Thursday, January 20, 2011

family portrait

A memory of summer in the bleak mid-winter -- when we are awake, all beings are one family.

This week marks the 19th anniversary of the Sunday Night Sitting Group, which has grown up to be the Worcester Zen Center, Boundless Way Temple. The second Buddha from the right was 5 years old at the time. The Sunday Night Group met at 8:20 PM so that our smallest Buddha could settle down for the night at 8 with a song and story. But she often came downstairs to sit with us, falling asleep in someone's lap in her pj's.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

pelican at sunset

I have just returned home, in the early hours of the morning, from a teaching/vacation trip to Costa Rica. There is some good fortune in this life, and sometimes we need to remind ourselves that everything we need is right here, patiently, insentiently, waiting for us. The pelican diving for fish knows this. The waves know this. The sky knows this. Every once in a while, we know it too.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

encounter on a New Year's Day walk

"When buddhas are truly buddhas they don't need to perceive they are buddhas; they are enlightened buddhas and they continue actualizing buddha."

-- from Genjokoan, by Eihei Dogen, translated by Shohaku Okumura

Okumura's definition of "genjokoan" is "to answer the question from true reality through the practice of our everyday activity." (From Realizing Genjokoan, Wisdom Publications, 2010.) The word buddha, of course, means "one who is awake."

When we look at everyday reality with the eyes of awakening, buddhas appear everywhere.

(photo by Myozen, rock and snow sculpture by Dae An.)