The Buddha was Smiling

As many of you know, Change Your Mind Day started in 1993 by Tricycle Magazine. Tricycle’s intention was to hold the event outside, similar to the teachings that the Buddha held. The idea is to make the Dharma accessible, for those that maybe feel uncomfortable entering a center. It is an opportunity to not only learn about meditation, but to ask questions to those that have walked the path for a while.

Change You Mind Day – Cape Cod set out with the same goal. Dharma friend, Annette Miller, was the main force behind the event. She did all the dirty work, talking with the town to get usage of the village green, setting up the schedule, arranging times to meet with other folks that were involved, etc. She couldn’t have chosen a better place to host the event. In Hyannis (which is centrally located on Cape Cod), there is a very busy main street, with lots of foot traffic, especially this time of year.

Continue reading →

Random Search Terms…

I’d love to share all the wacky search terms I get on this blog, but today I saw one and figured I’d answer it. Maybe I’ll start doing a post or two, now and again, addressing some of the searches that come in, anyway…

The question/ search term: What does it mean when a mala breaks?

Answer: It is broken.

Change Your Mind Day – Cape Cod 2011

In 1993 Tricycle Magazine created Change Your Mind Day, an afternoon of
free meditation instruction, as a way of introducing the general public to Buddhist thought and practice.

This is an opportunity to learn about various kinds of meditation offered on Cape Cod.

If you have ever been curious about how to start meditating; or what different groups are available to you and how they vary, this is the time and place to find out.

The event runs from 10 am – 3pm on June 4th (with a rain date set for June 5th)

Guided Meditation (throughout the sitting) on the half hour (20 min.)

On-going Silent Meditation

Talks by different teachers on the hour. 10 AM Jim Calvin – Cape Cod Zen Center, 11 AM Jim Kirshner – Thich Nhat Hahn Group Hyannis, 12 NOON Dan Joslin – Falmouth Zen Center, 1 PM Chuck Hotchkiss – Zen Teacher – Truro, 2 PM Barbara Walsh – Cambridge Zen Center

Question & Answer time after each talk and at each teacher’s information table.

Groups that will be represented:

Soto Zen (Japan),
Korean Zen
Thich Nhat Hanh Groups
Insight Meditation
oldpondmind (Zen)
Brewster Meditation Circle;
Tibetan Meditation
Non-sectarian Meditation
Vishvash Meditation

The event is free, there is no admission fee!

Happy Vesak 2011

For many Buddhists, Vesak is a time of renewal. It is a day to rededicate ourselves to our practice, and to the reason(s) we all started out on this path in the first place.

With pure admiration of your practice, I bow to you all and wish you an enjoyable and good Vesak Day!

Bringing Anger and Aggression to the Path

Today, I’d like to welcome Craig Mollins from Mindfulness Anger Management. This is Craig’s first time being part of the Buddho-Blogosphere Article Swap, and I am very excited that the magical hat paired him up with me. To be honest, it was odd that the hat paired us, maybe not odd but “meant to be” to add some cliché pizazz here. His post has really hit home for me, and has helped me understand somethings about myself, I hope you gain as much as I did from Craig’s article.

As a youngster and up until about age 21, I got in many dozens of fist fights. I had some natural talent so most of my fights ended with the other guy flat on his back, cold as a fish. My skill came from a number of factors. One was that I had a laser sharp focus and knew exactly where to hit people. Also, I hit with a sledgehammer strength and one punch was usually all it took to get the job done. But I think the most significant factor was that I had a deep aggressive tendency; I had no hesitation in, and indeed took great pleasure in, the act of hitting someone with every ounce of my considerable strength with a desire to knock them fully unconscious.

Thus it was an unlikely and very fortunate turn of events that I would discover Buddhism when I was 18 years old.

My first encounter with meditation was in martial arts training, where we would sit quietly at the beginning of class to let go of the business of the day and calm our mind. Later I discovered an article on the ‘noble eightfold path’ in a martial arts magazine. That article made so much sense to me and I felt deeply connected and relieved to read it. It was like I had finally come home after wandering around lost for such a long time.

Continue reading →

Gītassara Sutta: A Brief Commentary

Rod, from The Worst Horse and Shambhala SunSpace, posted this the other day on Facebook. It got my mind buzzing again, as it does from time to time, about the relevancy of music to Dharma practice.

The Gītassara Sutta

Bhikkhus, there are five dangers of reciting the Dhamma with a musical intonation. What five?

Oneself gets attached to the sound others get attached to the sound, householders are annoyed, saying, “Just as we sing, these sons of the Sakyan sing”, the concentration of those who do not like the sound is destroyed, and later generations copy it.

These, monks, are the five dangers of reciting the Dhamma with a musical intonation.

Continue reading →

Interview with author, Stephen Asma

I recently had the opportunity to speak, briefly by e-mail, with author of “Why I Am A Buddhist…” and “Buddha, A Beginners Guide”.

PM: Hi Stephen, thanks for taking some time to talk with me. I just got done
reading your book, “Why I Am A Buddhist…”, and I’m glad you wrote it.
You mention at the beginning, people may not know you, so why pick the book up? Here’s a small opportunity to let people know just who you are. What’s your background? Do you follow any particular tradition/ lineage? Why Buddhism?

Stephen Asma: I’m a professor of philosophy at Columbia College in Chicago, and Buddhist philosophy is one of my areas of interest. I lived in Cambodia for a while and also China, studying and teaching Buddhism. I’ve studied Buddhism in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Hong Kong. I’ve written three books on Buddhism, and I tend to stress the Theravada traditions of Southeast Asia.

I learned about Buddhism originally when I was in high school, because I really liked Zen art forms, but then I started studying its philosophy formally in college. After I got my PhD I travelled throughout Asia and studied Buddhism “on the ground” so to speak. I think Buddhism has wonderful psychological techniques for disciplining the mind and bringing greater tranquility into one’s life –no matter what culture you were raised in.

Continue reading →