ACZC Happenings, 9/30 - 10/6
“We don't need you to regurgitate our answers. We need you to go figure out who the hell you are. That's your contribution.” - Dave Cuomo
Well Happy Fall y’all, and Happy Harvest Moon. And the promise of that big bountiful moon means it’s once again time to raise our voices in some timeless call and response with the Full Moon Ceremony this Sunday (10/1) at 7pm. Join us for the oldest, and some say most beautiful, ceremony in Buddhism where we chant out our best intentions and great advice for living the good life (like when in doubt, just be nice (starting with to yourself)).
And speaking of having something nice to say or not saying anything at all, our Fall Retreat (November 10th - 13th at Mount Baldy Zen Center) is coming up fast, just a little over a month away! And we are looking very forward to seeing you all up there, and we would be delighted for you to join us if you haven’t registered yet.
And an exciting preliminary announcement this week - plans are still in development but it looks like we will be having Hossen Shiki, a traditional Dharma Combat Ceremony for our caretaker Dave this winter toward the end of February and the occasion will be preceded by a three month Kesei Ango, aka beefed up practice period, aka Dave tries to bring home some of what he learned in the monastery by leading a similar (if far more forgiving) schedule here at ACZC and invites you all to join in as you like and are able. Right now it’s looking like the fun will begin toward the end of November, and we will have more details and info very soon on what all that means and how you can join in. But we wanted to put the idea out there now because the culminating Dharma Combat Ceremony will see Dave take the hot seat and defend his expertise on a chosen koan. And it just so happens that…
speaking of spilling the beans on legends of the most princess prajna nuggets you might find in a stream, this week on the podcast we are very pleased to bring you Ruinous Revelations (Dongshan’s “It’s Only This”) w/ Dave Cuomo. Dave shares a favorite story (which also just so happens to contain the koan for an upcoming Dharma Combat ceremony) about a cocky young monk crossing a river and a moment of self confidence so powerful we’re still talking about it a thousand years later. In a practice that glorifies not knowing, how do we know when we know something for certain? What does self confidence look like in a tradition so obsessed with no-self? Can we look up to our teachers without getting let down? Or is the goal of self actualization to not need other people at all? 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:
Case in point:
Huangbo said to the assembly, “All of you, without exception, are guzzlers of dregs. Where are you going to go off to next? Don’t you know there are no Zen teachers in the entire country?”
A monk spoke up and said, “But what about all the good people working with students and leading sanghas?”
Huangbo said, “I didn’t say there was no Zen, just no teachers.”
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 - 9/30 at 10am
Sit & Discussion w/ Heather Ross - Our biggest day of the week! Two half hour rounds of sweet sweet zazen, one walking meditation in the middle and then Heather takes the hot seat to discuss labeling thoughts in meditation. How does it work, how does it help, and will our strict Zen teachers allow us such a practical practice device? Let’s find out!
Sunday - 10/1 at 7pm
Full Moon Ceremony - Join us for a short and sweet half hour of zazen before we open our throats and slough off our regrets with the lyrical and melodious Ryaku Fusatsu, where we chant our vows and remember why they were such good advice in the first place. Rumor is there are some serious bangers in this one. All are welcome (no prior precept commitment required)!
Monday - 10/2 at 7:30pm
Sit & Talk w/ Jason Dodge - One half hour of zazen and then Jason returns with another thrilling installment in his Diamond Sutra series. Let’s cut through some delusions y’all (word on the street is this one’s gonna be a real gem). We’ll see y’all there.
Wednesday - 10/4 at 7:30pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion - This week! Hunagbo’s in a mood and seems to have a few thoughts on the state of Zen in China. But will his monks meekly take his ornery encouragements sitting down? Will we?? Let’s find out.
Thursday - 10/5 at 7pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - Join us to wind down our weeks with one hour of specially designed Slow Flow Zen Yoga perfect for limbering up those limbs and opening up those hearts for one half hour of the sweetest zazen you will sit all week. We’ll see y’all there.
Friday - 10/6 at 8am
Chanting & Zen Breakfast - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in English followed by Sengcan’s popping rhymes about getting a little intimate with space and time, the Faith in Mind Inscription. 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!