A Summer Cloud

Don’t think I’ve gone two weeks without a blog post since I started this thing 3+ years ago.

My energy has been elsewhere, jumping into a new job.

There’s a rising awareness (check out the NPR series here) about drop-out kids and the impacts that dropping out has on them and everyone. Even in Minnesota where we think we’re all so above average, we have only a 65% graduation rate.

3,800 young people drop out of high school every year in Hennepin County alone (that includes Minneapolis and suburbs but not St. Paul).

Thanks to some strong and passionate leadership, a bunch of resources are being applied to the problem here and  I’m leading the team in one school program to pull it together fast and make a difference.

Challenging work that feels good through and through.

And I don’t think Zen practice has been less on my mind in the 34 years since I first plopped onto a zafu.

But there’s still this little niggling matter that has been coming up as presented in the old Diamond Sutra. Zen fans everywhere know it. The heart of it seems to be all about bodhisattvas not being bodhisattvas and therefore being bodhisattvas.

Seems to me that’s a whole lot of dharma misdirection.

The sutra begins with the Buddha putting on his robe, going on alms gathering, eating, and then sitting.

After all, that’s the real deal. 

Dogen Did Not Practice Shikantaza and Even Had a Gaining Idea
The Deeply Settled Heart: Home-based Practice Period Invitation
On Receiving Inka Shomei from James Myoun Ford Roshi
BTW, We Have to Remove Your Feet: Being Mortal, Waking Up, and Dying Together
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10143539688968163158 Judy

    Hi Dosho,I'm not sure what you mean by "I don't think Zen practice has been less on my mind in the 34 yrs since I first plopped onto a zafu".Isn't our zen practice taking place constantly as we try to do our best, moment by moment, to work open-heartedly with whatever arises, inside us and outside us..? Are you referring to the sitting zazen posture aspect of zen practice..?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04878684373898294730 Dosho Port

    Judy,No I wasn't referring to sitting which I've continued. By "on my mind" I meant how I'm usually rolling around some aspect of the dharma, a Dogen passage, something Katagiri or a koan, for example. I've been so engrossed in work, there's been no room for Zen distractions!Dosho

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10143539688968163158 Judy

    I'm having trouble with the language I guess. Or maybe you're joking..? I can't tell without a facial expression. :-(You're not saying that zen practice is a "distraction" from the intensity of living and working, are you..?Though of course everything can be used as an escape and distraction, including zen, dharma quotes, koans..

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04878684373898294730 Dosho Port

    JudyI'm being facetious. And I agree that "Zen" can be a distraction to living like the Buddha. Getting up in the morning, washing my face, saying Good Morning, coffee, off to work.Dosho

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10681838598338633662 Zendudest

    Hi Dosho: a bit off topic but I was just listening to a podcast posted on 'Sweeping Zen' and near the end you mentioned a story you had heard about Bodhin Roshi. I was at that sesshin many years ago (now nearly 20) and can verify that Bodhin Roshi did excoriate us all as follows: 'Next sesshin?! Next sesshin??!! There is no NEXT SESSHIN!'He then urged us all to dive deeper into Mu as there was still "PLENTY of time left". And yes, it was at the Arnold Park Zendo. Bryan

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04878684373898294730 Dosho Port

    Brian, thanks for the detail.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10681838598338633662 Zendudest

    Another bit of detail:At RZC there are two dokuson periods the last day of sesshin. One during the first morning set of rounds (from around 4:40-7 am) and another starting around 11:30 and going 'until everyone who needs to go' has had dokuson.So this bit of encouragement (which resonates with me even as I type this) was near the tail end of the early morning dokuson.Plenty of time indeed! Bryan

  • http://mrtakuan.wordpress.com/ mrtakuan

    "The sutra begins with the Buddha putting on his robe, going on alms gathering, eating, and then sitting."Isn't that amazing!