Saturday, December 30, 2017

Step One Koan and 2018 ...


Step 1:  We admitted we were powerless over something -- that our lives had become unmanageable.

Koan: My barn having burned to the ground, I can now see the moon.

Mizuta Masahide  1657-1723

As usual, we'll be meeting on the second Friday,  January 12th.

Bill K.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Step 12, Buddha nature and Fire Buddhas

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and practice these principles in all our affairs.

“What is spiritual awakening?  It is waking to the flow of the moment and living in harmony with it.”  Rami Shapiro Recovery – the sacred art

Dale pointed out that the Big Book has a description of spiritual awakening: “We have ceased fighting anything or anyone…” P. 84

Koan: Since we all have Buddha nature, why do we practice?

The short answer, because we are human.  “Because I forget,” said Dale this evening.

— Hakuin Ekaku

All beings by nature are Buddha,
just as ice and water are the same;
apart from water there is no ice,
apart from beings no Buddha.

I read an article in one of the Buddhist magazines where the author mentioned Christianity’s doctrine of original sin and then wondered if Buddhism was about original good.  This notion has stuck with me ever since – for me it’s realizing that we all have Buddha nature.  It’s always available to us.  “Right now, it’s like this”…we’re buddhas, we’re awake, we’re alcoholics, we help others who are suffering, this is why we practice.

It reminded Dale of the book Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das. He said there’s God Eminent “out there” and God Immanent within myself – the way I view Buddha nature.

“Buddha nature pervades the whole universe, existing right here now.”

My friends John and Rebecca lost their home to the October Tubbs Fire. Last week he had asked Bob C. to come over to the ashes and debris to haul some things away.  It was there that Bob noticed a scorched Buddha and Kwan Yin in the rubble.  “Don’t you want these” he asked? John said he could take them if he wanted.  When Bob first set eyes on these statues, he knew deep down they were special.

He sent me a photo of the statues and I agreed, they had a powerful effect on me, too.  Something about them resonated to my core – “Buddha nature pervades the whole universe, existing right here now.”

“What shall I do with them,” he asked?  Let me just say they have found the perfect home.  When Roshi heard about these special statues, he immediately offered up his zendo as a home, where they can speak to us if we're open to it.

Another way to look at this, I draw from my (small “s”) source; from the things around me like the 12 Steps and meetings; and there’s also the (great “S”) SOURCE, where I seek God consciousness, my Higher Power within, my True Self, Buddha nature.

“Buddha nature:  The true, immutable, and eternal nature of all
beings.  Since all beings possess this Buddha nature, it is possible
for them to attain enlightenment and become a Buddha.”
Then there are those times when I feel disconnected and not a part of what is happening around me…and perhaps drop into a “poor me” state of mind.  The Big Book warns us of this, the consequences of self-centeredness.  Tapping into my Buddha nature brings me back to what is. Dale reminded me of this when he said, “I practice to transcend separateness -- we are all connected.”

"Until I understood and accepted my status as a human being, my effort toward seeking God was in vain."

Nanaimo, British Columbia, February 2003 ("My Name Is Gary and I'm a Human Being," from Spiritual Awakenings

 As Bill Wilson puts it, "When a man or a woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone."  Buddha nature is my source.

Why do I practice?  So I can remember this.

Bill K.

[Koans] are “…doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”