Saturday, January 30, 2016

On Eagles Wings

My husband's father, George Rynick, died this morning.  He had a complex and varied life, but he never lost his faith in a love that held him no matter what he did or what was done to him.  What I might call the Dharma, the lawful love that fills the universe, he saw as embodied in a personal and ever compassionate God.  He requested that his favorite song, "On Eagle's Wings" be sung at his funeral.  Here is a version by Josh Groban:

May you be carried on eagle's wings, George, and find your rest at last.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Inside Out Review

Inside Out just won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film.  You can read the review I wrote last fall for Shambhala Sun here:

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Talks on Linji from the Boundless Way Zen Coming and Going Sesshin

Thanks to Steve Wallace, audio recordings from our 2016 Coming and Going sesshin are now available online at:

Please come join us at the BWZ Temple in Worcester between now and January 23rd if you can.  Even if you can't join us physically you can still hear all the talks and discussions online. More talks are added each day as we proceed.  The inspiration for this year's talks comes from the Record of Master Linji.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Coming and Going Sesshin 2016

Calligraphy for Ango (Peaceful Dwelling Place)

As 2016 begins, so does Boundless Way Temple's annual Coming and Going Sesshin, sponsored by Boundless Way Zen.  For 3 weeks, the Temple will be open from 6 am to 9 pm every day, and you may literally come and go, joining us in sitting and walking meditation, liturgy, meals, care-taking, individual meetings with teachers and dharma talks and discussions.   No registration is necessary for daytime attendance.  If you want to stay overnight, please register at this link:

The schedule is:

 Opening ceremony on January 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
From January 4 -- 22:
o 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM Early morning practice period
Includes dokusan (individual meetings with a teacher or senior student)
o 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM Late morning practice period:
Includes sutra service, teisho (dharma talk by a teacher or senior student) and dharma dialogue
o 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM Afternoon practice period
Includes dokusan
o 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Evening practice period
Includes teisho, dharma dialogue and dokusan
 Shuso Hossen ceremony for Bob Waldinger on January 22 at 7:30 PM

Hope to see you at Boundless Way Temple, 1030 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Boundless Way Zen October Sesshin recordings

The Gang -- photo by D. Rynick
Audio recordings from our Boundless Way Zen October 2015 sesshin are now available online at:

The talks are by David Dae An Rynick, Roshi, Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi, Josh Munen Bartok, Sensei, Dharma Holder James Myosan Cordova, and Dharma Holder Diane Shoshin Fitzgerald.

Thanks to Senior Dharma Teacher Steve Wallace who, as always,  was the recording engineer.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Everything is Waiting for You

late summer flowers at the Temple

Here in New England, the last day of summer is beautiful -- temperate weather, a mild breeze and clear blue skies.   Just as I was beginning to write this entry, a motorcycle on the road outside the Temple stopped at the traffic light, and blaring out from its speakers were the lines from the song, "Leaving on a Jet Plane."  "So kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you'll wait for me, hold me like you'll never let me go..."

The poet David Whyte reminds us that we are not alone in the universe.  In the terrible suffering and tender joy of this burning world, the flowers at the Temple are blooming for you, and the motorcycles and tea kettles are singing for you.

Here is David Whyte's song (Thanks Anita for sending me this old favorite!):

Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone.
As if life were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions.
To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings.
Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice.
You must note the way the soap dish enables you, or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things to come,
the doors have always been there to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation.
The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink,
the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness
and seen the good in you at last.
All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves.

Everything is waiting for you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Even one pillar

daffodil blooming by fence post, Boundless Way Temple

David and I have been away from the Temple for more than three weeks, teaching retreats in foreign lands, and I am about to leave for another retreat tomorrow.  Briefly being home here in this amazing place that we have created together with friends and students of the Way is deeply satisfying.  Although there is always something to attend to and keep alive here, the work feels fundamental to my deepest sense of what it means to be a human being.  Sometimes it takes the form of sitting, sometimes teaching, sometimes raising money for projects, creating a teaching schedule for all of our teachers and senior students, answering emails or phone calls.  Every day brings more to do, and it can feel a bit overwhelming.

Because I can get lost in this ongoing work of maintaining the Temple, I was delighted to come across some heartening words from our great Japanese ancestor Dogen, who writes, in his Shobogenzo-zuimonki (Record of Things Heard, translated by Thomas Cleary):

"The fact that I am now soliciting contributions and working as much as I can to establish a [meditation] hall, I do not necessarily consider to be the flourishing of Buddhism.  It is just that for the time being, while there is no one to study the Way and I pass the days and months without purpose, I think that it is better [to do this] than to be idle; it may provide an opportunity for the deluded [to awaken], and it will serve the purpose of a place to sit in meditation for the seekers of the Way in the present age.  Still there should be no regret even if a thing conceived and begun is not completed:  if even on pillar is set up, I do not care if in the future they shall see that someone had conceived of such an undertaking but could not complete it."