Hello Friends! I will be doing the 3rd (and final) meditation workshop this Friday night for Coastline Community College Art Gallery. Learn to meditate in an art gallery! And It's Free! On Friday Nov. 14th from 7pm to 8pm Come learn to meditate in Coastline's beautiful new space. We will cover the benefits of a meditation practice, how to get started, resources and will finish with a period of silent meditation. Hope to see you there and please tell your stressed out friends!
As a therapist (a different kind I hope)...he has a point...
“We’re swamped with therapies, self-help books, and techniques—what musician and activist Bob Geldof called ‘the thriving economy of psychotherapists, designer religions, and spiritual boutiques’—which treat our lives as projects to be tweaked and fixed. Isn’t meditation (if it’s anything at all) a relief from all this? Isn’t it the opposite of repairing and adjusting and striving and perpetually wanting things to be different?”
— Barry Evans, “The Myth of the Experienced Meditator”
Hello Friends- On Sunday March 2nd I will be visiting the Open Door Sitting Group in Claremont and giving a little guest talk titled "Radical Interrelatedness". I am especially excited to visit my Dharma sister Melanie Yetter the guiding teacher at Open Door who will end the class with a Breath Work and Meditation practice. We will be going to lunch after so if you would like to take a field trip with me, please let me know! The FB link can be found HERE
Please join Jenny Hung
and Chris Hoff as they provide an introduction to both a Tao practice
and the Four Noble truths of Buddhism and Buddha's proposed solution to
the suffering of the world, the Eightfold path.
order to really understand others and the world around us, we must first
understand ourselves. Jenny Hung will be presenting her perspective on
what a Tao practice entails and how it can be used in everyday life to
better prepare us for the challenges that may come our way. This presentation
is a simple reminder of our innate abilities to truly know ourselves
and work synergistically with others in any circumstance. Following
Chris Hoff will ask the question "What did Buddha teach?" and will
introduce the class to the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path of
Buddhism and how the components of the Eightfold Path can be integrated
into our contemporary lives.
Location: Ra Yoga Studio 3077 Bristol St Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (714) 708-3060
Jenny Hung will be a first year medical student at Michigan State
University College of Human Medicine this coming fall. She plans to
pursue community medicine with an emphasis on working with underserved
communities. Jenny’s goals are to help all communities find health and
wellness through education and practice in prevention and
self-awareness. As a strong practitioner of Tao philosophy, Jenny has
been able to enhance her own life through the years with true awareness,
compassion, purpose, and freedom.
Chris Hoff is currently a
Novice Priest in the Five Mountain Zen Order. Chris began meditative
practices in the Vedanta Tradition more than 20 years ago. Having
studied with a variety of teachers he is currently engaged in practice
with Rev. Yuanzhi and has taken ten precepts in the Five Mountain Zen
Order. Chris is also a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Chris'
work is grounded in Narrative theory, an evolving collection of ideas
and practices that inform a respectful, collaborative and non
pathologising approach to working with people, families and communities.
More information about Chris and his counseling practice can be found
Meditation is associated with a slew of health benefits including
improved mental health, better functional cognition, and even
increased gray matter in the brain. Historically, though, one of the
main purposes of meditation has been to increase the practitioner’s
compassion toward all sentient beings, according to psychology professor David DeSteno.
In a new study led by Condon, DeSteno’s team in the Social Emotions Group
showed that even a brief period of meditation training is indeed
enough to boost one’s compassion toward a suffering stranger more
than fivefold. The results will soon be published in the journal Psychological Science. More HERE
Indeterminacy means, literally: not fixed, not settled, uncertain,
indefinite. It means that you don’t know where you are. How can it be
otherwise, say the Buddhist teachings, since you have no fixed or
inherent identity and are ceaselessly in process?
…Life is filled with uncertainty. Chance events happen to us all. Each
of us must take responsibility and make decisions. None of us should be
imposing our ego image on others.
…there’s another way to live. Accept indeterminacy as a principle, and
you see your life in a new light, as a series of seemingly unrelated
jewel-like stories within a dazzling setting of change and
transformation. Recognize that you don’t know where you stand, and you
will begin to watch where you put your feet. That’s when the path
Friday I escaped to the Five Mountain Zen Order's winter retreat. It was exactly what was needed, and It was great to connect with my Dharma family. If you're interested in exploring a meditation practice, the HB Meditation/Ocean Eyes Zen sitting group will be meeting on Feb 12th at 5:30. Conact me for details. Here's a few photos from the weekend, we're actually a pretty casual Zen crew, but we do robe up every once and a while. Enjoy!
Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside, looking into the shining world? Because, properly attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit to no labor in its cause? I don't think so.
All summations have a beginning, all effect has a story, all kindness begins with the sown seed. Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of light is the crossroads of - indolence, or action.
Be ignited, or be gone. - Mary Oliver
I'm going away this weekend to sit with the Five Mountain crew. But will be back next week ready to reconvene the Sunday night sitting group, aka HB Meditation/Ocean Eyes Zen. If you haven't been we meet at 5:30 at my place and anybody interested in exploring meditation, with a little bit of Zen thrown in for good measure, is welcome. Beginners especially welcome. Contact me for directions. I hope to see you on Sunday Feb. 12th!
I don't post much about my spiritual practice on this blog. I've been thinking about that recently. Maybe it's something I will do more this year. I was directed to the following video by my teacher Paul Yuánzhì Lynch. I used to think I wanted to be a teacher, I'm currently a novice priest in a Korean Zen order, but lately I haven't been so sure. Maybe it's time. The following video is of Jakusho Kwong-roshi, the abbot of Sonoma Mountain Zen Center where I hope to do a solo retreat this year. Kwong-roshi is a dharma heir of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and also had a close relationship with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In this video, Kwong-roshi discusses his own path of becoming a Zen practitioner and eventually a teacher. It got me thinking..
For those that might be intererested, attached is a video of a talk I participated in at the Las Vegas Zen center early this year where I and some of my Dharma brothers, who happen to be Psychologist's, spoke about how Zen informs our professional lives. If you are my Mother, or my friend, and not interested in Zen or Psychology you can jump to my part at 12:48.
When I first read her, the writing irked me. I was disturbed by what I began to call its "strategic open-endedness." I wanted to be offered solutions, ways out. Instead, she kept extending an invitation to me and everyone to move into that enchanted space beyond right or wrong—to journey to the heart of compassion. And when you have stepped out on faith, straight into the heart of the matter, loving kindness appears less like a utopian dream. It becomes concrete—a place to practice wherever you are...Read More Here
“I fell in love with Tibet because their essential mission was to keep a continual stream of prayer. To me they kept the world from spinning out of control just by being a civilization on the roof of the world in that continuous state of prayer. The prayers are etched on wheels, they feel them with their hands like braille and turn them. It’s spinning prayer like cloth. That was my perception as a young person. I didn’t quite understand the whole thing but I felt protected. We grew up at a time when nuclear war seemed imminent with air raid drills and lying on the floor under your school desk. To counterbalance that destruction was this civilization of monks living high in the Himalayas who were continuously praying for us, for the planet and for all of nature. That made me feel safe.”
The single sound of the bell brings out the whole hall's monks. Golden glint of the Buddha's face almost the flash of a lamp. The Bodhisattva Dragon Tree is silent, the wind has died away . . . The robes of the monks cast shadows, as the moon begins to rise. No need to chant the Sutras to make the flowers giggle . . . As I lean and listen carefully even the stones respond. How can the Buddha, King of Emptiness, boast of setting the whole world free? Here, when Spring comes, he hasn't freed even half this pond from thinking long on love. - Yuan Mei I Don't Bow to Buddhas