Zazen (meditation) and Sanzen (inquiry) are centre central to Zen, but they must be in everyday life, each time you pick up a spoon or go to work. And if you are centred in this then naturally occuring ethics arise. Then Zen is Humanism, human life as Compassion. If you want change in yourself or around you, then start not by seeking change but by centreing yourself in Genjo Koan - Who is This? When you centre yourself like this then change naturally occurs. You can't fake or make 'Awakening' it happens.
LGBTI RIGHTS ADVOCACY
For anyone who might not be aware yet, Mujyo zenji has written an LGBTI rights statement as part of the national drive for equality. So far more than 70% of Zen Teachers and supportive academics around Australia have co-signed.
"If you look around, we're not advocating something radical really, we're saying the general Australian community wants equality of all people here, LGBTI people included. As I see it this isn't really an issue and certainly not a political one. You find this in the street, you even find this recognized in government white papers, yet it remains one of the last big social issues in Australia. So really we are not trying to change anything, it's already changing, what we are trying to do is add another voice saying to elected government and anyone else - GET ON THE SAME PAGE - the Zen school as a whole is."
So far most Zen teachers and Zen academics in Australia have co-signed the LGBTI statement that Mujyo has written. The biggest issue where there has been one has not been that disagreement, but rather a concern about taking a position. Religions and Spiritual movements in Australia, especially of Abrahamic origins, have historically taken a position of attempting to influence social standards and rights based on their doctrines, often based on origins fixed in time and place. However the social mssion of Zen school is to support secular standards of civil society.
"Religions and Spiritual groups should not make laws or tell people what they can do, rather what we should do is support the standards a society expects. Laws and standards are made by people. People have to make their own ethical judgements. Right Living as Buddhism calls it, is just that. If people feel that somehing hurts the community our role is not to tell them what hurts, but to help bring the community together. Thats Right Living for the spiritual community. That's Compassion".
A PDF of the Statement is available on request.
Things around the Zendo
Its been a long time in planning, years in effect, but finally the Zendo ceiling has been removed, by Mark, Mike and Mujyo. A new timber ceiling will replace it soon.
The renovations are being managed so as not to impact the training schedule.
The new ceiling will be decorated with Tenbi at each corner - Tenbi are Celestrial beings in India they are known as Devi - not quite the same at Devas. Tenbi take the form usually in representation of Chinese Maidens, though occasionally they are depicted stil in Indian form, flying through the cosmos spreading music. Tenbi are associated with the Arts. In the centre of the Ceiling will be Benzaiten - the Patron of the Rinzai school and the Arts - In India she is known as Shiva and in the West as Athrodite. If anyone wonders why? Well Buddhism is 2500 years old and began in India, at that time the religion of the Twelve Gods was universal across the World. As Buddhism spread it absorbed the Twelve Gods and anything else it encountered, so today Buddhism contains many Indo- European Devas, Devi, Chinese Generals, Folk gods etc. absorbed and 'rebranded' as guardian and patrons of the Dharma, reminding us that we are share their facets - beautiful and scary, artistic and Compassionate.
At a later stage of renovation the current window will be removed and a new sliding glass door will replace it. The current sliding door will also be doubled and the direction of sitting will be into the garden instead of into the room.
Volunteers make what we do possible, Zen is not just on the cusshion, you are always appreciated.
NEXT ALL DAY ZAZENKAI
Sunday the 4th of December