Clear Mind Zen
With respect, I am Rev. Daiho Hilbert
Order of Clear Mind Zen.
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Dharma Talk for May 23,2017
With respect for all,
The time is 9:07 and I am sitting outside at our patio table. The sky is a brilliant blue, cloudless, spreading from horizon to horizon. Public radio is offering “Performance Today” giving me a selection of beautiful classical music and for a moment here and there I am floating along the rivers of violin. Beautiful.
The birds are at the feeder and I’ve filled the birdbath. Suki is at my side, Kathryn is in her “chambers” doing her morning rituals involving coffee, chess, and radio. What I am describing is our fairly typical morning time, although we usually begin in the studio with conversation and coffee. Today we both woke early.
Coffee, paper, pen and the world around me; this is my life, or a god part of it, for if not pen and paper, then brush and canvas. It is a world of discovery through stillness and application through action. We sit in stillness and the world as it is rising up around us knocking on our consciousness. We walk in stillness and the world around us becomes a soft stream joining us in each step. Letting our self created ideas of is and ought come and go, there is only this sound, that sight; this thought, that feeling. What a wonder it is!
So, reflecting in the stream of the morning’s stillness, our lives take on a character. We will manifest that character through our actions during the day and night. Who are we? What are we capable of? What is in front of us this morning to do and how will we be in the doing of it?
Will we be gentle in tongue and step? Will we be compassionate for those who are angry and hurtful toward us or others? Will we be the buddhas we already are if only we were to allow ourselves that level of vulnerability and freedom?
I don’t believe we will be as we wish. I believe to be the person we would wish to be takes practice and deliberation. It takes discipline and a willingness to reside in doubt. Few of us have these attributes of character, although we each have the capacity. My prayer for the day is that I will, myself, bring into the world the love and compassion I feel and do so without fear. Now that makes my morning a first step toward liberation and revolution.
Dharma Talk for May 21, 2017
There are days when aspects of our lives seem overwhelming and there are days when everything seems like a dream come true, delightful and to be cherished. We tend to seek one and avoid the other. I have learned this is a mistake because we are always too close to actually know which is which, and indeed, they may not be different at all, depending on our point of view.
There was a Buddhist sage who taught us that to choose one or another takes us away from the Dharma. Why? Because the Dharma is simply the direct experience of reality. This is where we practice to abide. So, the “good” days and the “bad” days are neither good nor bad, they are simply and completely, our days.
To have a preference and to abide in that preference takes us away from what is actually there before us. Our life as it is in that moment, and the fact is, there can be no other moment. So, when happy, be happy; when sad, be sad. There is nothing more.
If this sounds a bit pessimistic it is not. What can possibly be greater than being awake in each and every breath? Regardless of our experience, each experience is but one facet of a greater diamond called our life. When dark here; light there. We might consider the flowers that bloom or the birds that sing or the clouds passing overhead. We might remember those who came before and those who will be to come in this vast eternal golden braid. Our pain on one day may be our joy in the next. But even if its not, it is still ours to experience and ours to learn from.
May we each remain in the present, period.
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Priests and Disciples in the lineage of Daiho-roshi are members of The Order of Clear Mind Zen and are committed to Engaged Practice.
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