Tikkun olam

August 30th, 2010 § 0 comments

Engaged Buddhism has been on my mind a lot lately, especially with Robert Aitken’s passing. This bit from Harvey Daiho Hilbert over at Clear Mind Zen caught my attention. By “bearing witness”, Daiho means manifesting or demonstrating:

I do not believe we who take the Bodhisattva vows can simply be Zen Center Buddhists. We have an obligation to engage the world round us, to practice what Jews call tikkun olam, repair the world, and one way to do this is through bearing witness.

Yes on all fronts! Of course, some days I have difficulty even being a “Zen Center Buddhist”, but I can aspire.

Cat zazen

August 29th, 2010 § 0 comments

I posted this on my LiveJournal already, but it seemed apropos here. I bought a new zafu and zabuton (from the lovely people at Pema Design) and from the moment it came out of the box until now has been a scene like this:

Rasha claims the new zabuton

That’s Rasha, our elderly Birman, or Sacred Cat of Burma. I guess this is what happens when you adopt a temple cat. I say he’s working on a cat koan. “Who is the kitty?” maybe, or “Mew.”

Biding time

August 29th, 2010 § 1 comment

Sunday morning sitting at the Centre today. Not the quietest mind ever, but it’s always nice to go. Yesterday was an introductory workshop day so we had one new face in the zendo. New faces in the room always improve my concentration. We also held a ceremony of aid for Pakistan, and that plus dokusan made for a full house (and a shortened samu period, which I will admit that I appreciate).

The wall I’m facing these days is impatience. I haven’t had a chance to do sesshin yet for a handful of reasons. Candice and I can’t go at the same time because our cat, Rasha, needs daily medication. I wasn’t ready for the spring sesshin and couldn’t easily get out of work for the summer five-day retreat, so it was Candice’s to attend.

But there’s one coming up, a seven-day right in the middle of the term student program, in which members (whether formal students or otherwise) pledge to intensify their practice for a six-week period. I have plenty of room to intensify!

So I remind myself that the immediate goal of my practice right now is to prepare for the term student program and sesshin. I have a feeling that after a couple weeks of 6 AM sittings and then seven days of sesshin my problem won’t be impatience.

Welcome to Everything Changes.

August 28th, 2010 § 0 comments

My name is Rich Lafferty, and I’m a Zen Buddhist layperson in the Kapleau tradition, in Toronto, Canada.

This is a blog about Zen, about my practice, about my life, and the intersection of those things.

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