ACZC Happenings, 9/16 - 9/22
“I never feel freer than when I realize I'm the schmuck I've been trying not to be this whole time. If I'm the asshole, I can't judge anybody else. And then I'm free of all of us.” - Dave Cuomo
After all our hype and occasional kvetching, we have to say sometimes zazen really is that sweet moment of stillness promised in all the ancient poetry …and then sometimes the city decides to repave a road and take down a tree with a fleet of trucks outside your zendo at 7am and you lose your voice trying to chant the heart sutra over the cacophony, and remember that it’s all just one bright perfect pearl but seriously why can’t that perfect pearl shut up a little sometimes? At least until, say, a reasonable 9am? And then you might think, oh good, now I know what the cartoon will be about today.
But speaking of symphonies of stillness screaming sweet nothings in your ears, we’ve been asked if there is an attendance or time cutoff for the Fall Retreat (November 10th - 13th at Mount Baldy Zen Center - registration and info up here!) and if there’s any risk of it filling up. To which the answer is, not yet?? We have hit capacity on occasion, but have traditionally taken registrations up until the week before. We always say the sooner the better on that but if it’s looking dicey and we get down to a few slots we’ll try to let everyone know before there’s a cutoff.
But speaking of slicing and dicing up reality to find out how the sausage of self is actually made, this week on the podcast we are very pleased to bring you Nobody’s Fool (The Five Skandhas) w/ Dave Cuomo. Dave returns with another practical probe into Buddhist basics - this week! The Five Skandhas, aka Buddha’s classic formulation of what makes us us and reality (seem) real and might even offer us a little bit of free will and agency in said reality (free will not guaranteed). Is holding onto blame ever an accurate and/or helpful view? Do our Zen teachers need therapy and/or do our therapists need a little zazen? Are leaf blowers part of the problem or are they the whole solution?? Find out here!
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms!
And hey, here’s the koan for the week:
Fayan asked a senior monk named Jiao, “Did you come by boat or by land??”
Jiao said, “I came by boat.”
Fayan asked, “Where’s the boat?”
Jiao said, “It’s on the river.”
Jiao went away, and Fayan asked a nearby monk, “Tell me, did that monk have the right eye?”
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 - 9/16 at 10am
Sit & Discussion w/ Dave Cuomo - Our biggest day of the week! Two half hour rounds of sweet sweet zazen, one walking meditation in the middle and then Dave takes the hot seat for tea & talk about the time a cocky young monk glanced at a river and suddenly understood everything his teacher never bothered to tell him. What is self confidence in Zen and can we borrow some of that monk’s? Can we rely on other people, and can we get by if we don’t?? Let’s find out.
Monday - 9/18 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Dave Cuomo - One half hour of zazen and then Dave is back in the hot seat to start a new mini series on the paramitas. This week - generosity! It’s the gift that keeps on giving. And tonight we get what we give (a good darn time).
Wednesday - 9/20 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion - This week! When is a boat not a boat and when is a boat just a boat (and seriously, when do I get to be on a boat?), and when is a boat the whole d*mn ocean?? Fayan wants to know, but are we ready to take the ride? See y’all in that great surf of self.
Thursday - 9/21 at 7pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - Join us for an evening of wind down wake up yoga in Nina’s patented Slow Flow Zen style (patent pending) followed by one half hour of that sweet stillness of sitting around we call zazen. We’ll see y’all there.
Friday - 9/22 at 8am
Chanting & Zen Breakfast - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English followed by fishes and birds flying and swimming (maybe not in that order) straight for the point of it all, the Zazenshin (Needle Point of Zazen). Poetry for the ages! And then stick around for ACZC’s own hot take on traditional Zen breakfast (fresh milled multi grain porridge - now with peaches! 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!