Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dharma talk - Whether Sitting, Standing, or Lying Down

Zen may begin on the meditation cushion; however, true practice should extend into every aspect of our lives, not just the seated position.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Dharma Talk - For The Sake Of

True Zen practice does not expect anything in return. It is not a means to an ends, but the ends itself.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dharma talk - The Good News and the Bad News

The good news is that everything is impermanent, changing; every moment is brand new. This means that we are ultimately free. However, if we expect certainty and fixedness from life, then impermanence is also bad news. Buddhism teaches us how to stop clinging and accept things just as they are--free from both bad and good.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Strange Bodhisattvas

Last night I watched Dr. Strange with my son. There's a scene at the end of the film that spoke to me as a Buddhist. Dr. Strange, battling an evil entity that lives outside of time, traps himself and his nemesis in a time loop.

Knowing that Dr. Strange cannot possibly win in a battle, the evil being says,"You can never win."

Dr. Strange replies, "No, but I can lose again and again and again--forever." The scene continues as the monster kills Dr. Strange but, due to the time loop, Dr. Strange reappears only to die again and again. In this way, at the price of his own life, he has saved humanity against the destruction of the evil being.



This is the Bodhisattva's Vow--trying to help all beings for eternity, no matter how futile or painful. Dr. Strange is willing to die an infinite amount of times to save the universe just as a Bodhisattva vows to be reborn for eternity to save all sentient beings. This vow may or may not refer to actual rebirth. In a more figurative way, the oath means to return to the present moment of the here-and-now and dedicate our lives to the well being of others. Even if that means losing forever.




Monday, June 5, 2017

Dharma talk - Buddha Is Your Birthright

Probably the most staggering teaching in Buddhism is that we are already Buddha. Our minds and the minds of all Buddhas are fundamentally identical.

 

Dharma talk - Treat Every Being Like Buddha

Every being and blade of grass is sacred. All deserve our kindness and respect, even those we view as unpleasant.