Wednesday July 10, 2013 I will be speaking at Upaya Zen Center 1404 Cerro Gordo Road Santa Fe, NM, 87501. A few people have written to ask me the schedule. They told me, “The dharma talk starts at 5:30pm on Wednesday and goes for one hour.” Someone wrote in asking if there was zazen first. I don’t know. I’m expecting to start talking at 5:30, though.
People often ask this kind of thing because they want to skip the meditation and just come to the talk. This always kind of makes me sad. It’s like they don’t want the nutritious dinner, they just want the empty calories in the dessert. Ah well.
Also tonight, like every Monday from now till the End Of Time, we will hold a zazen meeting at 7:35pm Golden Folk Wellness 1615 Lucile Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90026.
I’ve come across a few items in the news recently that I think deserve comment.
The most disturbing of these news stories is word of a series of bombs being set off at Bodh Gaya, the supposed spot where Buddha attained enlightenment in what is now Bihar, India. At Bodh Gaya there is a fig tree that is believed to be a descendant of the tree that Buddha sat under 2500 years ago. The tree was not damaged, nor was anyone killed or injured in the blasts. But the fact that they happened at all is unsettling.
Last I heard, nobody really knew why the attack happened. Some speculate it might be retaliation for what certain “Buddhists” are doing in Burma and Sri Lanka. That seems likely to me. If the Bodhi Tree is blown up because people are killing in the name of Buddhism, well maybe that’s just the way karma works. They really need to cut that shit out.
This is an interesting article in response to the widely propagated idea that meditation can be an excellent tool for boosting productivity. The folks who did that Wisdom 2.0 conference are really into this idea. While the author says this may be true, and I agree, it’s like saying your car can be a really useful greenhouse. I like this analogy. You could use your car as a greenhouse and it might even work out pretty well. But you’d be wasting all the other things that a car can do for you.
The samurai found that meditation helped them be better killers. But some of them surely discovered other things while they sat. Which brings us to our next article.
This is an interesting article about a psychological study whose results tend to imply that meditation increases a person’s likelihood of behaving in compassionate ways. Without any sort of moral training component, the practice of meditation alone seems linked to more compassionate behavior. I’d like to believe this is true. I think it is. But I also don’t want to give up emphasizing moral behavior and the Buddhist Precepts.
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I’ll leave you with this new video about my current book:
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