ACZC Happenings, 9/9 - 9/15
“I definitely didn't understand it when I showed up, and I still don't really, but I'm starting to be okay with that.” - Ish Lipman
And yes tomorrow is the 2nd Saturday of the month which means we get treated to Saturday morning Slow Flow Zen Yoga (& zazen (& talk (& tea!))) at 10am with Nina Snow, and bonus treat, our favorite sound soothsayer Robert Holliday will be accompanying on bells with a little sound bath for our shavasana which sounds like music to our ears (and all the other pieces of our selves in need of a little good vibration).
And speaking of music to our eyes, ears, and psyches, we are now just about two months away from our Fall Retreat at Mount Baldy Zen Center (registration and info up here!) - November 10th - 13th (Friday - Monday) and there’s no time like the present (no time but the present amiright?) to register and guarantee your spot. Feel free to reach out with any questions. Looking forward to seeing everyone and getting to spend some quality time together under that big bright mountain moon.
But speaking of small dark lights casting illuminating rays on our favorite unknowable unknowns, this week on the podcast we are very pleased to bring you Consistent Inconsistencies (What Am I Doing Here??) w/ Ish Lipman. Long time sangha friend Ish brings us the story of what he’s doing and why he’s here while we just maybe learn something about those things for ourselves. From atheist upbringings as a skater kid in the city to becoming an artist and embracing the meaningful meaninglessness of Zen, Ish relatably reminds us how to keep faith in not being sure what’s left to believe in. Is feeling inspired a help or a hindrance for creativity? Can we be ok with not understanding without just giving up? Is ‘being present’ just one more spiritual ideal to shoot for or is there something here we can rely on even in the face of the most certain uncertainties?? Find out here!
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms!
And hey, here’s a koan of the week:
When Xuefeng was still living in his hut, a monk came to pay his respects. Xufeng saw the monk coming, came out and said, “What is it?”
The monk also said “What is it?”
Xuefeng bowed his head and went back inside.
The monk later went to see Yantou, and Yantou asked, “Where did you come from?”
The monk said, “Lingnan.”
Yantou asked, “Did you already visit Xuefeng?”
The monk said, “I did.”
Yantou asked, “What did he say?”
The monk told him about their encounter.
Yantou said, “Did he say anything else?”
The monk said, “He said nothing, just bowed his head and went back inside.”
Yantou said, “Ah, too bad I didn’t tell him the ultimate phrase. If I’d have told him, no one in the world would be able to deal with old Xuefeng.”
At the end of the summer practice period, the monk again asked Yantou about the meeting with Xuefeng.
Yantou said, “Why didn’t you ask earlier?”
The monk said, “I was nervous.”
Yantou said, “Xuefeng and I were born of the same branch, but we won’t die on the same branch. If you want to know the ultimate phrase, it’s only this.”
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 - 9/9 at 10am
Yoga, Sit, & Discussion w/ Nina Snow - And 2nd Saturday of the month means grab your mat (or one of ours) and join us in the zendo or zoomdo for one full hour of Nina’s patented blend of Slow Flow Zen Yoga to wake up our weekend, accompanied by the warm tones of Robert Holliday on sound bath bells, followed by one half hour of zazen, and then talk and tea with our favorite yoga director herself. See y’all there!
Monday - 9/11 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Corey Warner - One half hour of zazen and then Corey takes the hot seat for what rumor has it will be a very special story time as he regales us with the legend of Bodhidharma. Adventure and mystery awaits! Did he really invent kung fu? Did he cross the Yangtze on a single reed? And where did he tell the emperor he could stick all his good deeds?? Let’s find out.
Wednesday - 9/13 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion w/ Dave Cuomo - This week! A monk wants to know if he’s impressing or depressing his teachers, but (relatably…) is a little afraid to ask. Also, Yantou gives us the ULTIMATE PHRASE that promises to make all who wield it unbearable (did they mean insufferable? inscrutable???). Let’s discuss.
Thursday - 9/14 at 7pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - And Nina is back for one full hour of yoga to perfectly prepare us for one half hour of zazen before sending us off to the sweetest sleep we’ll sleep all week. We’ll see y’all there.
Friday - 9/15 at 8am
Chanting & Zen Breakfast - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English followed by Dongshan’s poetic explanation of his classic phrase that’s been popping up everywhere lately to tell us so much about so little (with even less) - ‘It’s only this’, in The Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. Poetry for the ages! And then stick around for ACZC’s own hot take on traditional Zen breakfast (fresh milled multi grain porridge - now with peaches! 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!