The Problem With Happiness
ACZC Happenings, 1/27 - 2/2
“There ain't no answer. There ain't going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer” - Gertrude Stein
And a happy birthday to our good friend Dogen, and a big thanks to him for being born and, you know, giving us Zen as we know it, which means on behalf of all of us here at ACZC, thanks Dogen, for literally everything.
And speaking of those who take big hearty bites out of the dharma, this week is also the Wolf Moon, which means this Sunday at 7pm, we will be hosting our monthly Full Moon Ceremony - the oldest (and some say most beautiful) ceremony in Buddhism where we chant our best vows and intentions and remember why they were such good advice in the first place.
And speaking of upholding great ideas, immediately following the ceremony (ok give us five minutes for a bathroom break), we will also be holding our first official ACZC Steward’s Committee Meeting for all those interested in such things. We’ll be talking shop, as well as getting some info on the upcoming Dharma Combat Ceremony scheduled for the end of February. And we’d be very happy to see you there.
But speaking of solving problems with the smiles on our faces, this week on the podcast we are very excited to bring you The Problem With Happiness (What Am I Doing Here??) w/ Patrick Carroll. Patrick brings us the timeless tale of a Catholic kid trading his faith for the freedom of not quite knowing what the h*ll he’s doing. Along the way we get 30 years worth of ironic wisdom bombs, gleaned from a myriad of likable and unlikely teachers met across a casual few decades of practice. Can we lose our religion while still keeping the faith? How do we live up to being our own teacher, while not turning Zen into a self stunted choose your own adventure? After all these years of not living up to our name, has our So Cal Zen center finally given us a perfectly poetic surfing/zazen analogy? Find out here!
Up now at http://aczc.org/aczcpodcast or on all your favorite podcast platforms.
And hey, here’s a koan for the week:
Case in point:
Jinshan asked Xiushan, “If we understand the unborn nature of life, why are we stuck with it?”
Xiushan said, “A bamboo shoot will eventually become bamboo, but can you use it to write a book?”
Jinshan said, “You’ll enlighten yourself some day.”
Xiushan said, “That was my answer. What’s yours?”
Jinshan said, “This is the manager’s house, the cook’s house is over there.”
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 - 1/27, 10am - 12:30pm
Sit & Discussion w/ Emily Eslami - Our biggest day of the week! Two half hour rounds of zazen, one walking meditation in the middle, and then Emily returns to the hot seat with another installment of her ever timely series on Shunryu Suzuki’s timeless Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind . See y’all there.
Sunday - 1/28, 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 the precepts and remember why they were such good advice in the first place. All are welcome (no prior precept commitment required)!
Sunday - 1/28, 8pm
ACZC Steward’s Committee Meeting - Let’s talk shop.
Monday Evening - 1/29, 7:30pm - 9pm
Sit & Discussion w/ Leon Sandler - One half hour of zazen, and then Leon is back in the hot seat to tell us about the three things Buddhism is pretty sure it knows for sure (the Three Marks of Existence); life is empty, fleeting, and full of suffering (and anyone who says differently is selling something). What’s not to love?? Let’s find out.
Wednesday - 1/31, 7:30pm - 9pm (Zoom Only)
Sit & Koan Discussion w/ Emily Eslami - Jinshan’s questioning his life choices (was it a choice?), but will he even accept an answer if he gets one? And if we get it, do we still have to (get to…) go through with it? Let’s discuss.
Thursday - 2/1 at 7pm - 8:30pm (Zoom Only)
Yoga & Zazen w/ Nina Snow - And Nina is back for one blissful hour of Slow Flow Zen Yoga, followed by one half hour of the sweetest zazen you will sit all week. We’ll see y’all there.
Friday Early - 2/2 at 5am-6am
Rise and shine y’all, it’s the season for a little zazen before our zazen. Especially a good opportunity for those who work early, or live in an earlier time zone. In person and on zoom! Same format as our usual morning sits - one simple hour of sitting with an optional five minute stretch break offered in the middle.
Friday - 2/2 at 8am
Chanting & Zen Breakfast - This week! We chant the Heart Sutra in the holy language of English, followed by Shitou’s ode to all those brought together by being torn apart, the Harmony of Difference and Equality. Poetry for the ages! And then stick around for ACZC’s fresh hot take on traditional Zen breakfast (house milled multi grain porridge! 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!