Three Treasures Sangha
Three Treasures Sangha of the Pacific Northwest (TTS) is a lay Zen group located in Seattle, Washington and affiliated with the Diamond Sangha, an independent lineage founded by Robert Aitken Rōshi, a dharma heir in the Sanbō Kyōdan (Harada-Yasutani-Yamada) lineage.
Amidst the downpour,
Sitting drenched and solitary–
The red umbrella
–written by Larry Keil, 2013
Hakuin Zenji said, “They translated prajna as wisdom. All people have it. No one’s excepted. It’s faultlessly perfect in each one of us…” [Dokugyo Shingyo: Acid comments on the Heart Sutra]
We go to extraordinary lengths to arrange our lives around this practice. We come to the zendo and sit, hear the Dharma as recorded and passed down for centuries. But it all comes down to this: this inexplicable thing we are looking for – It… is… here. Not just in this building or this room or in the presence of this group, but wherever you are, at any time of day or night, in the midst of any activity, no matter how old you are, how smart or dumb you are, no matter at all – it’s the here that matters: the practice of allowing and acting from this . . . presence that is before thinking and before – or rather, right in the midst of – “things.” Everything we try that misses this view just keeps us stuck, striving and dissatisfied, looking for something else. Something – “else”! The first definition of “else” in the dictionary is “other.” That’s why the Coincidence of Opposites says, “Don’t meet another in the darkness . . . don’t observe another in the light.” No “other,” no “else.” In actuality there is no other to find. And this is why failure is a friend.
Here is the complete listing of the opportunities to practice Zen with Three Treasures Sangha in 2013. Of note: there will be three, more intensive (longer) Zazenkai’s with Jack Duffy Roshi; and new teachers Lee Shields and Madelon Bolling will be leading monthly zazenkais and be present on one Wednesday evening per month.
Jack Duffy’s sesshin teishos are now available on on mountinlamp.org. If folks only have time to listen to one, please start with the talk “On Precepts” Please send comments as I am re-working some of the ideas in there.
Stare at a wall long enough
and it reveals itself.
The Flip Side of Camp Indianola
Doors open themselves and shut,
invisible fingers rattling the knobs,
the opposite of “good” children,
unseen but heard.
The giant fireplace of stones,
islands in the rough lagoons of mortar.
Faces rising from the rocks–
a British colonial in Kenya,
a buzzard’s gaping jaw;
Saint Theresa in a sad but fearful vision,
dark eyes and the open “O” of her mouth
from the slant of a great ape’s skull.
In the lone white rock
a man’s long Gaulic nose,
the one face that doesn’t change
even when the light shifts
the night inside the day.
With a saddened heart, I want to let you all know that mom passed away this morning just before 10:45. My sister, Marian, arrived this morning from Japan, and we had around an hour together as a family, talking, chatting and having our usual family banter. My sisters left to get Marian settled and a nap, and about half an hour later, mom ended her journey. I want you all to know that during her decline this past week, she did not suffer, and all the way to the end, she did not appear to struggle against what was happening.
“Nothing hangs in the mind,/There is nothing to remember./Boundless, clear, self-illuminating–/The mind does not make efforts./ This is the place of non-thinking,/Difficult to fathom with intellect or feeling.”
Hello Everyone, I’d like to start today by saying something about the 16 Bodhisattva precepts. Our lineage looks at the precepts from 3 different vantage points–the hinayana, the mahayana and the essential. The hinayana view is quite literal. Not killing means just that. We may attempt to fulfill this vow by eating a vegetarian or vegan diet. We may try to move carefully and thoughtfully in the world and in our daily activities. We move with kindness knowing we are all kin. We attempt to lessen our footprint but the best we can do is lessen the footprint, we can never erase it. In a sense, we can only fail because for us to live, others must die.
If you want to read Jack’s complete talk, and discuss it, head over to the Palouse (the Palouse Zen group’s website that is).