The Power of Vow
Led by Shinbo Zengan Joseph Hall
What makes American Zen unique is that rather than becoming monks, we seek to take a monastic practice and integrate it into our everyday life. In this way, we seek to build something entirely new from an ancient teaching. The dharma rests on meditation, wisdom, and morality—the three-legged stool of practice, and while wisdom and meditation are always in demand in the West, ethics tend to get short shrift. But morality is not just something to keep vaguely in mind—doing the hard work of living well—following the Precepts—is doing the dharma, just as much as sitting on the cushion or studying sutras.
Over the course of the practice period we will investigate and explore the precepts as foundational tools that allow us to approach our everyday life with the ability to investigate, explore and refine ourselves and our relationship with the world around us. Beginning with a reading of Being Upright, by Reb Anderson, we will gain a practical understand of the 16 Zen Precepts, and then, taking them into the world, we will explore the intricacies that arise as they encounter the myriad things we encounter in a day. As we gather each week, we will have the opportunity to share our effort and experiences as we follow the path of practice as it winds through the hills and into the cities.
Joseph W Hall is a resident priest at Jikoji Zen Center. His energy is enthusiastically focused on the nexus between Lay Practice and the Monastic world and he is fascinated by the ways in which we interpret the world and the means by which physical motion trains the mind. He wakes up in the morning excited to witness the ongoing birth of American Zen. His favorite words are Sublime, Exquisite, and Ravissant. His blog can be found here.