WEDNESDAY, COMMUNITY NIGHT! Mar.22nd - 7-9pm, Can You Save the World? with Rachel Boughton, Roshi
The Koan: Save the world.
1. Do you want to save the world? Someone else? Yourself?
2. What are your own particular super-powers that might come in handy when saving the world? How are you poorly equipped for the task?
3. What would you need to sacrifice in order to save the world?
4. If the world were saved, what would it be like?
POEM: Ask Much, The Voice Suggested - Jane Hirshfield
Ask much, the voice suggested, and I startled.
Feeling my body like the trembling body of a horse
tied to its tree while the strange noise
passes over its ears.
I who in extremity had always wanted less,
even of eating, of sleeping.
Agile, the voice did not speak again, but waited.
"Want more" --
a cure for longing I had not thought of.
But that is how it is with wells.
Whatever is taken refills to the steady level.
The voice agreed, though softly, to quiet the feet of the horse:
a cup taken out, a cup reappears; a bucketful taken, a bucket.
WHAT IS RMC COMMUNITY NIGHT?
Community Night is a chance to practice meditation in action, in the midst of our lives. Eating and drinking and conversing together is a unique opportunity to notice the way the practice of paying attention is present, or not, where the 'rubber' of our practice meets the 'road' of our life. Becoming intimate with the workings of our heart/mind while sitting quietly is helpful, but, if it isn't present in our day to day lives, what's the point?
Community Night is a chance to do that in a safe environment. It is also a time to discover and strengthen connections between each other and the community that is the container of our practice.
Each time we gather to practice together is a time that we can do that, not just once a month on Community Night. We purposely place a break between quietly sitting together and the group conversation about the koan, as a way to provide that opportunity during each of our gatherings, whether on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings.
On Community Night we save that for after the meditation and group discussion and are able to luxuriate in each other's company for a bit longer than usual.
Creating a Culture at PZI
NEW ISSUE • WINTER 2017
DOUBLE ISSUE - 'More Everything: Having & Wanting'
A magazine of Zen and the arts from the Pacific Zen Institute
Fresh from the Pacific Zen Institute’s long-running project on Zen, koans, consciousness, and the arts, comes the second issue of our online magazine:
A Wonderful Gift- Support PZI
Pacific Zen Institute presents an exclusive DVD offer Scenes from an extraordinary retreat with two Zen masters, and a chance to support our ongoing work.
In Autumn 2012, Zen koan masters John Tarrant and Joan Sutherland came together to converse about The Blue Cliff Record, the first great collection of koans, now almost 1,000 years old. It’s a text filled with stories that change you.We are thrilled to be able to offer this DVD record of the event—a chance to witness their collaboration in a set of live conversations about Zen, koans, and enlightenment.
Waking up in Old Fangak, La Gonave & Mwanza - Janice Boughton, in Uncertainty.Club double issue: MORE EVERYTHING: Wanting - Winter 2017
I am an internal medicine doctor. In that capacity, I go to distant places, meet interesting people, and eat weird food. In these journeys, I’ve noticed how technology connects us, often awkwardly, with each other. I will describe my experiences of being in these places, and you can remember that the shiny expensive brick in your pocket means that you are there, too. Through similar devices, people in distant and unfamiliar places know you. People, connected by electrons, are learning from each other about what we think of being human.
We are becoming very much more connected and as far as I can tell there is no going back. A price is being paid in the loss of pieces of our culture which do not fit a connected world. It is disorienting, dangerous, uncomfortable, and amazing.
This is what it’s like to wake up in the three places I’ve been able to serve as a doctor. read on
A GREAT READ from PZI
NEW ISSUE WINTER 2017 Uncertainty.club
DOUBLE ISSUE; More Everything: Wanting & Having
PZI's online Zen, koan consciousness & the arts
SUNDAY, Mar. 26th - 9:30am - 12pm
Falling into the Great Mystery of Life with Illana Berger
Mr. Pang was selling baskets.
Coming down off a bridge with his arms full, he stumbled and fell.
When his grownup daughter saw this, she ran up and threw herself down on the ground beside him.
“What are you doing?” cried Mr. Pang.
“I saw you fall to the ground, so I’m helping,“ she replied.
“It’s a good thing no one was looking,“ remarked Mr. Pang.
There are so many ways in which falling and helping correspond to each other. We feel, perhaps, that our country is falling and our impulse is to figure out how to help, what to do. Recently, I was at a coffee shop and I heard a “THUMP” behind my chair and found an elderly gentleman had fallen down. I reached to help him up. I asked if he was alright. He responded; "all but my ego. I am so embarrassed.” That’s how I imagine Mr. Pang might have felt. I’ve felt that way too. Falling down, getting up, helping . . . they're all the pieces that comprise a life.This Koan might not teach us anything about life, but it does invite us into the experience of Mr. Pang and his daughter and from there, we might find something in our own lives that corresponds to it. You might find the brightness in the moment you have no matter what it consists of.
Let’s all fall together into the great mystery of life and the moment we get to share.
Introduction to Koan Meditation with David Weinstein
Sunday, Mar. 26th, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Zen koan meditation is a tradition that has been held somewhat under wraps. Although koans, which are often the record of interchanges between teachers and students, are readily available, the sharing of similar interchanges between contemporary practitioners and their teachers have not been shared. It is ironic that Koan practice should generate a veil of mystery around it. Koans deal with things as ordinary as, 'To eat when hungry and sleep when tired.' Sounds simple, something we do all the time. But do we really? Koan practice invites us to investigate our assumptions about that, and everything else. In so doing, we become more intimate with who we are.
Bringing aspects of koan practice out from behind closed doors has made koan practice accessible to a wider range of people, which in turn has brought creativity and innovation into how we practice with koans. Koan practice is conversational, between ourselves and the koan, each other and most importantly, a deep conversation with ourselves.
This class is an opportunity to taste koan practice. A chance to ask questions, meditate a bit and have a conversation. It is also a chance to check out the culture of innovation and inquiry we are nurturing.
RMC KOAN CIRCLE continues Jamie Kissinger & Cindy Marteney Now on Sunday Evenings - Next meeting SUNDAY, Mar.26th
Come enjoy what is truly unique about PZI: a warm, welcoming community that is committed to waking up together through koan circle! The Rockridge Koan Circle, which started last spring to bring fellow practitioners together, continues. Participants enjoy koan study within an intimate group setting.
Meeting on Sunday evenings to meditate, drink tea, and share our discoveries, participants also enjoy getting to know fellow participants through a lively email group that is supportive in between Koan Circle meetings. Drop-in participation is also welcome.
In the current series, the group is delving into classic koans found in John Tarrant’s book,
Bring Me the Rhinoceros.
Dates: March 12th & March 26th; April 9th & April 23rd; May 7th Time: 7:00pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Rockridge Meditation Community, 5463 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618
Fees: We encourage people to become members to help support Pacific Zen Institute and cover Rockridge Meditation Center costs.
Email list: If you have longed for more support for your personal practice, this could be the perfect group for you. You will receive email reminders about the koan of the week as well as the musings and discoveries from other participants.
To be included or for questions about the group, contact:
Jamie Kissinger: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy Marteney: email@example.com
COMING UP! URBAN RETREAT at RMC:
Ordinary Mind is the Way, Exalting the Ordinary with David Weinstein, Roshi
May 19th-21st, 2017 Begins Fri. May 19th, 7:30 pm Continues: Sat. & Sun. May 20th & 21st, 9:30am - 6pm. Stay tuned for details & registrar.
Pigeons are a pretty ordinary sight in the urban environment. In searching for an image that spoke to me about this retreat, the Pigeon called out to me. The Urban Retreat format is designed with an eye toward the integration of our ordinary lives and our meditation practice. Creating an environment in which it is possible to discover amazing things about the ordinary, amazing things about ourselves. More soon..
The cost will be $75 for PZI members, $100 for non members.Scholarships will be available if needed. Stay tuned, more coming soon.
Mysterious Paths: A Summer Weeklong Retreat
With John Tarrant & Friends
July 16-23, 2017
Mt. Madonna Center
This is a meditation retreat for discovering how to navigate in a world with few familiar landmarks; it is seven days along the deepest path.
Zen is a mystery school—we enter the mystery to be transformed. The transformation is through the life we already have, toast and heartbreak. We notice our kitchen loves us. The gate is not knowing. We don’t try to explain life, or defend against it, we enter it deeply, we don’t make ourselves certain.
For more information contact: Jan Black, Registrar