ACZC Happenings, July 29th - August 4th
“Conditions can be perfectly aligned for you to do the right thing, but you have to meet that with a strength of will that comes from failing over, and over, and over again. And that's not easy.” - Henry Zander
We don’t know how y’all are doing, but around here it truly is the season for dawdling as the heat and summer just to seem to begging us all to take it a little easy. Luckily Dogen seems to agree (most of the time…) that a little dithering is sometimes just the practice the mind and body need.
But they say time waits for no one, and over here the zazen train is always running on time with plenty of exciting things coming up to keep us all occupied. First up this week on Monday 7/31 at 7:30pm we’re looking very forward to welcoming the Abbot of Zenshuji temple, Rev Shumyo Kojima, to the center to regale us with his stories and expertise. Come on out and let’s give him a hearty ACZC welcome!
And then looking ahead to next week, we have the Half Day Sit coming up for August on 8/5 starting at 10am. We’ve heard some rumblings about Blueberry Ricotta Pancake Brunch that afternoon?? And we were asked to mention, for anyone looking to get your hands dirty on some delicious work practice, we are looking for a pancake tenzo that morning! All food will be prepared as much as possible in advance, but if we could get one volunteer to help flip pancakes and get the food ready and set out for lunch, contact us here and we will be forever in your karmic debt.
Also next weekend on Sunday 8/6 at 7pm at long last we will be bringing back the Ryaku Fusatsu Full Moon Ceremony! Join us for a special one half hour sit followed by the oldest (and some say most beautiful) ceremony in Buddhism. Is it exactly the Full Moon that day? No it is not. But. We were very excited to bring this back and we assume the Buddhas will forgive us. Also! If you would like to help us out with bell ringing or chanting, we could use some hands (and voices) to pull off the ceremony, so please reach out to us here if you would like to take part! No prior talent or experience required. Rehearsal and instruction for any ceremony positions will be offered at 6pm that Sunday.
But speaking of jumping in and finding yourself fool proof at a job you never knew you were born to do, this week on the podcast we are very excited to bring you Dawdling Destiny (How I Spent My Summer Vacation) w/ Henry Zander. Tasked with helming ACZC for the summer practice period, Henry boards a train and heads west for his date with destiny. Does Zen center life actually bestow us with its promised perfections? Is it possible to waste time when time is already everything? How can we uphold the great wisdom of this tradition when we’re not so sure we measure up to such a thing? Find out here!
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms!
And hey, here’s a koan for the week:
A monk asked Xinyang, “When the Guardian Protector Dragon King is in his palace under the sea and the world is at peace, how would we call on him if we need?"
Xingyang said, "The Great Bird King Garuda, Destroyer of Dragons, watches over the universe. Who would dare get out of line?"
The monk said, "But what if someone does get out of line?"
Xinyang said, "It's like a falcon catching a dove. If you don't understand, go take a look at that head hanging in front of the tower. Only then will you know the truth."
The monk said, "Then I respectfully withdraw."
Xinyang said, "You're like a tortoise hiding under a pagoda. No one notices the teaching carved on their own foreheads."
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 - 7/29 at 10am
Sit & Discussion w/ Leon Sandler - Our biggest day of the week! Two half hour rounds of zazen, one walking meditation in the middle and then Leon takes the hot seat to take a short deep dive into the casual dropping off of body and mind. Because it’s the weekend, and we can think of no better time. See y’all there.
Monday - 7/31 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Reverend Shumyo Kojima - One half hour of zazen and then special guest Kojima Sensei, Abbot to our dharma cousins over at Zenshuji temple, will pop on by to generously share his stories, time, and expertise over here on the casual side of the Zen tracks. Let’s give him a warm and hearty ACZC welcome!
Wednesday - 8/2 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion w/ Henry Zander - This week! Legends and lore abound as Dragon Kings and Great Winged Bird-like Things battle it out to be Earth’s protector, heads hang in front of ominous towers spouting wisdom and warnings, tortoises hide under towers, and apparently the truth was written on our foreheads this whole time (and no one had the courtesy to mention it). Luckily, Henry is just the right sort of person to help break us through these mysteries mired in the mythologies. Let’s discuss!
Thursday - 8/3 at 7pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - Nina leads us in a rousingly restful hour of Slow Flow Zen Yoga to help wind us down and limber up our limbs for one half hour of sweet sweet zazen. We’ll see y’all there.
Friday - 8/4 at 8am
Chanting & Zen Breakfast - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English followed by Dongshan’s sweet ode to the heron’s hiding in the moonlight and snow cone’s overflowing the brims of our bowls (and souls??), The Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi! Pure poetry for the ages.
And immediately after the chanting join us for the newest (and tastiest) session in our schedule with our own hot take on the traditional Zen breakfast (fresh milled multi grain porridge). A nutritious and delicious part of this complete practice (as they say). See y’all there.
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!