ACZC Happenings, 12/16 - 12/22
“If you’re not at least a little uncomfortable, you probably haven’t found whatever it is you really need to make peace with yet.” - Dave Cuomo
And say hello to the proud centerfold of our 2024 calendar up there, as we’re gearing up to get all your fantastic fundraiser rewards in the mail by Monday. Thank you again so much again to everyone who joined in! As of right now we are just about 80% of the way to our goal. Which isn’t the whole goal, but we’ve heard from lots of other groups and people it’s a tough year out there, so thank you so much for coming together and getting us most of the way there. We’ll be ok, we’re sure of it, thanks to you as always. But we are going to leave the fundraiser up on the website for now, and keep sending things out to you as we can, so feel free to check it out if you haven’t already or share it along as you like.
Also, can you believe we’ve made it this long without having named a newsletter or podcast “Dukkha Happens”? It was right there the whole time, and for some reason we resisted, or didn’t get there. Consider the oversight corrected.
Also speaking of perfectly expressed dharmas, you may recall our own Jason Dodge did a fantastic visual representation of Dogen’s “Space Flowers” in the newsletter a few week’s ago, and we were all like, this is beautiful! Also, wait, can we get a talk on space flowers? That also sounds awesome. Well, good news! Jason is speaking tomorrow morning (12/16 - at the 10am sit). And Rumor has it, he’s talking about Space Flowers. Join us!
Also if you’re free in the afternoon, we will be packing up rewards and other such year end thanks you, and if you’d like to stick around after the sit (12:30 or so) and lend a hand, we could use a hand. We don’t know about you but a Saturday afternoon hanging out with friends in a mess of cardboard, packing tape, good banter, and gratitude sounds like a great time to us.
Also, if we didn’t already say it! Thanks to everyone who came out to our General Meeting a couple weeks ago for a great roundtable on what’s to come. We are meeting to discuss the survey results this weekend and will have updates on all the Ango happenings by next week once we get this fundraiser put to bed, we swear.
But speaking of shooting’ the s**t with your sangha, this week on the podcast we are very pleased to bring you Dukkha Happens (Patience) w/ Dave Cuomo. Dave dives back into the paramitas to learn about patience and finds out that Buddha apparently agrees with Sartre - hell is other people. Along the way we get some personal stories about the time Dave funded his monastic career by accidentally beating capitalism at its own game and learned to like other people by losing faith in himself. Should we blame society for the world’s ills, or ourselves? How are we supposed to accept circumstances that are unacceptable? Is the rational math of economics really just an exercise in wishful thinking?? 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:
Case in point:
Head monk Zhizhao asked Fayan, “Who’s tradition are you carrying on?”
Fayan said, “Dizang’s.”
Zizaho said, “You’re really turning your back on our old teacher Changqing.”
Fayan said, “I didn’t understand a single thing he said.”
Zizhao said, “Why didn’t you ask me about it?”
Fayan said, “Ok, ‘Inside of all things you will find the same solitary body.’ What does that mean??”
Zizhao held up his fly whisk.
Fayan said, “That’s just something Changqing taught you. How would YOU explain it??”
Zizhao said nothing.
Fayan said, “Ok, to say that ‘inside of all things is the same body’, does that deny the existence of every single thing?”
Zizaho said, “It does not deny it.”
Fayan said, “But that’s too many things.”
The students all around them chimed in and said together, “It does deny it!”
Fayan said, “The solitary body inside of all things doesn’t hear a thing you say.”
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 - 12/16 at 10am - 12:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Jason Dodge - Two rounds of sweet sweet zazen and then Jason returns to the hot seat to follow up his stellar Dogen inspired print (see our post from 12/1) with a cosmic talk on Space Flowers. Does space bloom if you know where to look?? Let’s find out.
Monday - 12/18 at 7:30pm - 9pm
Sit & Talk w/ Dave Cuomo - One half hour of zazen and then talk and tea with Dave where he brings us the thrilling conclusion to his paramita series with the alpha and omega of Zen virtues - prajna, aka wisdom, aka intuition (when we’re doing it right). Some say it’s overrated, some say it’s unavoidable… Can we stumble our way into some? Let’s discuss.
Wednesday - 12/20 at 7:30pm - 9pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion w/ Dave Cuomo - As John Prine once said, “We are the lonely all together, all together we’re all alone…” Does Fayan agree? Do his students? Do we? Does the shared single solitary body buried deep inside each of us care what or whether we think about it? Let’s find out.
Thursday - 12/21 at 7pm - 8:30pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - And Nina returns for one half hour of Slow Flow Zen Yoga to open up our hearts and hips before a little evening zazen to perfectly round out our weeks. We’ll see y’all there.
Friday - 12/22 at 8am
Chanting & Zen Breakfast - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English and then rumor has it wooden men will sing, stone women might get up dancing, and herons will hide like Waldos in the moonlight. What is this garden of poetic delights?? It’s the Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi - 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!