I remember early in practice wanting change so badly. Buddhism was to be my refuge and surely magical things would follow. It was a rude awakening, and letting go of a headful of ignorance was no small undertaking. Oh, the patience and understanding of my teachers. Not to mention my stubbornness used for positive change for once. I knew there was something there, I knew I had to find change and I knew I would not give up. Thirty years later and here I am. There was no magical occurrence yet there was something unexpected, that is for another time. So for all those students out there who “know” there is something to this Zen thing, you’re right. Use that faith and do not waiver in this endeavor. Keep at it, and even if your practice is off and on, find a teacher you can relate to and a group you feel comfortable with. Big or small temple, known or unknown teacher, these matter little. Is the teacher filled with joy, and is the sangha supportive of each other? Trust yourself, you will find the way.
Goal are needed and they give us direction, however, what happens when we are caught by setting and achieving goals? When we feel that ache and desire that arises pondering the obtainment of our muse. Often we become consumed when the blinders are placed on and we are off to the races. I can’t wait! If only! It is going to be so much better when! We begin to create a fantasy around the obtainment of our goal. Maybe more money, a new job, a car or even completion of our koans. I know for myself ordination was that, a unicorn, and the projected key to my discontentment. We fantasize and begin to fast forward through life, ignoring what we do have. Finally we get that new car, lump sum or koan completion. We experience great joy and wonder, for a short time. This is followed by that dreaded question….NOW WHAT? We feel let down, deflated and even panicked. In material sales they call it buyers remorse. WHAT NEXT? Most of the time we fall back on a goal or obtaining, and the process begins all over again. We are caught in a repetitive loop.. How much of of our lives are wasted over grasping? Next time you feel that ache or desire to obtain, remember that question that arises when the magic fades away, NOW WHAT? The strength to turn yourself around is found within the question.
Sesshin is a great opportunity to experience Zen Monastic practice. Come join the Blue Mountain Sangha for Summer Sesshin, and gain true and lasting insight.
“Sesshin”, literally “to collect the mind”, is the Zen Buddhist seclusion or intensive period, consisting of one to ten days of silent meditative practice. Included in these periods are daily Zazen, Dharma Talks/Teisho (sermons), Samu (work) periods, and private interview/meeting (Dokusan) twice daily with Ryuun Joriki Baker, Osho. During Sesshin, the Zen Student concentrates on nothing but collecting the scattered energies of the mind, so they may realize their true nature. For many, the awakened experience feels hidden and separate from our daily lives, in return, we seek it outwardly. It is only when we take a backward step, that we realize how intimate it truly is.
Come join us for Full zazenkai (meditation service) at the Bushkill Temple for the first time in 1.5 years. All are welcomed. Members are free, visitors are $20.00.