This podcast was recorded at the Toledo Zen Center on June 3rd 2009.
In this Dharma Talk and discussion, Rev. Jay Rinsen Weik explores Shantideva's teachings about anger and the way of the Bodhisattva.
Above is a link to at talk at the zen center by Chuck Kodo Greer. He is involved with hospice work and shares freely his experience and reflections on this, his journey and zen practice. He also practiced Aikido, and the pic is of he and I after his Aikido brown belt test.
In my work as a University Lecturer I am in daily contact with young folk who are in that particular space that is the undergraduate experience, with all of its attendant challenges and joys.
One of the particular questions that hopefully gets asked in a serious kind of way during this time is something like: "What do I want to be when I grow up? " and its a very very good question to be asking of oneself at such a time.
In truth, I still ask it now and then myself, and find that the answers I have been coming to since I can remember asking the question as a much younger me still stand. And like most people, I have had many occasions that bring this seemingly trite question right to the front of life - in all its glaring terror.
These times come, ask for them or not.
"Which school?" "Which major?" "Which person?" "What about money?" or just the straight up root of all these: "What Now?"
From sitting Zazen, we somehow come to know that the solid self we normatively identify with is not quite so solid as we first felt it to be.
It's not that the 'self' isn't there, but its how its there that's the rub.
Feelings arise, thoughts arise, perceptions come and go - but what is at the center of all this?
Is there a center to all this?
In some way, the whole thing hinges on perceptions based on a sense of possession and ownership - a fundamental sense of 'having' something.
Like feeling that you are in the midst of your day.
Or like feeling that you're having your feelings, your thoughts, your perceptions, which leads straight away to labeling them as good feelings or bad feelings, attractive and repulsive situations, people, things.
So now its a good day, or a bad day, and for most that depends on how much we can stack our perceptions over on the pleasure side one of the equation. Or not.
But it's not any use to think that these feelings …
Yesterday, we held our first hungry ghost liturgy at the Toledo Zen Center. The kids were all dressed up in costumes, and presented a skit to the adult sangha.
It went something like this:
One older kid and a parent dressed up as ghosts and went about the zendo trying to eat everything unsuccessfully.
The kids sat in zazen with sake cups in their mudras, filling them up with the "merit of their practice." One by one then, the kids went and offered this merit to the ghosts, who by the by were able to practice zazen, and eventually take off their masks to reveal their true face.
For the liturgy, we chanted the Emmei Juku Kannon Gyo and one by one everyone came up and used a pine bow to bathe a buddha statue that was covered in a white towel with ghost eyes drawn on it. At the end the covering was removed and revealed the Buddha.
Cool again I'd say!
After this, did our three bows and sung the bodhisattva vows together - yes, we have a sung version with a kid fri…