We are so psyched that New Haven Zen Center and Trinity Zen Group Guiding Teacher Ken Kessel received transmission on Saturday as Zen Master Jok Um. Ken has provided many hours of retreat time and given many talks at Trinity College. Congratulation. He is shown with members of the New Haven Zen Center sangha at the Provident Zen Center in Cumberland, R.I., where the ceremony was conducted.
Have a mindful break!!
“But for many of us Buddhists, whether we like it or not, form is kind of a big deal. And it can be a source of stress. We wonder as we make that offering at the altar if what we’re doing is culturally relevant or if it’s just foreign superstition. As we look up at a teacher who is seated, literally and figuratively, above us, we ask, Does it have to be this way? And when a senior student pulls us aside to tell us we’re bowing incorrectly or that we need to hold our sutra book just so or that we ate our foods in the wrong order, we may simply think, You’ve got to be kidding me.”
It seems obvious: we would not be able to practice without our body. And yet we often take the body for granted, viewing it as little more than a source of suffering rather than the precious opportunity for cultivation that it is. In this series, meditation teacher Ralph Steele renews our appreciation for the body by delving into embodied mindfulness, concentration, and insight practices from the Theravada Buddhist tradition. – From Tricycle Magazine.
Great piece by friend and Buddhist Teacher Paul Bloom, published recently in The New Haven Register.
“It is important to recognize that concern doesn’t equal hatred — let’s start there. Concern about policies and differences of opinion are about democracy. We should all note that President Obama has welcomed the incoming president on a number of occasions, as we all should. In a November address to the nation, Obama also pointed to the importance of “a sense of unity; a sense of inclusion; a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law; and a respect for each other.”
“You know who said it best? Leonard Cohen. He meditated all those years at Mt. Baldy Zen Center, often for twelve hours at a time. In an interview, he said his storyline just wore itself out. He got so bored with his dramatic storyline. And then he made the comment, ‘The less there was of me, the happier I got.'” – Pema Chodron