake up bell rung at 4am on the first morning of a sesshin, jarring me out of sleep. And of course, I remember all the ridiculous things I said to my teachers, filled as I was with expectations of experiencing some kind of "awakening."

I can't say why I started and kept going, except that somehow I did. The alternative - not practicing, and accepting that the shallow, self-obsessed, insipid person I know as myself was pretty much what I had to look forward to - just seemed worse than the challenge of the training.

I've told this story before, it may be worth repeating: one of my Dharma brothers, in the early days of his training, had just finished a sesshin, during which he suffered a great deal both physically and mentally. Afterward, he said to his teacher: "Zen works for you, but for me it's just too hard, I don't think I can do it." His teacher asked, "Are you happy?" "No," replied my friend. "Well," said the teacher, "how bad do you want it?"

This particular kind of wanting is not unwholesome. In some cases at least, it may be that someone has to reach a point of utter desperation in order to find the power to really jump in, really decide to be willing to face one's stuff. A spirit of, "Damn it, enough of this!" might sometimes be needed.

Such was my case, at least.

~ Meido


Reading this post, I'm happy i poked a bit. :) :dance:
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"
--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Meido on Wed May 17, 2017 7:30 pm

Nice to see you here btw.

:Namaste:

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 17, 2017 7:31 pm

Anders wrote:It was for me when I wrote that post though. But you're welcome to take it back to your issue of course.

Oh, no, I understood. But what's been transpiring here (ZFI... ) has not been your issue. Many will empathize with your issue.

:Namaste:

--Joe
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 17, 2017 7:59 pm

Meido,

Meido wrote:I can say that during my first Zen/Chan retreats, I was so nervous to enter the interview room with the teacher that my body shook uncontrollably. "Very nervous person!" he said to me. In my mind, I had tremendous expectation of what "Zen master" must mean.

I don't think my body shook, but my brain did. And I had a tunnel-vision, which started narrow but widened a bit, each interview.

I was a philosopher, and scientist, but I knew I could not ask silly questions about philosophical or scientific things, nor even about "Buddhism", I felt, in the pressure of brief interview with the teacher, while other people waited (sitting in, well, frankly, "pain"). I stuck to natural subjects, and experiential things. I listened more than spoke.

Sheng Yen's English was not as elementary as some people allow, I think! Early in the first days on the first Ch'an retreat -- I'd known him just four months -- he challenged all my expectations, and told me something very revealing -- I should not have been surprised -- but, it shook me, as I looked directly into his black eyes, beneath his simple eyeglass lenses.

And, then, I was surprised and shaken by the encouragement or invitation of what came after... . He sat in simple black monk's robe in full-lotus on a high chair before me in the small, silent room (had me sit in a chair, too!), and said,

    "I have no mind. You must become like this, too".
That was early on the first Ch'an retreat with about 20 in attendance. It was Spring; late May, 1979. The sap was rising. The retreat ran from May 24 - May 31, 1979, at Bodhi House, on Long Island, NY (USA), the mansion owned by Mr. C. T. Shen, wealthy Chinese-American shipping-magnate, President of Buddhist Association of America, and a long-time great benefactor of Ven. Sheng Yen, funding his (troubled... ) English-learning in America, and some of his first steps in USA.

Although, it must be remembered, that Sheng Yen was a homeless monk when he first settled in to New York, and that he slept at nights in winter in New York City outdoors, in front of cathedrals and churches in Manhattan, because it was somewhat more safe to sleep outdoors within the perimeters of brightly-lit religious houses' facades, and grounds, than elsewhere.

--Joe
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby Meido on Wed May 17, 2017 8:21 pm

I enjoy your memories of your late teacher (he was the one who called me a very nervous person).

Who is your teacher these days?

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
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Re: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 17, 2017 8:59 pm

Dear Meido (Dharma Brother!), :Namaste:

Thank you. I'm glad to share such an early memory of our Shih-fu.

Well, also, very importantly, from 1989 until his death in May 8, 2012, Patrick Hawk Roshi was also my teacher. Pat was the second or third Dharma heir of Robert Aitken Roshi. I knew Aitken too, personally, and also practiced with a few other of his heirs.

Thus, for me in my practice, there was some (very wonderful) "Diamond Sangha" overlap with Shihfu Sheng Yen. For some years while I was Pat's student in Tucson, I flew to NYC to attend Chan retreats with Shihfu. But I attended probably 15 or 20 Chan retreats while I was still in New York (7-day and 3-day) before I moved "out West". And many more 7-day sesshin, 3-day sesshin, and 1-day zazenkai in Tucson with Pat in Arizona.

For a while, I was without a teacher: Sheng Yen died in Feb., 2009, and Pat Hawk Roshi died May, 2012. Fine-business: I had time to re-kindle and refresh motivations and aspirations.

I did not re-connect with our sangha which Pat Hawk had deceased from. He'd made two teachers there before he died, but I'd resigned from there a year earlier to start a sitting group devoted to Sheng Yen's ways (but not entirely his). I would not be the teacher, but would send interested people from our new (Chan-) group to NYC, if (when) they wanted to attend Chan retreat (say, at the new Dharma Drum Retreat Center, upstate). But, I'd teach and share the fundamentals that Sheng Yen had taught me to teach (Guo Gu knows about this arrangement, I think, which dates to the year 1980. Or maybe he was still too young, then).

A wonderful (now retired) Psychology and Neuro-Psychology professor from University of Arizona who is a Dharma heir of Joan Halifax Roshi of Upaya Sangha, Santa Fe, New Mexico, started a sangha here with himself as "Sensei", and I began associating myself with them about 2 years ago. Thus, Al Kazniak Sensei is our teacher here, and I have been active in the sangha for about half its lifetime so far. It's an interesting group, operated interestingly, but not as I'm accustomed to. This will probably continue this way.

I have not made good on starting a Chan sitting group. I've let it fall from me. I have no place so far to host it. Maybe in future! I continue to cast my eyes around, and look for "a place". I feel a responsibility, I can't just "sit" on what Sheng Yen's given me (us).

See website of the "Tucson Upaya Sangha", Al Kazniak, Sensei: http://upayatucson.org/

:Namaste:,

--Joe

Meido wrote:I enjoy your memories of your late teacher (he was the one who called me a very nervous person).

Who is your teacher these days?

~ Meido
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