Retreat!

Retreat!

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Just a few days left until our Better Than Good workshop in Boulder, Utah.  We have a great group coming from around the United States and abroad–and we still have a few spots left!
If you’d like to bring a friend, please do–your friend will get a 25% discount on the registration fee.
Again, the workshop will be held in Boulder, Utah, at the Boulder Mountain Lodge (home of the Hell’s Backbone Grill–don’t miss the ginger cake; I’ve never had anything like it.)
The workshop will emphasize the core trainingof Lost Coin Zen.  Participants will come away from the workshop with tools to apply to their daily lives.  These tools are contemporary as well as deeply rooted in traditional practice and are part of the emerging paradigm Lost Coin embraces and Doen Sensei refers to as the “age of amplification”.
We will sit zazen, have talks and interactive group trainings.  As always, Doen Sensei will conduct daisan (individual interviews and koan study with students), and we will also have time for solitary walks in the beautiful desert surrounding Boulder Mountain Lodge.
Please plan to arrive on the evening of June 25thto settle in.  We will start zazen at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, June 26th.  Our sitting area and the patio where we do kinhin (walking meditation) have lovely views of a pond that is also a bird refuge.  Update:  we are going to try to set up a covered outdoor sitting area to enjoy the weather and the unparalleled scenery.  Do bring a sun hat and sunscreen, though.
Boulder Mountain Lodge has very comfortable accommodations and an on-site restaurant, Hell’s Backbone Grill, which is known nationwide for its innovative cuisine.  We often share lively (and delicious) dinners at Hell’s Backbone.  Other options for lodging and dining are available, including nearby motels and camping sites and one restaurant within walking distance.  You are welcome to share rooms at the Lodge to reduce costs and enjoy each other’s company; if you are not a member of Lost Coin and would like to ask about room-sharing, please email contact@lostcoinzen.com.
We have reserved a block of rooms; please call and make your own reservations.  Rates vary by type of room, and more information can be found at the Boulder Mountain website (www.boulder-utah.com).  When you call, please let them know that you are part of Lost Coin.
Please bring your own zafu and zabuton-and if you’re coming from Utah and have extra zafus or zabutons, please bring them to share so that people arriving by plane do not have to pack them in their suitcases.
The tuition for this retreat/workshop is $250.
For more information or to register, visit http://lostcoinzen.com/retreat/,   email contact@lostcoinzen.com, or telephone Rebecca Long Okura at 801-550-8805 or toll-free at 800-731-5061.
photo by mycheesegrits

The Value of Not Knowing

Daniel Doen Silberberg Sensei talks about the first two Koans of the Blue Cliff Record and the ability to not know, as opposed to thinking that you know things. Knowing restricts you; not knowing is an open field.
1 of 2
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYVixd2Okk4
2 of 2
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oA4HNz_4aVY

Intent

Intent

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We have learned how to do things by thinking . . . and thinking can be a good tool.  It’s not the whole tool set.  When all you have is a hammer every problem tends to look like a nail.  We think, choose and act–well, sometimes.  A lot of the time we just think and then think some more.  Perhaps even more problematic is that what we call thought is often just a set of random associations based on the big thing we call fear, its smaller brother anxiety, then there are the cousins inertia and insecurity.
Practice differs from thought – it is practice in being and doing.  There is a place for thinking and analysis but there is another area that is very important in our training, development, and ability to do things – the cultivation of this area requires practice.
I would call this the area of “intent”.  Other related terms are will, commitment, focus, and spirit – the Chinese “Chi”.  Intent can cut through thought with both power and speed.  “I”s can be cultivated.  When people really want to develop or make something happen it is always there – it is not often spoken of.
Intent begins with the ability to wish.  You got to want it and you got to want it bad.  We can look at what we really want – then we can cultivate our intent.
Intent and spirit are not something we can understand.  They are forces.  They don’t seem to increase when we understand or think about them.  They do from practice.  They grow through focus and attention.  The cultivation of intent is a legacy in both the Zen and Fourth Way traditions.  Intent can be taught and cultivated.  Working in a group, or Sangha, can make efforts stronger.  It’s not really taught in words.  These words I’m writing are a song about intent.
Intent is a gift we all posses.  A lost coin.
Intent is not in the realm of thought and not to be understood.
Photo by JK***

A Box and Its Lid

This photographic show by Caryn Shudo Silberberg is the first part of a poem in images about the relationship of the ordinary and the sacred.  It is the result of long training in Zen as well as the photographic tradition that runs through John Daido Loori Roshi and Minor White to us.
– Doen



“Within light there is darkness
But do not try to understand that darkness”
from the Identity of the Relative and the Absolute


Please click on each image to view.