Just Be Normal
ACZC Happenings, 2/24 - 3/4
“They say you can’t intellectualize Zen. But don't short change yourself. If your brain wants to understand it, do that first. The old masters all did. They knew exactly what they were talking about.
And then one day you might realize that even the highest level teachings aren’t enough. But you have to get them before you can realize that they’re not enough.“ - Dave Cuomo
Happy rainy day afternoon everybody. And ok, no, the cartoon and quote aren’t especially related this week, but Mota busted that one liner out while leading our koan discussion last week, and we were like, ‘Yep, print it. That’s the one.’ We’re still pretty sure there’s no such thing as a right (or wrong) answer to any of this Zen stuff, but ya’ll just keeping serving us up solid gold and trying to prove us wrong on that, and we’re starting to wonder if you’re right. Which sounds absolutely fine to us.
But speaking of unspeakable (and likely unwinnable…) arguments that seem to have no trouble finding their voice, this week on the podcast we are very pleased to bring you Dave Cuomo w/ Just Be Normal (History of Zen - Dahui vs Hongzhi). By popular request, the History of Zen series returns with a tale of dharma combat that's going to have eon long implications. Two epic frenemies are busy inventing modern koan and shikantaza practice while China is busy putting itself back together, only to promptly fall apart again. What are the roots of modern koan practice, and is ACZC doing them wrong? Why does Zen have a “right” answer for everything, and how did their philosophies get so tight? Was Zen designed to be secular or religious, and does it even believe its own PR? Find out here!
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms
And hey, here’s a story for the week.
Case in point:
When Yantou arrived at Deshan’s, just as he was stepping across the threshold he asked, “Ordinary or sacred?”
Deshan shouted at him. Yantou bowed respectfully.
Dongshan later heard about this and said, “If it hadn’t been Yantou, that would’ve been hard to take.”
Yantou said, “Old Dongshan doesn’t know good from bad. Back then my talents were as lofty as they were low.”
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 - 2/25 at 10am
Sit & Discussion w/ Sara Campbell - Our biggest day of the week! Two half hour rounds of zazen, one five minute walking meditation in the middle, and then our own ACZC resident Sara Campbell returns for a compelling and curious conversation on the mysteries making eyes at us from the cracks in the wall (or was that just a passing shadow?). We'll see y’all there.
Monday - 2/27 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Gyokei Yokoyama - One half hour of zazen and then Gyokei is back in the hot seat (for real this time…) to talk about his sangha building adventures among our Canadian friends up North and the great practice of sangha in general; aka you and me and everyone we know, aka the pure land of ‘other people’ as Sartre once said (pretty sure we got that right…). Join us!
Wednesday - 3/1 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion w/ Sara Campbell - This week! Is your world ordinary, or is it sacred? Is anything sacred?? Or was there ever anything normal about this magical mess we wake up to every day?? Inquiring minds want to know, and we hear old Deshan’s got an answer so mind blowing it can split a skull. Let’s discuss!
Thursday - 3/2 at 7pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - Nina returns for one hour of slow flow Zen yoga, perfectly tailored for the restless meditator in all of us (especially those hips, amiright?), before sending us off to one half hour of the sweetest and easiest zazen you will sit all week. See y’all there.
Friday - 3/3 at 8am
Heart Sutra Chanting Service - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English, followed by Dogen’s fishy little remix of Hongzhi’s soaring script about the infinitudes of truth lying hidden in a pinprick, the Zazenshin! 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!