A Zen Buddhist Society
For more information contact Tash: firstname.lastname@example.org
May's tanto is Don Stoddard. See Meditation Practice for more details on Training Leaders and Practice meetings.
Please note change of date for September 18-23 sesshin. This was previously given as September 19-23
Words from the Tanto
I will be Training Leader for the month of August and will be available for practice meetings with any of you who have a question or issue you want to share after Sunday zazen and at other times of mutual convenience. Please don't hesitate to call on me if you feel I can be of assistance or you just want to bring something up.
It seems, sometimes, it's enough of a challenge sustaining our practice during formal periods of zazen buttressed by our familiar zabuton, zafu, incense, and bell-delineated blocks of time. Then, we're called on to continue practice in our daily life of work and family, planning and doing, getting and spending. How do we do that? And, is the term "practice" going to require some amplification? This is a fruitful area for sangha sharing that we may look at in the future. But, for now, I'd like to offer a simple suggestion.
Each of our days provides opportunities that we can "link" to our formal practice, be it breath counting, koan, or shikantaza. Standing in line at the market or waiting in traffic are common experiences. Instead of turning on the car radio or reading the Weekly World News why not look on this as a precious few moments to count, follow the breath, just stand or sit?
Move the books and magazines out of the bathroom for a while and create another opportunity. Defecating, urinating, showering, shaving. If it's not possible to just do them without bringing something else in, bring in your breathing.
We often try to fill the "spaces" so as not to waste time. We listen to the radio as we do the dishes and feel we're getting two things done at the same time. Juggling has its own pleasures, to be sure; how many balls can we keep in the air? But what are the consequences for "right now?"
Try modifying one or another of your routines to "seed" your practice throughout the day. See what happens. Then, let the rest of us know.
Dharma Assembly with Danan Henry
A Dharma Assembly with Danan Henry, one of Aitken Roshi's longtime students, will be held at Palolo on Sunday, August 2. Sitting will start at 9:00 AM with sutras and one round of zazen Around 10:00 AM we'll have the Dharma Assembly, followed by two rounds of zazen. We'll end sometime around noon and then take tea.
LTPSC Event on August 9
On the 9th of August we will sit from 8-10 AM. Then the Long Term Planning Steering Committee will lead a sangha meeting from 10 - 12 PM.
This meeting will begin the next stage in the process of developing the sangha's 10 year plan. At previous meetings we identified strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. Then we imagined the Honolulu Diamond Sangha in 2008 with all of the features we would like to see in place. The steering committee has gone through this material to identify a number of themes that have broad sangha support. We will work with some of these themes to explore how we can develop and incorporate elements in our plan to support their achievement. All are invited to attend, participation in the previous meetings is not a requirement. Come with an open mind, a spirit of play, and a willingness to approach the meeting and its process as a part of your practice. Cookies and tea will follow.
August 30 Sunday Sitting at Koko An
Our sister sangha, the Honolulu Vipassana group, will be holding a retreat at Palolo from August 28 through August 30, Friday through Sunday. So we we'll be holding our Sunday sitting at Koko An that Sunday. Parking can be difficult when attendance is high, so drivers might want to consider carpooling.
Sangha Sesshin will begin at 8:30 am Saturday the 22nd and end at 4:30 PM on Sunday the 23rd. The program will follow the sesshin schedule. At 2:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday, Don Stoddard will give a dharma talk which will be followed by a dharma assembly.
Sesshin is a wonderful opportunity to realize how we, together, create the conditions that support all of us in our practice. This is a time to intensify our zazen; to continue that spirit through our chanting, our kinhin, our formal meals; in particular, to see our sesshin job, whatever it may be, as another occasion for practice and an expression of our Bodhisattva Vows.
Newer members can learn sesshin and mealtime procedures, and get a sense of the sesshin experience in preparation for Nelson's sesshin in September and November. Part-timers are welcome; they will also share in the responsibility of making the sesshin go smoothly for all. If you have never attended sesshin here, full-time participation is encouraged. Please sign up as far in advance as possible to lessen the work for those doing preparation. You can get a sign-up form from Tash or pick one up on Sunday at Palolo. If you have questions, ask the Training Leader or one of the other tantos.
If you would like to do sesshin but hesitate due to the cost, please consult Tash. The Board is still working on our sesshin scholarship policy, but interim arrangements can be made.
Giving dana to the sangha has many benefits. Sometimes these include tax benefits. Here are a few examples:
Automobiles: We have been receiving gifts of automobiles for a while now. Giving an auto rather than selling it and giving the net cash benefits you in two ways. You save the effort of selling the car and you get the current retail fair market value as a tax deduction (when you sell or trade in a car normally you get far less than the retail fair market value).
Stocks, Mutual Funds and Real Estate: You also gain a double benefit from contributing long-term, capital-gain property. First you receive a charitable deduction for the current fair market value of your gift. Second, you avoid paying any capital-gain tax on the appreciation. If you give stock worth
$1000 that you bought for $500, you get a deduction for $1000 without paying capital gain tax on the increase in value from $500 to $1000. While these benefits relate only to those who itemize their deductions for tax purposes, structuring your dana in this way can afford such members the means to provide additional support to the Sangha. We are set up to receive gifts of automobiles and investment securities (as well as cash). If you are thinking of contributing please give Tash a call at 735-1347 for details.
Danan Henry, Aitken Roshi's old student, is coordinating a project to transcribe Roshi's teisho on cases from the Hekiganroku, the Blue Cliff Record. Anyone with a tape player and typewriter or computer can participate. Danan will mail you a tape of the teisho; you transcribe it and mail back the tape and a floppy or hard copy of the transcription. If you'd like to help, contact Danan (before August 12) at 808-965-1425 between 8 and 8:30 AM, Hawai'i time.
Housing for Augusto
Augusto Alcalde Roshi will be visiting Honolulu from Argentina, September 14 to October 2. He would like to house-sit if possible. If you need a house-sitter during this period, please call the zendo office at 735-1347 to make arrangements.
Fix Koko An?
Our dear old Koko An is deteriorating. Full repairs and restoration would cost many thousands of dollars. Should we refinance the current mortgage? Should we borrow extra money in order to make these repairs?
The Board wishes to bring this matter before the sangha. We have set aside some time on Sunday, August 16, to discuss and decide. We will gather for our usual 9-11 AM zazen, then meet for an hour, then take tea.
Sixteen people participated in July's sangha hike along the Judd Memorial Trail enjoying much camaraderie, sharing of picnic food, and great views. Thank you to Joe Rothstein for leading us and to Bartlett Durand for ensuring no one got left behind. We will do another easy-to-moderate hike on August 16th. Carpool vehicles will depart from Palolo following the Sunday Event around 12:30. Please bring a bag lunch, water, rain gear, and protection from sun and mosquitoes. We should be done by 5:00 or 6:00 PM. If participants are interested a brief period of silent hiking meditation can be incorporated. Instruction in this practice will be available. Call Vicki Stoddard at 947-8769 for more information.
For more information contact Tash: email@example.com or call the zendo office at 808-735-1347
If you have any additions, corrections or comments about the HDS web page, you can e-mail Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org