Blog Posts

Bendowa: Zen Master Dogen on Why Zazen Is Such a Big Deal

In the 13th century, a Japanese Buddhist monk named Eihei Dogen traveled to China to search for the truth. He discovered a teacher there who emphasized zazen above all else, and in studying with him Dogen found the resolution to his personal koan. Dogen then traveled back to Japan to share what he had learned, and although he generally eschewed sectarianism, we call the school of Zen that descends from him “Soto.” Three years after his return from China, Dogen still hadn’t...

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Two Sides of Practice Part 3: When We Neglect Samadhi Power, and How the Two Sides are Complementary

What about neglecting samadhi power, and overemphasizing karma relationship? This is when we try to get free from our suffering, be a good and wholesome person, have harmonious relationships, and/or aspire to greater wisdom and compassion – and then we struggle in our efforts in same way we struggle with the rest of our ordinary tasks. Approaching things only from the relative perspective, we set goals or adopt ideals, work hard, notice when we’ve fallen short, devise another way, and try harder. Chances are good we also criticize ourselves, compare ourselves to others, and experience a mixture of frustration, pride, and shame. Caught up in the drama of the relative, we fail to see things from a larger perspective, and may succumb to arrogance, depression or despair.

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Zazen: The Incredibly Difficult Practice of Not-Doing

Our practice of zazen is also known as shikantaza, a Japanese term that can be translated as “nothing but precisely sitting.” The whole point is to just sit there. Doing nothing. A practice of not-doing. This is so difficult for us, we can hardly even conceive of it. Instead, we imagine we are supposed to sit there meditating. We’re supposed to concentrate, or be aware of this moment, or something. Anything. Anything but really, really doing nothing. When I settle into my...

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Renewal in the Stillness and Silence of Meditation

It can be helpful to think of meditation as renewal time for our body-minds. The space of meditation, at least Zen meditation, involves a realignment of the self with the universe. Getting caught up in activity can invite us to assert the self against the world, especially when we care deeply about what we’re doing. We get busy trying to understand, maneuver, express, create, change, hurry, finish, resist, and come up with an effective plan. Our actions may even be fruitful, but...

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Events for week of December 9, 2019

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Mon 9th
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Tue 10th

Tuesday Practice: Zazen and Class

December 10 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wed 11th

Mindfulness for Preschoolers

December 11 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Thu 12th
No Events Today
Fri 13th
No Events Today
Sat 14th

Just Sitting

December 14 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am

BWZ Holiday Party

December 14 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sun 15th

Sunday Practice: Chanting, Zazen & Study

December 15 @ 9:30 am - 12:15 pm

Dharma Talk with Domyo

December 15 @ 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

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