Author Archives: Greater Boston Zen Center

Being a Bodhisattva in the Modern World

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The Greater Boston Zen Center is co-sponsoring an event with the Natural Dharma Fellowship. More details can be found on the Natural Dharma Fellowship web site.

Tuesday Night Teachings: Transforming Self, Transforming Society
Being a Bodhisattva in the Modern World
with David Loy, Sensei Josh Bartok, Lama Willa Miller
Tuesday, May 5 7:00 pm
Cambridge Friends Meeting House, Longfellow Park, Cambridge, MA 02138
Map/Directions

The Mahayana path encourages us to transform the self as a path to transforming society. While the archetype of the bodhisattva has been an inspiration for generations of an engaged, compassionate activist in the world, the practice of meditation requires a commitment to examining the inner life, a slowing down and staying put, a commitment to apparent non-action. How can we gracefully reconcile these two directions—outer and inner—as spiritual practitioners engaged in the world? Join David Loy, Sensei Josh Bartok and Willa Miller as they reflect on these questions individually and in dialogue.

Liturgy Study Group

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The Liturgical texts of Zen are powerful and provocative teaching tools. They can be pointers to practice, words of encouragement, and transformative acts-in-themselves. This group will use Shohaku Okumura's book LIVING BY VOW: A PRACTICAL INTRODUCTION TO EIGHT ESSENTIAL ZEN CHANTS AND TEXTS, as our main text to explore chants in Boundless Way Liturgy.

GBZC offers a Liturgy study and discussion group on
THIRD THURSDAY EVENINGS at 7:15 PM. Drop-ins are welcome!

For 2014-15, this group will be taught by Josh Bartok and Senior GBZC dharma teachers. John Vetrano will be the practice leader for the group.
We will be using Shohaku Okumura's Living by Vow as our primary text.

We'll meeting each month, September through May, except January.
Dates: 9/18, 10/16, 11/20, 12/18, (no meeting in January), 2/19, 3/19, 4/16, 5/21
Time: 7:15 – 8:45 pm

Suggested donation - GBZC members: $10 / non-members: $15

Reading will be:

Sep 18 -- Four Bodhisattva Vows (chap 1)
Oct 16 -- Verse of Repentence / Gatha of Atonement (Chap 2)
Nov 20 -- Three Refuges (Chap 3)
Dec 18 -- The Robe Chant / Verse of the Kesa (Chap 4)
Skip Jan
Feb 19 --- Heart Sutra (Chap 6)
Mar 19 --- Meal Chants (Chap 5)
April 16 --- Harmony of Difference and Unity (Chap 7.)
May 21 --- Gatha for Opening the Sutra (chap 8).

Dogen Study Group 2014-2015

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Recommended Dogen books:

Realizing Genjokoan (Okumura)
Living by Vow (Okumura)
Opening the Hand of Thought (Uchiyama)
Moon in a Dewdrop (Tanahashi)
How to Raise an Ox (Cook)
Eihei Dogen--Mystical Realist (Kim)

Eihei Dogen Zenji, the founder of Soto Zen in Japan, is one of the most influential Zen teachers who has ever lived. He is a peerless master of Dharma expression, and the study of Dogen is essential for anyone who practices shikantaza. And yet his writings are, to almost everyone who starts to read them, exceeding difficult to penetrate. We have found that a group study of his work is a wonderfully effective way of entering into these teachings. Some members of the study group refer to it as a "support group" for readers of Dogen.

GBZC offers a Dogen study and discussion group on
FIRST SUNDAYS at 3:30. Drop-ins are welcome!

For 2014-15, this group will be led by Josh Bartok
We will be using Kaz Tanahashi's Moon in a Dewdrop as our primary text.

We'll be meeting each month, September through May.
Please note the following exceptions to our typical schedule of meeting on the first Sunday of the month: in December we are meeting on the second Sunday and in January and April we will meet on the third Sunday.
Dates: 9/21, 10/5, 11/2, 12/14, 1/18, 2/1, 3/1, 4/19, 5/3
Time: 3:30 - 5:00pm

Suggested donation - GBZC members: $10 / non-members: $15

Discussion topics and pages

Sept: Instructions for the Tenzo (Tenzo Kyokun) sections 3-11
Oct: Spring and Autumn (Shunju)
Nov: Only a Buddha and a Buddha (Yuibutsu Yobutsu)
Dec: Painting of a Rice-Cake (Gabyo)
Jan: Actualizing the Fundamental Point (Genjokoan)
Feb: On the Endeavor of the Way 1-6, not including Q&A (Bendowa)
Mar: On the Endeavor of the Way, Q&A section (Bendowa)
Apr: Going beyond Buddha (Bukkojoji)
May: Twining Vines (Katto)

Path of Boundless Compassion by Mark Unno

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Here are the audio recordings made during Mark Unno's day long event on Saturday, April 26th 2014.

Early morning:

Late morning:

Lunch discussion:

Early afternoon:

Late afternoon:

Precepts Study Group 2014-2015

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Recommended books on the Precepts

The Mind of Clover (Aitken)
Waking Up to What You Do (Rizetto)
Being Upright (Anderson)
If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break (Ford)
The Heart of Being (Loori)

Recommended Books on the Precepts and Society

The Great Awakening (Loy)
The New Social Face of Buddhism (Jones)
Money Sex War Karma (Loy)
Pavement (Jensen)
Razor-Wire Dharma (Malone)

The Precepts of Skilfull Action are the heart of what it means to practice Zen off the cushion--and their study is an endlessly rich, ever-unfolding practice.

GBZC offers a Precepts study and discussion group on
FOURTH SUNDAYS at 3:30. Drop-ins are welcome!

For 2014-2015, the Precepts Study Group will be jointly led by Steve Wallace and Mike Cerone.

We will be using Robert Aitken's The Mind of Clover as our primary text.

We'll be meeting on the fourth Sunday of each month, except we will meet on the fifth Sunday in May.
Dates: 9/28, 10/26, 11/23, 12/28, 1/25, 2/22, 3/22, 4/26, 5/31
Time: 3:30-5pm

Suggested donation - GBZC members: $10 / non-members: $15

Discussion topics and pages to be discussed

Sept: Chapter 1 - The Nature of the Precepts.
Oct: Chapter 2 - Not Killing
Nov: Chapter 3 - Not Stealing
Dec: Chapters 4 & 5 - Not Misusing Sex, Not Lying
Jan: Chapter 6 - Not Intoxicating Mind & Body
Feb: Chapters 7 & 8 - Right Speech
Mar: Chapter 9 - Not Sparing the Dharma Assets
Apr: Chapter 10 - Not Indulging in Anger
May: Chapter 11 - Not Defaming the Three Treasures

Our Trip to the Greater Boston Food Bank

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The GangOn Saturday September 7th the GBZC Sangha lent their hands to the Greater Boston Food Bank. We spent two and a half hours at their warehouse in Boston. After some training on how to properly inspect and sort the food and other donated products we sorted and packaged 4,302 lbs, creating 2,646 meals.

That translates to 63 meals per volunteer. GBZC had 13 volunteers there so GBZC provided for 819 meals.

Some of us sorted, some of us loaded the conveyor belts, some collected and distributed boxes, some helped weigh the boxes. All I think would say they felt fulfilled and enjoyed the experience.

The photos, taken by Laura Wallace, show what it looked like and the joy it brought to us to be able to do this good for hungry families in the Greater Boston area.

I want to thank everyone in the GBZC community for creating and sustaining a community of caring people. And I want to particularly thank those of us that were able to come on Saturday.

IMG_20130907_151209

Box duty

And thanks to the sangha members who were able to come:
Steve Wallace - who even bought shoes at the last minute so he could come
Laura Wallace
Josh Bartok
Liz Roemer
Joni O'Connor
James Peregrino
Kestrel Slocombe
Felipe Strefling
Harry Gordon

And again thanks to the whole sangha. Without the whole community there would not have been this opportunity to
to help people in need.

Deep Bows,
Mike Cerone

....

And I want to thank Steve and Laura Wallace for adjusting the usual Saturday morning service schedule so we could make it on time, and ensuring we had time for lunch before leaving.

And watch for future opportunities to go to the Food Bank we will return!

Those who greatly realize delusion are buddhas

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A talk by Josh Bartok on part of a text written by Shohaku Okumura "Those Who Greatly Realize Delusion are Buddhas—Guidance in Zazen"

No matter how hard we practice, our motivation for practice is
always based in some amount of self-centeredness. The act of truly
seeing this self-centeredness is itself Buddha. To awaken to the reality
of our delusion is itself Buddha.

To realize delusion is to be a buddha. Awakening to the incompleteness
of our practice and returning to our path is the meaning of repentance,
of atonement.