Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Break, Brad Warner Visit, 'Dropping Views/Opinions', Zombies etc etc...

Firstly, the evenings at The Dock have finished for the summer to resume in early September. This is to follow the format of other classes/workshops there: It's a pain for The Dock to open the place up just for us. I hope you can continue to do some zazen at home during this time. Remember that it's generally advised that establishing a practice of a few minutes each day, or twice a day, is more important than doing a longer sitting just once or twice a week. You can build up the sitting time as you get used to it. Good luck, and thank you for all your efforts.

Secondly, someone last night said (quite sensibly) that they were uncomfortable with the idea of 'dropping our views and opinions' in Buddhism. It's important to stress that this statement about dropping views and opinions only refers to zazen where we allow everything to come and go for a time, where we stop our usual judging and evaluating when we notice that we're doing it. In this way we can get a broader perspective on our views and opinions for a time. The point is not to makes us zoned out, blank-minded zombies all the time: that would actually be a dangerous way to live, as we're required to evaluate and make judgements as part of our everyday lives. The problem is that we sometimes mistake our own views and opinions as some sort of real, exterior reality. Zazen addresses this and allows us to see our thinking and evaluating from a more realistic perspective. Doing it regularly also develops an intuitive understanding of the way things really are... but that's another story.

Thirdly, if anyone is interested in hearing about one-day events or other Buddhisty things that may be going on during the summer in this area then please drop me a line with your contact details and I'll include you on our info list.

One event that springs to mind is that the US Buddhist teacher and author Brad Warner is visiting Belfast next month. Details can be found HERE (scroll down the page a bit).

...And check out the July/August retreat in lovely Co Clare in the links menu up on the right hand side there.

...AND (phew!) a few of us are talking about meeting up weekly at my house in Boyle for zazen during the summer. Contact me for details.

Hope you have a great summer!

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