Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Big Sit

Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, proposes in their last issue a 90 days Meditation Challenge:

• Sit in formal meditation for 20 minutes each day.

• Listen to one dharma talk each week on tricycle.com.

• Study Dogen’s Genjokoan, the text selected for the period.

• Commit to the sixteen bodhisattva precepts.

• Practice with others at tricycle.com or at a local meditation center.

• Begin when you like. Tricycle’s staff will begin February 23.

I will participate in this challenge, and encourage you to sign up for it !

Sitting in meditation for 20 minutes is not a very difficult thing to do. Actually, we do it twice every Wednesday evening during out sitting sessions. What is more difficult is to stick with it, daily, to have enough guts to say “This is important, and I am going to do it, every morning. Such a challenge, for a limited duration of 90 days, is a fun and reasonable goal to set. And it is always easier to practice with others. Even if you do not know them, you will know that other people participate, and that is a powerful motivating factor !

Dharma talks are lectures about the Dharma (The philosophy of Buddhism), to be given by several Zen instructors. They are always interesting. I do not know how they will be given, I hope in writing, for my slow connection does not do MP3 files very well. We will see !

Genjokoan is the 3rd Chapter of Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo, in which he summarizes most of his conceptions about Zen. This text is more difficult than Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s lectures in Zen Mind, Beginner’s mind. It is however extremely interesting, and will get us into the core of Soto Zen. I am currently studying it with Sensei Elliston, the Abbot of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, and this would be a perfect opportunity to try to share with you what I am trying to learn !

Take this as a challenge to yourself, a fun thing to do. You have nothing to lose but ½ hour a day for 90 days, and you could gain a lot from it.

Visit the BIG SIT page, see if you'd like it, and sign up !

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