Autumn appeal

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Announcements | Comments Off on Autumn appeal

“We have to seek God in error and

forgetfulness and foolishness.”

— Meister Eckhart

I remember attending my first sesshin with Aitken Roshi in Hawaii as a younger man. I was drawn to be there because, well, it was Hawaii, but mostly because of Aitken’s encouragement, and my own deep questions about violence, injustice and suffering. However, after a few days I was sure I had made a great error. The rituals and chants were alien to me. The long hours of sitting wracked my body. The daily Dharma talks were incomprehensible. I had to forget everything I thought I knew about religion and prayer. Seeking advice about what to do with my confusion and resistance, Aitken encouraged me to “just hang in there”. Now, after years of muddling through amidst doubts and uncertainties, I can say, using a line from one of William Stafford’s poems, that I am grateful “for mistakes that worked so well.”

I now more fully understand the wisdom of Meister Eckhart’s words that we have to seek in error, forgetfulness and foolishness. How else does one approach investigating and experiencing the unknown? It comes down to the fact that one has to abandon everything to touch the unfathomable. Even today when facing the wall for hours, chanting, and prostrating, I recognize once again what an absurd practice this is. Yet, I continue to “hang in there”, moved by a mysterious, gentle power beyond my understanding that gets me in the door. What is essential is to dive in again and again, forget the self, embrace what comes forth each moment, and welcome reality.

This is the activity our sangha makes possible. At Dharma Gate, our place of practice beyond logic and reason, we have an opportunity to forget ourselves and experience the always present love that radiates brilliantly from all activity and matter—sacred or profane, proper steps or miscues, quiet-mind or monkey-mind. We do this work together, our circles of intimacy rippling out like waves on the great ocean, encompassing all into our practice and enlarging our community.

To continue to enable this divine foolishness we need to support our center and our teachers. We are currently in a financial position in which we are more or less breaking even. However, we continue to have teacher and house maintenance commitments and desire to keep our sesshin fees as low as possible. We also want to offer our recently appointed teachers a stipend for their teaching efforts. Your continuing generosity will make it easier to meet our obligations and make these offerings.

Please give what you can afford—we all need to stay within our own personal budgets and be able to pay for our daily bread—but sometimes we also need to be a bit foolish in this realm by giving a little bit more than we think sensible. Could this be a mistake? Could be, but maybe it’s time to embrace and celebrate our lunacy—it might work out well for all of us.

With Love and Gratitude,

Larry, for the Three Treasures Board


Please send donations and pledges to:

Three Treasures Sangha

P.O. Box 12542

Seattle, Wa 98111