Zen Blog

This blog collects various internet feeds aimed towards information, experience and technique exchange in support of our shared spiritual journey.....

”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

How do we Practice as a Sangha

2000-06-03 (77-minutes) – It’s been a long while since posting a dharma talk for you all, and for that I apologize. Today for our Day of Mindfulness at Deer Park Monastery, we heard this talk from June 3, 2000 at New Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk is part of the 21-Day Retreat that year with the theme of Eyes of the Buddha.

For this talk, we take a deep dive into what it means to be sangha. Some of what Thay shares is for the monastic sangha, but can be equally applied to a lay community. Right out front, Thay says the very minimum number for a sangha is four people. He then proceeds to outline the steps for the Sanghakarman Procedure.

From this presentation, the rest of the talk focuses on the Six Togethernesses. A real sangha must practice all six.

Continue reading
  0 Hits
  0 Comments
0 Hits
0 Comments

Putting a Face on Loss 

Director Kira Dane did not know much about the Japanese Buddhist concept of mizuko kuyo, a Buddhist ritual meant to pacify the distraught spirits of babies who have been lost, until shortly after she had an abortion a few years ago. A friend mentioned that the ritual might help her process her feelings, so she decided to participate in the ceremony in order to commemorate the loss of her own mizuko, or “water child.” Dane documents her emotional journey in the weeks after discovering she was pregnant and deciding to have an abortion in her new film Mizuko, which is produced by her NYU classmate and fellow filmmaker Katelyn Rebelo. Dane, who grew up bilingual thanks to her Japanese mother, narrates her story in both English and Japanese, and the film is interspersed with moving animations designed by Rebelo.

The pair quickly realized the need for an honest and open film. In 2018, before Mizuko began screening at film festivals across the country, they presented their vision for the film to a panel of judges at the Tribeca Film Institute. Afterward, they were approached by several women who “came up to us to say how excited they were about the film,” Dane told Tricycle. “People were eager for a conversation about abortion that lies outside of the pro-life or pro-choice binary.” Rebelo agreed:  “In a lot of ways it validated why we wanted to make this film—so people could release all of their emotions.”

Since completing the film with the Institute’s support, Mizuko has screened at some of the most prominent film festivals across the globe, including SXSW, the Seoul International Women’s Film Festival, and DOC NYC. Tricycle subscribers can also stream the film throughout the month of January as part of Tricycle’s Buddhist Shorts Festival

Tricycle had the chance to talk with both Dane and Rebelo about the process of making the film, connecting to modern Buddhist culture, and how they feel about releasing their film at this particular moment in American politics.

Kira, what does mizuko kuyo mean to you?

Continue reading
  1 Hits
  0 Comments
1 Hits
0 Comments

The Challenge of Doing Hard Challenges

By Leo Babauta

This year, I’m doing a series of 40-day discomfort challenges, as a way to continue my training in falling in love with discomfort and uncertainty.

It’s a training I’ve been doing for 1 1/2 decades now, but I’ve been deepening into it even more in the last 5 years. And now I train others in it, in my Fearless Training Program — the uncertainty & discomfort of doing your meaningful work.

This year is going to be a further deepening into that training. I’m going to swim in the deep waters, out of love for life and those who I serve.

I’ll tell you more about my challenges, but first, let’s talk about what hard challenges can do for us.

The Benefits of Hard Challenges

Why do this at all? Someone asked me that on Twitter yesterday: “What are you trying to prove, and who are you trying to prove it to?” I love that question!

Continue reading
  3 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
3 Hits
0 Comments

How to Do the Thing You’re Avoiding

By Leo Babauta

Most of us have something on our task list we’re avoiding. Or a project we’ve been putting off.

Think for a moment: what’s the task or project you’ve been avoiding lately?

Some possibilities:

That report you don’t want to writeYour book or blog you’ve been meaning to writeThe business you’ve been wanting to create for yearsYour garage you’ve been meaning to declutterThat email that’s been sitting in your inbox for a monthGoing for a run

So what is it you’ve been avoiding? Identify it now before you move on.

In this article, we’ll look at why you’re avoiding it, and how to actually do the thing.

Continue reading
  12 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
12 Hits
0 Comments

Buddha Buzz Weekly: New Workshop Series Blends Buddhism and Constitutional Law

Nothing is permanent, so everything is precious. Here’s a selection of some happenings—fleeting or otherwise—in the Buddhist world this week.

American Bar Foundation Sponsors Workshops on Buddhism and Constitutional Law 

The American Bar Foundation and the University of Chicago are sponsoring a series of weekly conferences on comparative constitutional studies and Buddhist legal thought, according to Buddhistdoor Global. On Thursday scholars from around the world met to discuss research on historical and contemporary intersections of Buddhist traditions and national legal codes.

While the intersection of secular law and religions such as Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity has been heavily researched in recent decades, Buddhism has mostly been left out of the conversation, researchers said. Organized by Dr. Tom Ginsburg, Professor of International Law at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Ben Schonthal, professor of Buddhism and Asian religions at New Zealand’s University of Otago, the workshops are funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation. More information about registration can be found at constitutionalbuddhism.org

Archaeologists in India Discover Earliest Known Female-Led Monastery

Archaeologists in the eastern Indian state of Bihar discovered the remains of an 11th- or 12th-century Mahayana Buddhist monastery that was headed by a woman, the Hindustan Times reported. “Monasteries have been discovered at many locations in this area, but this is the first setup located at the top of a hill,” lead researcher Anil Kumar, an archaeologist at Visva Bharati University said. “Seems the Mahayana Buddhists set up the monastery far from the hustle and bustle of the human population to practice Mahayana rituals in isolation.” Unlike in other historical Buddhist monasteries that have been excavated, all the cells had doors, suggesting that the monastics were either all women or a mix of women and men, according to the Times of India. Two burnt clay seals with Sanskrit writing and 8th- or 9th-century script indicate that the monastery’s name was “the council of monks of Srimaddhama vihara.”

UN Assigns Korean Festival of Light “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” Status

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added the Korean festival of light, Yeondeunghoe, to their “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” Buddhistdoor Global reported. Popularly known as the Lotus Lantern Festival, the event celebrates the birth of the Buddha, and festivities focus on sharing the light of wisdom, compassion, and peace with the world. The annual festival, however, was canceled last year for only the third time in modern Korean history to prevent the spread of COVID-19. By adding the event to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list, UNESCO aims to protect the tradition.

Continue reading
  18 Hits
  0 Comments
18 Hits
0 Comments