Here to Make Friends
ACZC happenings, 4/8 - 4/14
“I kept asking the same questions, what is this about? Where's the teaching? And then they teach us, if you can't see everything there is, then that's your problem.” - Gyokei Yokoyama
T.S. Eliot is famous for saying “April is the cruelest month,” and maybe he had a point, but from where we’re sitting, “cruel” doesn’t quite feel apt. As alternatives for this superlative, may we submit “ephemeral,” “transitory,” and, hmmm, how about good old “impermanent”?
We’re talking about change, as usual. The sprouts that turn into stalks, the buds into flowers. It’s all underway, as are transitions here at the zendo. Our beloved caretaker Dave has departed for Japan for his 90 day period of ango, and the sangha has stepped up to host and facilitate all sits and sessions in his absence, so don’t be surprised if you come across an unfamiliar (to you) face on the Zoom or in the zendo. Change may be inevitable, but the way is never-ending, so we’re committed to keeping our zafus warm in his absence.
And speaking of the relentless maelstrom of time and phenomena, this week on the podcast we are pleased to present “Just Here to Make Friends (Meaning & Hierarchy)” w/ Gyokei Yokoyama.
Change is afoot in the Zen world as many sanghas undergo a generational turnover in leadership, and Gyokei has a sweet story to meet the moment of two monks trying to figure out who’s supposed to be steering the ship, and where it’s supposed to be headed. Is looking for meaning in our practice a hindrance, or unavoidable? Is Eastern Buddhism too attached to rigid hierarchies? Is the West too attached to avoiding them?? Find out here!
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms!
A koan for the week!
Case in point:
A monk asked Huguo, “When a crane is standing on a dry dead pine, what then?”
Huguo said, “From the ground below, it’s an embarrassment.”
The monk said, “When a drop of water becomes a drop of ice, what then?”
Huguo said, “When the sun comes up, it’s an embarrassment.”
The monk said, “During the great Buddhist persecution when all the temples were destroyed, where were the spirits who were supposed to protect the dharma?”
Huguo said, “For the ones standing guard at the temple gate, it’s an embarrassment.”
This Week in Zen! All times are in Pacific time zone and all sessions are hosted in person and on Zoom unless otherwise marked (email us for quick and easy Zoom access info):
Saturday - 4/8 at 10am
Sit, Yoga, & Discussion w/ Nina Snow - The 2nd Saturday of the month means Nina returns to the zendo! We’ll do one beautiful hour of her trademark beginner-friendly Slow Flow Zen Yoga(™) followed by one half hour of that sweet, sweet zazen and a discussion. Join us!
Monday - 4/10 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Jordan Mylet - We’ll sit one half hour of zazen and then Jordan will return to the hot seat for a lively discussion on the great matter of birth and death. Or something? What will happen? Join us and let’s see!
Wednesday - 4/12 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion w/ Heather Ross - A monk asks Huguo some pretty big questions about impermanence that he summarily dismisses in true Zen master style, but is that all there is to it? Let’s get into it and see what we find out.
Thursday - 4/13 at 7pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - Nina returns for our favorite Thursday evening wind down with one hour of slow flow yoga followed by one half hour of the sweetest zazen you will sit all week. Join us!
Friday - 4/14 at 8am
Heart Sutra Chanting Service - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English followed by Shitou’s ode to the great liberation of an afternoon nap, The Straw hut Song. 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!