Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2016 Autumn Sesshin at Boundless Way Temple: talks and a special announcement

At our most recent sesshin, in private ceremonies attended by Boundless Way Zen teachers, two of our senior dharma teachers received Denkai transmission, the first step in full transmission as a Zen teacher. On the night of October 8, I gave Denkai transmission to Robert Ryudo Tetsumu Waldinger, and on the night of October 9th, Josh Bartok gave Denkai transmission to Steve Tetsuen Wallace. 

Bob and Steve can now give the precepts and accept personal students. Steve will continue to be the co-head of practice at the Greater Boston Zen Center in Cambridge. Bob, who has been the practice leader at the Henry David Thoreau Sangha (Hank) in Newton, will now be Hank's guiding teacher. Alan Richardson, a BoWZ senior dharma teacher, will step into the role of practice leader at Hank. 

And thanks to Dharma Holder Steve Wallace, here is the link to talks from sesshin, given by Josh Bartok, David Rynick, Bob Waldinger, Steve Wallace and myself:


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Who by fire?

I was speaking recently with a dear friend and fellow Zen practitioner who has had many serious health problems.  We talked about the inevitability of death and the natural fear of the loss of dignity through disease and helplessness at the end of life.   All of us will someday die, but we don't know how or when.  The key is to practice being here right now, whatever the condition of our current circumstances.  I mentioned the Leonard Cohen song "Who By Fire?" and a few days later, my friend sent me this video.  While watching it, I felt a bit of that transcendent joy that comes with embracing our mortality, and a renewed appreciation of how art and creativity can help us with that embrace.