Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Because of a really random keystroke, I happened upon this site. It looks interesting. The most recent issue concerns one of the topics we discussed on Sunday - death. Unfortunately, there are no active links to the content in the journal. Links to other associated content, however, do function.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Death, strawberries, and stuff

We had a good discussion of life, death, clinging, transition, self, non-self.... and other things on Sunday, while enjoying the sweet strawberries & cookies that Sally brought. Ryan read a selection from No Death, No Fear, by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Next week, Jeremiah is providing a reading and Dianne promises to bake cookies.

Here are a few photos of the garden, which is growing quite happily in the back.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Hi, all.

I just remembered that there was a request at the end of last week's meeting that I post the name of the poem I read from. The poem is called "Ode to Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth.

See you all Sunday!



I came across this site this morning. I haven't had a chance to fully explore it - but it looks interesting.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Three more days

I came upon this little Zen story. Strange in a dry way. Deadpan - like a story by Paul Bowles or something.

Three Days More

Suiwo, the disciple of Hakuin, was a good teacher. During one summer seclusion period, a pupil came to him from a southern island of Japan.

Suiwo gave him the problem: "Hear the sound of one hand."

The pupil remained three years but could not pass the test. One night he came in tears to Suiwo. "I must return south in shame and embarrassment," he said, "for I cannot solve my problem."

"Wait one week more and meditate constantly," advised Suiwo. Still no enlightenment came to the pupil. "Try for another week," said Suiwo. The pupil obeyed, but in vain.

"Still another week." Yet this was of no avail. In despair the student begged to be released, but Suiwo requested another meditation of five days. They were without result. Then he said: "Meditate for three days longer, then if you fail to attain enlightenment, you had better kill yourself."

On the second day the pupil was enlightened.

(From Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Some Readings

Hi, All.

Following-up on one of Eric's posts about good meditation-related readings, here are a few that I have read and found particularly helpful over the last several months:

"Real Meditation in Minutes a Day" by Joseph Arpaia and Lobsang Rapgay (the first guy is a psychiatrist and the other a psychologist and they both run meditation-based therapy clinics).

"A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation" by Paramananda

"Minfulness in Plain English" by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana - ("Bhante G", as he is known, is the head abbot of the Bhavana Society, a forest monastery and meditation center in West Virginia where I have gone on retreat a couple times. This book is probably the best introduction to Vipassana (insight) meditation that I have read. He has also written a follow-up book called "Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English" which I haven't read yet because I'm not quite at that point:)).

Another book that I recently read that is not a meditation instruction manual, per se, as much as it is an excellent discussion of how meditation can, over time, inform and enhance our daily lives long after we've gotten up off the cushion is "The Wise Heart" by Jack Kornfield.

Another good book that I am currenty reading is "Living Buddha, Living Christ" by Thich Nacht Thanh in which he draws parallels between Christianity and Buddhism and argues that they can be usefully integrated together in one's spiritual life.

Finally a really GREAT collection of essays for anyone facing difficult times is called "In the Face of Fear: Buddhist Wisdom for Challenging Times." This book has become one that I refer to often.

See you all of Sunday!