Burn it Down
ACZC Happenings, 10/7 - 10/13
“We don’t want to see people who always say, ‘yes master.’ That's not cool. So we explore how to align this independent spirit with the greater whole. Zen gives us a space to allow the hopelessly rebellious spirit to fit right in.” - Gyokei Yokoyama
Happy October to everyone and yes, the first Saturday of the month is tomorrow (10/7), which does mean we are hosting a Half Day Sit at 10am which we would be delighted to see you at, including two rounds of zazen, a short Well Being Ceremony to send well wishes to all those who could use to hear such things, a talk and tea w/ our friendly caretaker Dave (word on the street is our old friend Huangbo’s got a choice “pep talk” for us…), a short break for lunch (lunch provided for all those in person), and two more rounds of sweet sweet zazen to round out the afternoon.
If anyone (who you know personally) is in need of some good health well wishes, you can add their names here (form at the bottom of the page) to have them included in this month’s Well Being Dedication.
Also speaking of well wishes for our good friends, our dear sangha friend Jason Dodge’s latest Art Show is opening tomorrow evening (Saturday 10/7, 5pm - 8pm) at the Philip Martin Gallery. Come on out for some great art and hang with your sangha fam (also we heard a rumor about tacos?).
And we are now just about exactly one month away from our Fall Retreat (November 10th - 13th at Mount Baldy Zen Center) so now is the time to get those registrations in for three days of immersive Zen in the scenic stillness of some cabin-y mountain wilderness with a hearty dose of zazen, some sweet yoga, deep dharma, and did we mention good food? Because those monks do not disappoint with the lunch. See y’all up on the slopes!
But speaking of returning to the wilderness that always returns to us, this week on the podcast we are very pleased to bring you Burn it Down (Alignment & Blockages) w/ Gyokei Yokoyama. Gyokei discusses alignment, blockages, and the prickliness that comes from trying to put our own ideals on a world that might already have a few ideas of its own. Can we unblock ourselves from the limits of our own best intentions? Can we find a well adjusted place for our rebellious and independent spirits in the greater whole? Is it our job to go out there and spread the dharma or can we really just sit back and let the dharma come to us?? Find out here!!
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms!
And hey, here’s the koan for the week (it’s a koan classic this week!):
Case in point:
Yunyan asked Daowu, “What does The Great Bodhisattva of Compassion do with all of her hands and eyes?”*
Daowu said, “It’s like someone reaching back to fumble with their pillow in the middle of the night.”
Yunyan said, “I understand.”
Daowu said, “How do you understand it?”
Yunyan said, “All over the body is hands and eyes.”
Daowu said, “I could almost bask in such great words. I give it an 80%.”
Yunyan said, “How would you say it?”
Daowu said, “The whole body is hands and eyes.”
*Avalokiteshvara - To help as many people as possible she sprouted eleven heads to see and hear everyone, and a thousand arms to reach out for them.
This Week in Zen! All times posted in Pacific time zone, all sessions hosted in person and on Zoom unless otherwise marked (email us for quick and easy Zoom access info):
Saturday - 10/7 at 10am
Half Day Sit w/ Dave Cuomo - Our biggest day of the month! Two half hour rounds of zazen, a short Well Being Ceremony, tea and talk with Dave, a short break for lunch (lunch provided for those in person), and then two more glorious rounds of zazen. As always come for as much or as little of the day as you’re able. We’ll see y’all there!
Monday - 10/9 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Gyokei Yokoyama - One half hour of zazen and then our favorite supporting teacher is back in the hot seat to help us find our way safely down those twisting and turning dharma streams. Join us!
Wednesday - 10/11 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion - This week! Our dynamic duo, who some have dubbed the Beavis and Butthead of Zen, are up to their bantering and bickering tricks again. This week! We want to know what love is. And we want these two to show us. Will they? Will we?? Let’s find out.
Thursday - 10/12 at 7pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - Join us to wind down our weeks with one hour of perfectly postured Slow Flow Zen Yoga to limber up those limbs and open up our hearts for one half hour of the sweetest zazen you will sit all week. We’ll see y’all there.
Friday - 10/13 at 8am
Chanting & Zen Breakfast - This week! We honor the ancestors with the traditional chanting of the Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo followed by the Daihishin Darani. Poetry for the ages! And then stick around for ACZC’s fresh hot take on traditional Zen breakfast (house milled multi grain porridge - now with apples! mmm…). A nutritious (and delicious) part of this complete practice. Let’s dig in.
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!