Sunday, March 20th
- Martin Goodson

Forthcoming Events for w.c 21st March 2022

What's happening in the Community Dharma Centre this week?

Male Worshiper possibly priest Sumerian Early Dynastic IIIb Period 2540-2350 BCE Alabaster


Here we are at the Spring Equinox where equal light meets equal dark and from this time onwards the light is in the ascendancy.

I'm just back from Shobo-an Zen Training Monastery where they have been sitting a sesshin (Zen Retreat), to commemorate the death anniversary of Master Daiyu Myokyo. For the talk today, I used an extract from a sermon by Master Sessan from Master Daiyu's collection of stories - The Wisdom of the Zen Masters. In his sermon Master Sessan calls on us to include three things in our daily life practice: "[J]oining the palms as in prayer, bowing as in worship, and charity."

Joining the hands is called gassho in Japanese, and here in Europe we associate it with prayer but it is a ubiquitous ritual act that appears everywhere at many different times. I have even a similar gesture being used by a priest from Sumer the earliest civilisation from the fertile crescent. The interesting thing about ritual acts is that they are the language of the body and the body mirrors more closely what is going on in the heart. Words can deceive but to 'lie' with the body is much more difficult. Just as the heart flashes through the body so the body can transform the consciousness of the heart, hence why gassho and bowing conditions the heart and why it is important to include it in our daily life practice.

So what's on this week?

Our regular Thursday evening Zazen sitting meditation is scheduled for 1900hrs GMT. You can join in through the Zazen portal from the homepage of the community site.

Also the next module of our ongoing course, Living with Uncertainty: A Buddhist Primer, module 3 will be dropping sometime this week, a little later than promised! Hopefully, it will have been worth the wait.