Dear Sangha,

Foothill frog added to state's endangered species list - The Sun-Gazette  Newspaper

“I have a firm belief in this now. Not only in terms of my own experience, but in knowing the experience of other people. When you follow your bliss. And by bliss I mean the deep sense of being in it and doing what the push is out of your own existence. And it may not be fun. But it is your bliss. And there is bliss behind pain too. You follow that and doors will open where there were no doors before, where you would not have thought there would be doors, and there wouldn’t be doors for anybody else. There is something about the integrity of life and the world moves in and helps. It really does. And so I think that the best thing that I can say is follow your bliss. If your bliss is just your fun and your excitement, you’re on the wrong track. I mean, you need instruction. Know where your bliss is. And that involves coming down to a deep place in yourself,” – Joseph Campbell

Many of us came to Zen practice looking for bliss – in all the wrong places. We wanted to trade in our pain, suffering, frustration, anger, grief, lust, fear of whatever, for some of the Zen bliss that seemed promised on the postcards from the romantic past. Well at least Zenho did. “Yeah. I want some more of that Satori stuff.”

You see, we think that we know what is on the other side of all those doors, all these gateless gates. And what will be best for the Cosmos that holds us – “Yeah. What will be best for the Cosmos is me getting more Vermont Maple syrup!”  The first Zen Peacemaker precept is “Not knowing,” and we’ve added “No ‘no’ing” (No-‘no’ing to the gates presented for us). In “knowing” I project something onto reality, in the process killing my curiosity, killing the juiciness of suchness before it has the opportunity of breathing and blooming. The evil that crushes the isness out of our lives.

We are going to be gathering as Sangha in couple of weeks for Zazenkai. We are going to delve into the precepts. Bliss upon bliss, regardless of what lies behind door #1. We will have an opportunity to explore our personal intimacy with the precepts, and the different flavors that arise through exploring the precepts within the refuge of Sangha. I’m really curious.

Dongshan was by a stream one day, washing his bowls alongside a fellow monk. Two birds hurtled out of the sky grabbing up a frog. Flying in opposite directions, they tore the frog in half. The monk screamed in anguish “Why does it come to this?” After a moment, Dongshan responded, “It is only for your benefit.”

8 Deep Bows

Issan & Zenho

Other stuff: Issan Sensei and Zenho Sensei have returned from wanderings 

Schedule, 7/31-8/6

Monday: 6:30 AM Zazen at the Tea House

Tuesday: 7 PM, Dream Koan, at the Tea House  zoom and in-person

Wednesday: 6:30 AM, Zazen at the Tea House zoom and in-person

Thursday: 6:30 AM Vajrakilaya Sadhana

Friday: 6:30 AM Zazen and Dokusan at Tea House Zoom not offered

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