photo credit: Flowery *L*u*z*a*
In Lost Coin practice we talk about actions being “mechanical” happening on their own, without consciousness. It seems negative but it really isn’t. Because we are mechanical we have a wonderful opportunity for freedom. We do so much asleep imagine what we would do and realize if we just began to awake.
We have heard this requires, knowledge, practice, a group to work with and a teacher. The teacher needs to be connected to a real source. Even if we find these things it isn’t easy but it is an objective way in which we can make real efforts and produce real results. We can run our lives rather than being the recipient or victim of our experience.
In our normal state its like being in an airplane that is on automatic pilot. The pilot has gotten used to this convenience so he is fast asleep. The airplanes destination has been decided a long time ago by conditioning, by others’ aims. The flight plan doesn’t include the pilots desires or deeper understandings of a meaningful destination.
We are these pilots. Some of us are fast asleep, some sleeping lightly, some just drowsing. The ones that are just drowsing have dreams in which they have lost or forgotten something, something important.
In the busy-ness of my life, at times I let some things slip to the side, at times other things. Saying that it’s all about priorities doesn’t always mean that the “important” things get done; priorities shift, sometimes within the space of moments. The only thing that is sure is that I never get it all done.
Doen talks about not living our lives saying “if only, if only, if only . . . ”—and the next word in that line is “dead.” We can spend our whole lives waiting for things to line up, to be just right, before we start on a project that we’ve always wanted to do, or spend time with a friend or relative, or any of a million things that we think of but don’t act on.
It’s certainly something that I do, but I do it less often because I hear Doen’s voice saying “if only, if only, if only . . . dead.” Tonight, after tucking my daughter in, I thought through the many things I could do: make salsa from the tomatoes from my garden and can it for a cold Winter day; write to an old friend; read a novel; watch a movie; hey—I could get some sleep. But I realized it’s Poem Saturday and, dammit, I need to post. As so often happens, this poem popped right out as I was looking for one, and it fits perfectly with the “I’ll do it when . . .” syndrome.
(Many thanks to my brother, who called me one morning from Thailand, out of the blue, to read this to me on a day when it was exactly what I needed to hear.)
“—you know, I’ve either had a family, a job,
something has always been in the
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
for the first time in my life I’m going to have
a place and the time to
no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
you’re going to create
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.
baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
Photo by tanakawho
This week Doen Sensei will be joining Thich Nhat Hanh in Colorado, and reading from his upcoming book Wonderland: The Zen of Alice.
A list of all scheduled book reading and signing events is available here. We hope to see you at one of the events.
Pre-orders for Wonderland: The Zen of Alice are available at Amazon with a 26% off discount. The book has been steadily rising in Amazon’s sales rankings. The rank fluctuates daily, but it was recently ranked around #30,000 overall (up from #200,000 last week). It was also ranked #15 in the Zen Philosophy category.
Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered the book, your support is much appreciated. If you haven’t ordered yet and would like to, click here to pre-order.
Daniel Doen Silberberg Sensei talks about his teacher Genpo Roshi and about having a tough teacher, on the pursuit of enlightenment via training versus learning, how information is of no help in gaining enlightenment, and reads from Maezumi Roshi’s writings on being.
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Daniel Doen Silberberg Sensei follows up in Part 2 by reading from “Moon in a Dewdrop” by Eihei Dogen, in which Dogen talks about time and being. Doen follows up this reading by talking about Dogen’s importance to the Soto school and discusses being one with your life and death.
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Wonderland: A Voyage With Doen Sensei and the Lost Coin Sangha
Venture down the rabbit hole with Daniel Doen Silberberg Sensei, author of the forthcoming Wonderland: The Zen of Alice, as he reveals the Wonderland that is our lives.
Doen Sensei will conduct a retreat in the dramatic Wasatch Mountains of Utah from September 18 through 21, 2009.
We often hear about and search for the “other shore,” or Wonderland, and try to figure out how to get there. The practice of Buddhism has pointed to this other shore for thousands of years; it’s the realm where body and mind fall away. If we persist in our search for it and are lucky enough to find a rabbit hole, at the end of our travels we might find that this shore really is the other shore, and our wondrous lives and deaths are themselves the Wonderland that we seek.
The retreat will be held at The Inn at Solitude. Rooms are very reasonably priced (a special rate of $139) and can be shared. For a 360 degree view, check out http://www.skisolitude.com/accommodations/inn.php. Camp sites are also available at the nearby Spruces Camp Grounds or, even closer to Solitude, Redman Camp Grounds. It may be best to reserve your camp site in advance.
Please call 1-800-731-5061 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. To register for the retreat, please visit www.lostcoinzen.com/retreat. Registration fees for the retreat are $275.
If you would like to reserve a room at Solitude, please contact Jeremy Chase at 801-536-5721 or email@example.com and mention that you are with Lost Coin.