City Cave Zen

Zen Buddhist Sangha in Glasgow, Scotland, practising internationally online

by dogo

My friend Jikai Lonna Kelley has been practicing with Joshu’s No, the first koan of The Gateless Barrier. Here is the koan:

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by dogo

When the pandemic took hold, our sangha decided to try holding meetings online, to meditate, chant and discuss the Dharma in a way that would be as similar to physical meetings as we could make it. We decided to use Jitsi Meet, an open source and ethical application (no tracking or mining of user's data) that works across multiple platforms, and does not require you to have an account to use the service — just the app or a web link.

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by dogo

It is important to have our own story, not to be enslaved by the story someone else imposes on us — but a time comes when we have to stop believing our own story too.

#zen #buddhism #PersonalBaggage #OwnStory #belief #DogoGraham

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by dogo

pigeons perched on veranda railing of flat in housing scheme

In Zen practice, meditation is usually referred to as “sitting.” Some of us think we are unusual because of our practice, but we are not. Everybody sits, but most people do their sitting in front of a TV. We can either sit to distract ourselves from life, or we can sit with, and in, life.

#zen #buddhism #meditation #zazen #DogoGraham

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by dogo

There is a Japanese saying: “Not knowing is ignorance, and knowing is delusion.” But there is a place outside of these two, that includes both of them, and it is the very heart of Zen practice:

Showing up.

Meeting the moment as a participant, not a commentator. Meeting it rather than judging it. Hearing our own incessant commentary without believing it.

#zen #buddhism #NotKnowingIsMostIntimate #belief #DogoGraham

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by dogo

When we say, “This should not be happening,” we may be right or wrong. When we say (or do not say, but mean), “This should not be happening to me,” we are always wrong, no matter the circumstances we are talking about.

#zen #buddhism #solipsism #narcissism #SelfCentredness #DogoGraham

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by dogo

When we see our own character flaws, we can respond by practicing awareness of those flaws, practicing not letting them dictate our behaviours. If we can do that, they no longer exist, as they are a cause without an effect.

Or we can have a judgmental, self-hating (and therefore self-centred) response — “I’m such an arsehole, I’m such a bad person” — that blames, but is unlikely to do anything more than name-calling. When we see clearly, we know we are neither our flaws nor our virtues.

#zen #buddhism #SelfHatred #SelfLoathing #blaming #DogoGraham

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by dogo

The old teachings tell of monks going to charnel grounds to meditate and face their fears. Good practice, but maybe needlessly theatrical, as our fears are always close by enough for us to smell them. A person would have to be very deep in denial (or perhaps very young) for a journey in search of their fears to be necessary.

We’re always in the charnel ground, but usually pretending we’re not. If we sat long enough in a literal charnel ground, we’d get used to it and become less aware of it, less aware of reality.

#zen #buddhism #FacingOurFears #impermanence #DogoGraham

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drawing by oh pandah in his big heids style showing a zen monk in a black robe and orange camouflage rakusu and a glaswegian rendering of the buddha's 4 noble truthsArt by Oh Pandah, text by dubh

Dear Sangha,

This year, let’s practice together as though it’s a matter of life and death… because it is.

Nine Bows,

dogo

#zen #buddhism #OhPandah #glasgow #StreetArt #graffiti #4NobleTruths #dubh #DogoGraham

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by dogo

Refuge in the Buddha Refuge in the Dharma Refuge in the Sangha Refuge in the empty spaces Spaces around Spaces between Spaces within Spaces

#rohatsu #BodhiDay #BuddhasEnlightenmentDay #zen #buddhism #poetry #DogoGraham

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