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Newcomer Events at ASZC

At the Atlanta Soto Zen Center
Elliston Roshi will offer a class Monday evenings in May:

Practice on the Cushion and in Daily Life

May 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th - 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Preregistration Fee for 4 classes: $60; $20 each class
All materials will be provided.

Saturday May 31 - 9:00-NOON
Pre-registration Fee for Retreat: $25; $30 at the door

Last Updated (Friday, 11 April 2014 21:52)



The faux debate between adherents of creationism and promulgators of evolution has given an unfortunate political spin to any mention of evolution as a dynamic of nature, as in “natural selection.” It falsely pits two imagined forces against each other, that of God’s will opposed to that of the intent of mindless organisms emerging out of the chemical swamp of insentient being. The emergence of sentience, and that of human intelligence, including self-awareness and understanding of the workings of nature, physics, chemistry — even large-scale phenomena such as the motion of planets and stars, imaging of vast and distant galaxies, along with credible analysis of their origins — compel a vision of humanity that seems either starkly out of place, or hopefully ordained by a creator to occupy a special place at the center of creation.

The ungraspable, inconceivable nature of the reality we take for granted on a daily basis, defined as a problem, naturally begs some sort of resolution. It is understandable that all manner of wild speculation would develop in the absence of any real evidence of the true intent of existence, let alone its meaning. As a quest for the understanding of meaning, Zen suggests that the only real and dependable answers to this dilemma will derive from our own direct experience, rather than speculation of a conceptual nature. This implies a deep faith in the ability of the mind to transcend limitations of logic and somehow intuit the deeper meaning of existence in a direct way.

Last Updated (Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:19)


Moving Forward, Looking Back

Last month’s Dharma Byte addressed finding the balance in daily life that comes from Zen and its meditation; and the fact that practicing Zen itself requires striking a balance between time devoted to zazen and time demanded of our responsibilities to family, household and career. This dimension of Zen practice may be thought of as developing “social Samadhi” along with the more personal dimensions of Samadhi - physical, mental and emotional levels – that grow stronger over time on the cushion.

Other social examples of balance or imbalance may be witnessed in what passes for justice and reconciliation between individuals, groups, and even whole nations. The Nuremburg trials as well as those of the Japanese military after WWII are examples that stand out in memory for my generation; more starkly for our parents’ generation, who fought that war; and fading quickly into obscurity for our children’s generation. George Santayana’s warning that “Those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it” never seemed clearer to me, though I never felt that I could learn much from studying history, personally.

Last Updated (Thursday, 20 February 2014 18:22)

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