The image of a migrant father and his young daughter lying dead on a bank of the Rio Grande prompts Nyogen Roshi to reflect on Buddhist teachings around suffering. Drawing on his own experiences with suffering as well as lessons handed down in the Zen tradition, Roshi concludes that the story of the Buddha contains the only possible remedy. “Who else other than yourself is sitting there?” Roshi says. “You can only look into your own mind. If you can understand where the pathway is, simply trust the words of the Buddha. His own life was the prescription and the path.”
I am a Hazy Moon student living on the east coast. Along with daily practice at home, I attend two extended training periods a year with our Los Angeles sangha. Traveling to the Hazy Moon, I’m on pilgrimage to a place far away from everything familiar—a place where I can try again and again to let go and simply sit…
A Review of Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson.
If you are a practitioner of Buddha Dharma for whom the pillar of great faith is unshakeable, I predict you will have no interest in this book. It is not really a book about the Way, as Zen refers to itself. An alternate title might be “This Is Your Brain On Meditation.”
Services introduce the aspect of ritual into our practice. Specifically, a “service” consists of a chant, performed in front of the altar, to transmit the energy, intention and benefit of our practice into the world we inhabit. In one way, rituals are an external expression of our inner state. At the same time, we strengthen and reinforce our inner state by the external chant. The service brings together what we think of as “inside” and “outside” into a unified whole.
Being a parent is something that has to be experienced to be understood, and the profundity of parenthood can’t possibly be conveyed in words. Nyogen Roshi told me before my daughter was born, “Your joys will be amplified and your pain will be amplified.” This has proven to be an accurate statement!
Fusatsu is the ceremony of atonement in the Zen tradition. In doing Fusatsu, we acknowledge the suffering caused by our own ignorant view of ourselves as separate from the world we inhabit. In this video, students at the Hazy Moon Zen Center share appreciation for Fusatsu and the role it plays in their practice.