ACZC Happenings, 3/25 - 3/31
“What brought me to meditation was a desire to essentially eradicate my own neurosis. But the instruction to focus on not just what's happening inside allowed me to realize I was a part of an ecosystem, like a drop in the sea and less like the whole ocean.” - Tanya Orlov
Here in Los Angeles the storms have at last abated and we are once again abiding under clear blue skies. We can’t say we’re sorry though it was pretty nice to sit zazen to the swishing sounds of wind and water for a spell. For the sake of the state’s water table, let’s hope they come back soon (but not too soon).
All this rain has done quite a number on the ACZC grounds - we have weeds out the wazoo over here. So we thought next weekend instead of doing our usual half day sit, we might see if we can convince some of y’all to stick around after the first round of zazen for some good old fashioned work practice. So save the date for Saturday, April 1 if that sounds appealing! That day also happens to be one of the last days that our beloved caretaker Dave is in town before he leaves for his period of ango in Japan for three months. Drop by if you’re around!
Speaking of beguiling sounds, this week on the podcast we’re pleased to present Anxious Epiphanies, a wonderful ‘What Am I Doing Here??’ here talk with Monday night regular Tanya Orlov.
Tanya generously shares her personal practice story of riding the hamster wheel of personal development through anxiety and neuroses, the practices that work to fight it, and the existential ease of dipping your toes in the ocean of everything that is happy to hold your best and worst moments. Is it possible to fight the fire of anxiety with the fire of focus? Why should we stick around if these Zen talks aren’t making any sense? Is there any freedom to be found in the rigidity of the forms?? Find out here!
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms!
How about koan to take us into the weekend?
Case in point:
Yangshan pointed at a snow lion and said, “Can anything surpass this color?”
Yunmen later said, “I would have knocked it right down.”
Hearing this, Xuedou said, “He only knows how to knock it down, he doesn’t know how to help it up."
This Week in Zen! All times are in Pacific time zone and all sessions are hosted in person and on Zoom unless otherwise marked (email us for quick and easy Zoom access info):
Saturday - 3/25 at 10am
Sit & Discussion w/ Emily Eslami - Our biggest day of the week - two half hour rounds of zazen, one walking meditation in the middle, and then Emily returns with the latest installment of her series of talks on revisiting Shunryu Suzuki’s classic “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” as a not-so-beginning beginner. Join us!
Monday - 3/27 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Gyokei Yokoyama - We’ll sit zazen for 30 minutes and then the best supporting teacher we know will take the hotseat to share his latest spin on the dharma.
Wednesday - 3/29 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion w/ Emily Eslami - This week, Yangshan encounters a snow lion and shenanigans ensue. One half hour of zazen and then Emily returns once again to lead us in a roundtable discussion of this enigmatic creature and its effects on the masters. Let’s discuss!
Thursday - 3/30 at 7pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - Nina brings her sweet presence to the end of the week with one hour of beginner-friendly slow flow yoga, perfectly designed to make the zazen that much easier, followed of course by one half hour of that sweet sweet zazen. We’ll see y’all there.
Friday - 3/31 at 8am
Heart Sutra Chanting Service - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English, followed by the Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. Poetry for the ages! Come on out and chant with us, it does a body good.
Tuesday - Friday, 7am - 8am
Morning Sit - One simple hour of what we do best - just sitting. Optional five minute stretch break offered in the middle.
See y’all soon!