Zuangzi and Butterfly

Dear Mugai Sangha,

Friday was Canada Day, and tomorrow is the 4th of July. Celebrating our independence and freedom. And recently Juneteenth, marking the delayed emancipation, but not necessarily freedom, of some members of our Sangha.

Freedom means different things for different people.

And in our Zen, Freedom has a unique flavor:

Practice, or play, laughing

If you call it either.

Exhausting the chains of 

“Be aware of your thoughts,”

Falling freely into the

Clarity of sleep

Emerging through

Gateless Gate dreaming

Roaming heaven and earth

In a single stride

Practice, or play, crying 

If you call it neither.

Freedom means different things for different people. Roaming heaven and earth, how do we actualize it for all Beings? First, avoid Evil. Then, do Good. Then, do Good for others. How do we each avoid Evil? Best to look inside first.

I had a dream the other night: I’m with Issan practicing Zen stuff (Issan and I have been bringing dream-koan practice, and Vajrakilaya practice, and Green Tara practice into our stupa of Zen practice) really hard and we have a dream in which Maezumi Roshi comes to us and says “Go faster.” We then see some other people who have already heard of this amazing story and ask me, “So Maezumi Roshi was there and said “Go faster?” I am aware that they mean “there” in the sense of ordinary physical consciousness. For me, there is no real membrane between dream and ordinary waking consciousness. “Yes” I answer and then I am out on a street with lots of people who are familiar to me, and none recognizable. A feeling of intimacy with the unknown. A mid-20s brunette woman runs up and we leap into each other’s arms and are kissing and somehow spinning and sitting upon each other’s thighs, almost as if we are growing out of each other, feeling deeper and deeper intimacy.

I’m feeling encouraged by Maezumi Roshi to go faster. And shed whatever holds me back. We have the freedom of his encouragement, making this Zen our Zen. In making it our Zen, we will have the freedom to share intimately with countless Beings.

Thank you for being on this Path with me/us.

Schedule July 4 – July 10:

Monday, 6:30AM, Zazen at the Tea House

Tuesday, 7PM, Dream Koan, at the Tea House or Zoom

Wednesday, 6:30AM, Zazen at the Tea House or Zoom with Zenho Sensei

Thursday, 6:30AM, Vajrakilaya Sadhana, In person at the Tea House or Zoom

Friday, 6:30AM, Zazen at The Tea House

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