“Be who you are, enjoy your practice just the way you do. Whether you are aware or not, it has a tremendous impact. Those are good ripples for all of us.” Gyokei Yokoyama
ZEN CENTER HAPPENINGS - WEEK OF 12/3 - 12/9
Dongshan said, “About to fulfill the way of Buddhahood, one gazed at a tree for ten eons like a battle-scarred tiger.” Dogen said, “If you grasp the point, you’re like a tiger taking to the mountains.” And then (not to be outspoken) our friend and sangha-mate Jason Dodge, created “Tiger in the Forest” (pictured above) as a limited run print to raise funds for ACZC. And we’re told it sold out nearly instantly (how are we not surprised?). Huge shout out and thank you! (And do yourself a favor and follow his work on instagram.)
And then just when you think the year is ready to end, you realize there’s so much cool stuff happening at your local Zen Center this month, and you’re like “May it never end!” And then Buddha says, “Hey, everything is impermanent.” But Dogen claps back, “What do you mean? It’s all just the Time Being.” And Longji chimes in, “Yeah man, it’s all just the universe being a universe, the endings too. How could anything ever end??” And we’re like, “What are you guys even talking about?? We’re just hyped for the cool events coming up.” And they all exclaim, “Yeah, that’s what we’re saying!”
So with that settled, yes tomorrow 12/3 is the first Saturday of the month which means it’s the Half Day Sit from 10am - 2pm! Join us for zazen, discussion, some light chanting, lunch, and then (what else?) more zazen. (yay)
And then on Thursday following immediately from the usual evening yoga, we celebrate Rohatsu (the anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment) with a traditional All Night Sit. The fun goes from 7pm Thursday through to 8:30am Friday. As always feel free to join for as much or as little as you are able.
And then looking ahead, our spinoff side project Salon 17 is happening on Sunday 12/10 at 7pm - the evening where we move off site to the cozy fire pit at 1922 Baxter St in Echo Park (90026) for a non Buddhist discussion (did you know there are other topics one can discuss in a group??) where this month our own Sara Campbell takes the bench to talk about “Ambition for Lazy People.” We have questions… Join us!
Oh, and don’t forget! ACZC will be closed for Winter Break Monday 12/18 - Friday 12/30, reopening Saturday 12/31 for our annual New Year’s Eve Sit.
Also, huge shout out and thank to all who have joined our Year End Fall Fundraiser! We are trying to raise $10,000 this year to cover our normal yearly deficits and to send your ACZC caretaker to Japan for required monastic training. And just two weeks in, we are already over 75% of the way there. Thank you so much! But, we are not there yet… We still need to raise $2500 this month to make our goal and keep our little center funded and running through 2023. And we have great rewards for you like brand new T-Shirts and fresh 2023 Wall Calendars, which will start being mailed out in the coming week. So if you’d like to receive yours before the holidays, join soon! All info posted up here on the fundraiser page.
But hey, speaking of spreading the dharma through precarious proposals, this week on the podcast we are very excited to bring you Gyokei Yokoyama with “Good Ripples”. Soto Zen in North America turned 100 years old a couple weeks ago with a big Jukai celebration, and Gyokei brings us the scene report from the wide world of Zen while reflecting back on a century of continuous practice here on the West Side. Is American Zen all grown up and ready to move out of the parents house? Which lineage has the best jokes and makes the best drinking buddies? And what exactly do you have to do to get kicked out of Soto Zen?? Find out here!!
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms
This Week in Zen! All sessions hosted in person and on Zoom unless otherwise marked (email us for quick and easy Zoom access info):
Saturday, 12/3 at 10am
Half Day Sit - Our biggest day of the month! Two half hour rounds of zazen, one walking meditation in the middle, a short Well Being ceremony, a discussion with Dave Cuomo on the Empty Bowl Sutra and riding the fine line super power of “F*** It Mode”, a short break for lunch, then we’re back for two more rounds of sweet sweet zazen (whoa!). Lunch provided for those joining in person - rumor is we’ve got leek and potato soup with homemade whole wheat bread because it’s just that kind of weekend outside. As always feel free to join for as much or as little of the day as you like.
If anyone you know personally is sick or otherwise in need of good health well wishes, you can enter their names in the form you see here (bottom of the page) and we will be happy to include them in the Well Being Dedication.
Monday 12/5 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ John Nilsson - One half hour of zazen and then fresh off his inspiring What Am I Doing Here Talk last spring, John takes the hot seat to delve into the mysterious mundanity staring back at us from the wall. Join us!
Wednesday 12/7 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion - This week! Case 12 of the Book of Serenity - Xiushan asks, “What can you do about the world??” (Umm, please let us know if you figure it out…). Dizang says, “What do you mean by ‘the world’?” Helpful as always, Zen. Helpful as always. Let’s see if we can get ourselves some answers shall we?
Thursday, 12/8 at 7pm
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - And Nina is back for one hour of Slow Flow Zen Yoga followed by one half hour of sweet sweet zazen, followed immediately after by…
Thursday, 12/8 at 7pm - 8:30am Friday
Rohatsu All Night Sit - And immediately following the usual yoga & zazen session, join us as we celebrate the anniversary of Buddha’s enlightenment by doing just what Buddha did - sitting up until the morning riding that fine line between sleep and awakenings. There will be a talk with Dave Cuomo at 8:30pm, followed by timed rounds of zazen going until midnight, then freestyle sitting until 5am, when we‘ll start up again with timed rounds lasting through to the usual morning zazen and chanting service. As always you can join for as much or as little of the evening as you like. (Snacks and tea will be provided)
Friday, 12/9 at 8am
Heart Sutra Chanting Service - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English, followed by Sengcan’s classic ode to putting all your faith into that one great empty basket - The Trusting the Mind Inscription. Poetry for the ages! Come on out and lend us your voice.
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!
ACZC - as wonderful as ever!
I admire and respect your commitment to the sangha.
Great Job! Keep up the good work!