Clarity, Purpose, and Joy
ACZC Happenings, 10/14 - 10/20
“Clarity is the path of least resistance.” - Curtis Fabens
Today’s newsletter and our podcast this week are both being dedicated to our good friend Curtis who sadly died unexpectedly not long ago. Some of you may remember Curtis as one of the founding residents of ACZC, living with us at our first location on West 2nd St. Fortunately for ACZC he was a very experienced Zen priest when he joined us and did a lot to help us figure out what a Zen center was supposed to be in those early days. He was a big supporter and early pillar of our community and I know we wouldn’t be the same place without his guidance. Curtis, you will be missed! And thank you for being is what we’re trying to say.
After the morning program tomorrow (Saturday, 10/14) we will be holding a brief memorial service for him (around 12:30pm). Feel free to come for the yoga, sit, and discussion without any obligation to attend, but all are welcome if you’d like to join us in chanting for him. (It’s nice thing to do.)
Also sadly, Curtis is leaving behind a family including a daughter currently in treatment for Leukemia. They have put up a gofundme for help with expenses and support which you can find here. Let’s support each other how we can! That’s always our motto.
Also fortuitously, Curtis gave one of the first talks we ever recorded here at the center, and so this week on the podcast we are very happy to bring you Clarity, Purpose, and Joy w/ Curtis Fabens. Curtis gives us an impassioned exhortation to the recipe for a life well lived - clarity, purpose, & joy. Is clarity really the path of least resistance and if so, why is it so often hard to see? Is it possible to not have purpose? Is there a fool proof trick to always hitting the payout on the slot machine of joy in every moment?? Find out here.
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms!
Also, next Saturday 10/21, after the sit (around 12:30pm), sangha friend Amber recently began working with the Downtown Women’s Shelter and will be here at ACZC putting together sanitation kits for them. And we’ll be lending a hand and making a party out of it because no good deed goes unpartied around here, amiright? All are welcome to come on down and join in the fun!
Also don’t forget we are getting close to our Fall Retreat (November 10th - 13th at Mount Baldy Zen Center) and now’s the time to get those registrations in if you haven’t already. Did we mention there’s a zoom option?? Because there’s also a zoom option! (whoa)
And hey, here’s a koan for the week:
Case in point:
Xuefeng was at Deshan’s working as a cook. One day the meal was late, so Deshan went to the Dharma Hall holding his bowl.
Xuefeng said, “Old man, we haven’t rung the bell or beat the drum. Where are you going with your bowl?”
Deshan turned around and went back to his room.
Xuefeng told Yantou what happened, and Yantou said, “The great Deshan clearly doesn’t know the ultimate phrase.”
Deshan heard about this and had his attendant go fetch Yantou. Deshan said, “Are we not getting along?”
Yantou explained what he meant. Deshan let it go.
The next day came and Deshan went to the main hall as usual, but something was different.
Yantou clapped his hands, laughed and said, “Happy day! The old man knows the ultimate phrase. From here on out he’s untouchable.”
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 - 10/14 at 10am
Yoga, Sit, & Talk w/ Nina Snow - 2nd Saturday of the month means we are treated to one hour of Nina’s patented (patent pending) Slow Flow Zen Yoga before one half hour of our usual Saturday morning zazen and tea & talk with Nina. And bonus! The shavasana will be accompanied by the delightful sounds of Robert Holliday on bells with a little sound bath to soothe our stillness. There will be a brief memorial service for our friend Curtis Fabens after Nina’s talk which everyone is welcome to attend (also no obligation to attend if coming for the morning program).
Monday - 10/16 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Dave Cuomo - One half hour of zazen and then Dave is back in the hot seat to talk about the second paramita - the perfection of morality. Are we good people? And what does that even mean when we’re technically not judging? Do the quiet dark wisdoms of Buddhism have room for a guiding moral light? Let’s discuss.
Wednesday - 10/18 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion - This week! Old Deshan’s impatient for his lunch, but Xuefeng’s not the sort of cook who’s about to be rushed. Can Yantou keep the peace with his secret honeyed words of wisdom? Also, what are his secret honeyed words of wisdom??? Let’s find out.
Thursday - 10/19 at 7pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - And Nina is back to help us wind down our day and wind down our week with one hour of rousing restful yoga followed by a half hour of sweet sweet zazen. We’ll see y’all there.
Friday - 10/20 at 8am
Chanting & Zen Breakfast - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English followed by Shitou’s ode to the guiding flame of shadowy darkness helping us find our way through the blinding light - the Harmony of Difference and Equality. 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!