Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Shining Grasses Sesshin

photo by Corwyn Miyagishima

The topic for our latest Boundless Way Temple sesshin, taught in our Zoom zendo by David Rynick, Roshi, Dharma Holder Alan Richardson and myself, was a story from the Record of Layman Pang.  

The Layman was sitting in his thatched cottage one day studying the sutras. "Difficult, difficult, difficult," he said; "like trying to scatter ten measures of sesame seed all over a tree." "Easy, easy, easy," Mrs. Pang said; "like touching your feet to the ground when you get out of bed." "Neither difficult nor easy," their daughter Ling Zhao said; "the teachings of the Ancestors are written on the tips of the hundred shining grasses."

Indeed, this is the world we live in, full of sorrows and joys, while all the time the teachings about the Dharma, actual reality, surround us if we train ourselves to perceive them.  A Zen sesshin is one way to immerse the heart, mind and body in this way of seeing, hearing and feeling.   At a certain point in our practice life, we can find the teachings everywhere.  Sometimes it feels difficult, sometimes it feels easy.  And sometimes we recognize that those categories point us away from what is right here, always shining and ready for us.

Special thanks to the tanto (head seat) for this sesshin, Jenny Smith, and the assistant tanto Senior Assistant Teacher Michael Herzog, plus the whole sesshin officer team:  Adam Monty, Senior Assistant Teacher Rev. Paul Galvin, Rev. Corwyn Miyagishima and Assistant Teacher Rev. Ray Demers, who gave one of the evening encouragement talks.  And deep bows to everyone who attended, pictured above.  Our next sesshin will be in April -- for more information: Boundless Way Temple.