22 February 2011

Contemplation: Your Mind Before Thinking

Review the guidelines for practice, and take this as your object of contemplation:

The Mahaparinirvana-sutra says, "All formations are impermanent; this is the law of appearing and disappearing. When appearing and disappearing disappear, then this stillness is bliss." This means that when there is no appearance or disappearance in your mind, that mind is complete stillness and bliss. It is a mind utterly devoid of thinking. This is your mind before thinking arises.

Seung Sahn sunim, The Compass of Zen, p. 231.

18 February 2011

Upcoming Retreat: Forms of Practice in Tendai Buddhism

We are in the planning stages for a one-day retreat on Forms of Practice in Tendai Buddhism. We have invited Monshin Naamon sensei from the Tendai Buddhist Institute to lead the retreat and offer refuge to committed students.

The retreat will be held on Saturday, May 7 2011, in the chapel of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington, Virginia. More details will be forthcoming.

You can help make this event happen by spreading the word to interested parties, or by making a donation by PayPal to the link at your right or contributing cash. The more hands involved, the more light brought to the world.

Seating is limited, so contact me at JikanAnderson at gmail dot com to reserve your place.

14 February 2011

Contemplation: Trust and Everyday Life

Review the guidelines for practice, and then take this as your object of contemplation:

We should accept a teaching when it seems real and true to us, having stood the test of our scrutiny, and not before. On the other hand, once we have examined a teaching and found it to be satisfactory, we should try to incorporate the teaching into our everyday lives ratehr than just set it back on the shelf as something we accept but do not or cannot apply. The coldness of cynicism can be a terrible obstacle to the cultivation of faith.

from The Union of Dzogchen and Bodhichitta by Anyen Rinpoche, p. 47.

08 February 2011

Contemplation: To Keep This Sutra is to Keep Me

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take this passage of the Lotus Sutra as your object of contemplation (Shakyamuni Buddha is speaking):

It is difficult
To keep
This sutra
After my extinction.

Since I attained
The enlightenment of the Buddha,
I have expounded many sutras
In innumerable worlds.

This sutra is
the most excellent.
To keep this sutra
Is to keep me.

from the Lotus Sutra (trans. Sencho Murano), chapter 11, pp. 192-193.

07 February 2011

Jikan's Office Hour: Sunday, 13 February

I will be holding office hours on Sunday, 13 February, at Caffe Amouri in Vienna, Virginia, starting around 8am.

The idea is to give a venue for Dharma discussion beyond what we have time or space for during our Wednesday night sangha meetings. Here is the format:

I will meet with whomever shows up and has an earnest question about Buddhism, and offer whatever help I can, on a first-come, first-served basis. Students, if you are interested in this, please come prepared with at least one good question. It might help to review this thing.

Practically speaking, if only one person is around, then I will work with that person until time is up or I am out of coffee. But I would really prefer to make sure everyone with a question gets heard. The format should be dialogic. If you feel you need to speak with me privately, that can be arranged at another time and in another venue. If you need help understanding something you are reading, please email me in advance what you would like to ask me about, so I can come prepared.

Caffe Amouri is located at 107 Church St NE, Vienna, VA. I look forward to seeing you there.