Free and Unavoidable Things
ACZC Happenings, 12/8 - 12/15
“The spring has no particular shape, and yet spring manifests naturally. Or like the moon, it just emerges, versatile and free.
When something happens, nobody can really say who did it. That's why we get frustrated. Nobody can know how it happened because everybody contributed.” - Gyokei Yokoyama
And a Merry Rohatsu to all of you! It is December 8th, which means it’s the day we celebrate the Buddha having a nice epiphany under a tree by doing just what he did, sitting up all night until we’re too bleary eyed to remember we ever had problems in the first place. Join us tonight (Friday 12/8, 8pm) for a talk with Dave followed by an all night sit with your friends. We’ll be sitting until midnight with timed rounds, and then freely until 4am, we’ll break for breakfast at 6am, and then all are invited to a Jukai ceremony for our great friend and sangha mate Corey Warner at 8am (on zoom and in person).
And speaking of supporting your sangha, we are just about a week from getting our fantastic Year End Fundraiser rewards in the mail to get to you by the holidays, which means there’s no time like the present to join in and help us reach our goal to keep the rent paid, and the dharma flowing here into 2024. Right now we are just about 2/3s of the way to our goal. Thank you so much to everyone who’s joined in so far. We know it’s tough year out there, with a lot of uncertainty going around, and it (literally) means the world to us to see how y’all have come together to pitch in and keep this place going. Will we be able to make our goal this year?? You tell us - aczc.org/fundraiser. And as always, if you cannot afford to join in, don’t worry, we’re just glad you’re here. And thank you too for everything you do.
But speaking of the dharma that flows freely through an unavoidably monetized reality, this week on the podcast we are very pleased to bring you Free and Unavoidable Things (The Great Compassionate Mind) w/ Gyokei Yokoyama. In our final retreat wrap up, Gyokei gives us an on the spot translation of a Komazawa University hot take on Ungan and Dogo’s famous exchange about how exactly the Great Compassionate Mind might be working, along with juicy stories and hard won wisdoms Gyokei’s picked up along the way. Can we avoid being compassionate even if we wanted to? Are we always doing what we want whether we want to or not? Who do Buddhists pray to, and is it working? And why do some people turn out better or worse than others, and could Soto Shu use a little more education in that department?? 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:
One day, while Zhaozhou was on his travels, Touzi also happened to be traveling nearby. The two passed along the road but didn’t recognize each other. Zhaozhou discreetly asked a local about the man, and was told it was Touzi. So Zhaozhou caught up with him and asked, “Aren’t you the master of Mount Touzi?”
Touzi said, “Spare a coin for tea and salt?”
Zhaozhou immediately went off to Touzi’s hermitage and sat down to wait for him.
Eventually, Touzi came back carrying a flask of oil and Zhaozhou said, “I’ve heard so much about the great Touzi, but all I see now is an old man hawking oil.”
Touzi said, “You see an old man hawking oil, but you don’t know anything about Touzi.”
Zhaozhou said, “What is Touzi?”
Touzi said, “Oily!”
Zhaozhou asked, “What if a dead person comes back to life?
Touzi said, “Don’t go by night. Better to wait for daylight.”
Zhaozhou said, “I thought I was bad, but you’re a badass.”
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):
Friday - 12/8 at 8pm - Morning
Rohatsu All Night Sit - A talk with Dave and then we sit up all night to celebrate the time Buddha sat under a tree for too long and had a moment looking at a star so nice we’re still talking about it 2500 years later. After a break for breakfast at 6am, we’ll come back for a Jukai Ceremony with Corey at 8am (all are invited in person or on zoom), followed by….
Saturday - 12/9 at 10am - 12:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Corey Warner - Two rounds of sweet sweet zazen and then a bleary eyed Corey takes the hot seat to tell us about Jukai, precepts, and the time he sewed three rakusus and why he braved sitting upright through the long night just to take some vows to be the awesome person he already was. We’ll see y’all there!
Monday - 12/11 at 7:30pm - 9pm
Sit & Talk w/ Tanya Orlov - One half hour of zazen and then talk and tea with our own resident Tanya, where she’ll tell us all about spiritual bypassing. What is it, how do we watch out for it, and is this maybe one problem we can just hand wave away because we’re already too spiritually enlightened to fall prey to such things? Let’s find out.
Wednesday - 12/13 at 7:30pm - 9pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion w/ Mota Mynttinen - Zen is real big on reminding us to make peace with the fact that we’re all going to die, but what does it have to say about being rudely awakened back to life? Let’s discuss!
Thursday - 12/14 at 7pm - 8:30pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - And Nina is back to help us wind down our weeks with one hour of Slow Flow Zen Yoga, followed by one half hour the sweetest zazen you will sit all week. Join us!
Friday - 12/15 at 8am
Chanting & Zen Breakfast - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English followed by Shitou’s ode to the bright shining darkness hiding in the shadows of the 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!