On Master Dogen’s “Uji” (“The Time-Being”)

Gendo Roshi‘s talk on Eihei Dogen Zenji’s essay “Uji” or “The Time-Being” appears below.

“Uji,” composed in 1240, is one fascicle of master Dogen’s extended work, The Kana Shobogenzo or Treasury of the True Dharma Eye.  You may read a translation of “Uji” here.

Gendo Roshi encourages the submission of comments here or on Great Wave’s YouTube channel.

Video of Memorial Service for Taizan Maezumi, Roshi

Image of the White Plum Asanga Crest
The White Plum Asanga Crest

Each year in May, White Plum Asanga teachers around the world commemorate the passing of our founder, Hakuyū Taizan Maezumi, Roshi, (February 24, 1931–May 15, 1995).  Because of the global coronavirus pandemic, however, this year’s memorial service was held informally via Zoom on May 15.  The service was recorded, and I am able to share the video with you now.  As you will see, Maezumi Roshi‘s surviving Dharma heirs each shared their reminiscences, including my teacher Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi.  The event revealed to me (and I’m sure it will to you too), just how important it is to perpetuate the Dharma through our unceasing practice and dedication.  It is a moving testimonial about the power that each of us has to promote a saner, happier world.

To watch the video, please use the link and password below.

In Gassho,
Gendo Roshi

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/7pFFCYnNsTJIHZXn7FvTaIUFQYj5T6a8h3IY__IMzEsO6tuzwtMcqUbidQ5ZuOn-

Access Password: 9w+w$@*y

COVID-19 Closures

To help support state-wide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, all scheduled meetings and events of the Great Wave Zen Sangha are canceled until further notice.  This cancellation applies to the Myogenji Temple in Ludington and our affiliate group in Grand Rapids.

At this time, we are not aware of anyone affiliated with the Sangha who has received a PUI (person under investigation) status or who has tested positive for COVID-19.

In the meantime, we encourage a strong, daily home practice.  Visitors may also want to watch some recent teisho by Gendo Roshi.

If you have any questions, please use our Contact form or call 231-907-2910.

 

Sweeping Clouds Zazenkai

“Clouds sweep the eternal sky; nesting in the moon, the crane—
The cold clarity gets into his bones, he can’t go to sleep.”
(From Case 7, Book of Serenity)
(Photo by Martin Koitmäe, 2009.)

There is a kind of cold that gets into our bones in January, but it is not the kind of cold that has to do with the weather. Cold, winter, and ice—these are Zen tropes for the mind that awakens in the midst of meditation. Please join us at Kyoseikan Dojo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the Sweeping Clouds Zazenkai. This retreat will begin at 7:00 PM, Saturday, January 25, and end at 4:30 PM, Sunday, January 26.

Practitioners of all levels of experience are welcome to attend this day that will be rich with opportunities for meditation, scripture recitation, teisho, and dokusan with Gendo Roshi. Two vegetarian meals will be included.

To participate, please complete our Event Registration Form by no later than January 22. Your timely registration and payment ($30) allow us to plan a menu and make other arrangements.

We look forward to practicing with you!

Changes to Weekly Zazen Schedule

Please note that our Wednesday evening zazen at Myogenji Temple in Ludington will change to Tuesday evenings, 7:15—8:30 PM, starting on September 10.  (Our Saturday morning zazen remains unchanged.)

Also, starting on September 8, weekly zazen at our Grand Rapids location (Kyoseikan Dojo) will take place every Sunday, 10:00—11:00 AM.

Please see our Events Calendar for location details.

Eco-Dharma at Great Wave Zen Sangha

Gendo Roshi
John Gendo Wolff, Roshi
It’s hard to imagine how Zen might live on beyond my lifetime if it were to be deprived of its ancient affinity with the natural world.  So much of Zen’s heritage is an attempt to convey an essentially wordless experience in naturalistic metaphors and poetry, language that reaches for the truth through an acute awareness and appreciation of the seasons, plants, trees, birds, fish, flowers, waters, and wind.

But the more I read about our current climate crisis, the more I am convinced that the historically comfortable relationship we have had with nature is in grave danger.  Many experts believe that we are fast approaching an unavoidable period of catastrophic environmental change for which we are politically and socially unprepared—and that is to say nothing of the lack of spiritual preparation that must necessarily precede any substantive change of course.

Deer seek refuge from the flames of a forest fire.

In saying this, I don’t wish to create a sense of despair about the future of our planet or to dismiss the good that many of us do by recycling, by not wasting resources, by simply appreciating what we have.  Again, however, many credible experts believe that those efforts, positive as they are, will not be enough to avert an environmental disaster—so I am concerned about what more might be done.  Of course, I am no environmental expert, and I have no way of knowing what the future holds.  What I do know, however, is that we are alive right now, and, “like fish in little water,” we can make sure we live like we appreciate that fact, especially as a manifestation of the universal interdependence that supports all life on the planet.  That is, I hope I might urge you to consider, with some level-headed urgency,  your relationship to the natural world and what you think our collective role in protecting it ought to be.  When I say “urgency,” I mean a kind of deeply spiritual determination to “practice the Way as though saving your head from fire.”  Today, some environmental activists might suggest, as global warming is now reaching

Dust plumes over India and Pakistan. (NASA)

truly unsurvivable levels in southern Asia and the mideast, that that “fire” may be more literal than metaphorical.

To help begin reflection and discussion on the climate emergency and how other Buddhists are shaping the “eco-dharma” movement in response, I hope you might sample at least one or two of a long list of resources that I have compiled.  I do not claim that the list is all-inclusive or that all items are perfectly valid, but they are all reasonably well-informed and intelligently expressed.  You’ll find this list at https://greatwave.org/eco-dharma-and-climate-crisis-resources/.   If you know of other resources that really ought to be added to the list, please add them in a comment to this post.

Then, beginning with the August 2019 Gate of Sweet Nectar sesshin (August 7 – 13), I will be providing important context for a series of eco-dharma events that are currently being planned by Kevin Muzo Holohan, myself, and others.  Using teisho, mindful walking outdoors, book discussions, and other activities, I hope to bring more focus on the spiritual crisis that lies like the greater mass of an iceberg below the surface of our current environmental woes.  If there is any way that you can attend this retreat, I hope you will register very soon.

While most of our future eco-dharma events are expected to be scheduled for 2020, the first one will take place next month (August), and I hope you will participate.  It is a beach sweep, organized in conjunction with the Adopt-A-Beach program of the Alliance for the Great Lakes.  Our beach sweep will

The Lake Michigan shore.

take place near the spectacular Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area, just north of Ludington, on Sunday, August 11, from 9:00 – 11:00 AM.  To register for this event, please visit http://greatlakesadopt.org/Secure/Event/15490.  (Note, if you have already registered for the August sesshin, during which this beach sweep takes place, you will still need to register separately for the sweep.  This helps the Alliance for the Great Lakes maintain its database of Adopt-A-Beach events.)

As we finish planning other events, they will, as always, be announced on the Great Wave Zen Sangha’s website, its Facebook page, and its Twitter feed.

◊ ◊ ◊

Many of you know that the first of the Four Bodhisattva Vows is “Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to save them.”  This vow should never be allowed to dissipate into mere rhetoric, “dead words.”  We live in a time when the mahasangha must produce the miraculous salvation it has promised to fulfill.  Please practice diligently so that that possibility becomes an actuality.

Finally, thank you for reading this long post.  I hope you will respond by posting your thoughts in a comment below.

In Gassho,
Gendo Roshi

Dokusan at Kyoseikan Dojo, July 17, 2019

For those of you in, or near, Grand Rapids, I will be giving dokusan tomorrow evening during the regular zazen period, 5:30-6:30 PM, at Kyoseikan Dojo (located at the northwest corner of US-131 and Hall St., in Suite B-148). Dokusan is the private interview tradition by which Zen students get individual questions answered and work through practice issues or obstacles with a teacher.  It is an indispensable part of Zen practice.

Note that, because I will be in Grand Rapids tomorrow, the regularly scheduled Wednesday evening zazen at Myogenji in Ludington is canceled.

I hope to see you at Kyoseikan tomorrow!

Gendo Roshi
John Gendo Wolff, Roshi