Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Zen Action

Another week has flown by. This summer has been a whirlwind, filled with lots of writing, adventure, gardening, biking and hard work. I find myself barely able to keep up with it all. An opportunity to let go of needing to be "on top of it all," to just do what I am doing thoroughly and completely.

On Sunday, I gave the dharma talk for morning service at zen center. It's always interesting to notice the differences between sitting in the crowd and sitting in front of the crowd. How various worries about self image arise, attached to fear in the belly. How meditation seems over in a split second when I'm on the teacher seat. How there's so much more going on than talking. How listening while speaking somehow seems to both happen, and be required for connection.

The talk was focused on anger and the ninth precept. If that intrigues you, I invite you to take a listen.

Meanwhile, I've been plugging away over at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship's website. Yesterday's post takes on the issue of fossil fuel addiction and how that impacts the way we view/practice the dharma. Another post, from last week, contains the follow lines that were incorporated into my Sunday dharma talk:

What I also find is that convert Buddhists on the whole are terribly averse to anger and rage. They’re highly prone to suppression, deflection, and other spiritual bypassing techniques. In my opinion, we need to actively experience the anger and outrage that comes from living in conditions of injustice, oppression, and environmental destruction. We absolutely must be willing to plunge into the depths of the despair, greed, hatred, and ultimately fears of various forms of annihilation that lay beneath the surface of that anger and outrage. We cannot simply toss around statements about love and expect to create a society built on love. Just as we actively work to dismantle forms of oppression and violence in the world, we also have to actively be vigilant on the anger and outrage that compelled us to do so in the first place. To transform it at the roots, and learn from it what might become steps towards a better society for all.

And there are multiple excellent interviews, including one posted today with dharma teacher Larry Yang on diversity in our sanghas and renouncing what he calls the "colonial self," as well as an interview I conducted a few weeks back with Lakota activist and hiphop artist Troy Amlee.

May you all be well. Talk to you soon!


Algernon said...

Please keep up your fine work making spaces and using words to support our practice.

Joanna said...

I found this blog and I really like it. Your words are very helpfull. Thank you.