Blog Posts

Genjokoan #2: The Basic Buddhist Teachings

[From the Genjokoan:] When all dharmas are the Buddha Dharma, there is delusion and realization, practice, life and death, buddhas and living beings. Okumura explains that the first sentence here refers to the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha – basic Buddhism, in other words. To begin, then, let’s explore why the original Buddhist teachings are liberating. Essentially, they teach us that all things are impermanent, without an inherent, enduring self-nature, and therefore that no...

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Dispelling Illusion

Excerpted with permission from Idiot's Guides: Zen Living by Domyo Burk No matter how many things you recognize are not part of your self-essence, you can still persist in believ-ing you have one. After all, it just feels like you do. Even if you manage to let the mind settle in zazen, and refrain from identifying any of your thoughts and feelings as self, there’s you sitting zazen! Many Zen teachings and methods are aimed at getting you to drop this self illusion. One of...

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The Empty World

Excerpted with permission from Idiot's Guides: Zen Living by Domyo Burk One Big Reality One of the first things you realize once you get a good look at reality is that a lot of the things you previously thought were real were simply your concepts about the world. It’s kind of like you’ve been wearing a pair of glasses all your life that gave everything a certain hue and were covered with little stars. Naturally, you thought the world was that color, and you probably built your...

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Not Misunderstanding Dukkha

Have you ever heard someone  – usually not a Buddhist practitioner – summarize the central Buddhist teaching as “life is suffering?” Sometimes people end up with the impression that the Buddha’s teaching was something like this: “Generally speaking, life is a terrible experience. The best thing to do is withdraw from life as much as possible, literally and emotionally.” Put another way, when people hear that the Buddha counseled...

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The Experience of Not-Self

Last week our Sangha worked with the mindfulness task of watching our hands as if they belonged to a stranger. This reminded me of the Buddhist teaching of not-self. As I did this task, I noticed that it was very easy to imagine my hands belonged to a stranger. They seemed to move on their own, or at least they were usually one step ahead of me. They performed their complicated maneuvers with amazing grace and precision, before I had even consciously formed any intention to complete the task...

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Events for week of October 14, 2019

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Mon 14th
No Events Today
Tue 15th

Tuesday Practice: Zazen and Class

October 15 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wed 16th

Mindfulness for Preschoolers

October 16 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

BWZ Board Meeting

October 16 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Thu 17th
No Events Today
Fri 18th
No Events Today
Sat 19th

Just Sitting

October 19 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am

BWZ Monthly Book Group

October 19 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Sun 20th

Sunday Practice: Chanting, Zazen & Study

October 20 @ 9:30 am - 12:15 pm

Dharma Talk with Shintai

October 20 @ 11:15 am - 12:15 pm