torsdag 16 oktober 2014

A few good men


George Ristuccia: You know, Ben, I keep asking you this but why me?
Ben Thomas: Because you are a good man.
George Ristuccia: No, really.
Ben Thomas: Even when you don't know that people are watching you.
-Seven pounds

There are good men out there.
A few good men.
They don't always realize that they are good themselves.
There is a lot of people that are good when they know that people are watching.
Then there is the ones who continue to do even as they are not seen.
The ones who do good without expecting anything, who do it just because they can.
That might even make them more good, as they do it not out of goodness, but just do it.

What kind are you?

May the force be with you

torsdag 2 oktober 2014

Article: The Treeleaf teaparty


Reposting an article made for a magazine.


The Treeleaf teaparty

by Fugen

It was a clear summer day, the heat still lingering as I sat in front of my computer with my robes on. I distinctly remember the warmth of the sun and the smell in the air that time when no one showed up at the Treeleaf teaparty. 

The Treeleaf teaparty is one of many features at the the Treeleaf sangha.
It is on sunday evenings, hosted by one of the priests of Treeleaf and contains ceremonies, zazen and discussions amongst the participants. It started out as an meeting ground for the sangha, but has now grown into being one of its pillars. It has become an important part of what Treeleaf really is, a place where people care.

The Treeleaf teaparty is a meeting place where you can, time and time again, get the opportunity to listen to people's stories, to be able to be there for them. As I have said time and again, The Treeleaf teaparty is not about talking, it's about listening. About being there.
The same goes, in my opinion, for Buddhism. To be there is essential.
For me, it's not essential that anyone shows up or not. If someone does come, it's just extra. For me, it's essential that I do. Even if I can’t make it in the flesh, I can at least make it in my spirit. We have a saying at Treeleaf, ”we are always here,” that includes this.

One of my goals for the Treeleaf teaparty is that neither I, nor any of the priests of Treeleaf, is needed there. It should become an essential part of what Treeleaf, and life, is all about and live a life of its own. Someone should turn up, and no matter who it is, do the ceremonies, sit there and talk, listen, and just be. I got a glimpse of that the first time I couldn’t attend, and it sort of just followed that people stood up and took my place. Now, we are not there yet, where I or some other priest of Treeleaf is not needed at the Treeelaf teaparty, but, hopefully, we'll get there. Soon.

So what did I do, when no one showed up? I did the ceremonies, shut off my computer, and went in to sit, just for a moment, next to my sleeping son.

The most important thing
To get my son to sleep
Soothing him through the struggles
The most important thing
Just this

Thank you for your practice.

May the force be with you,

tisdag 23 september 2014

A telescope turned inwards


Meditation is like an giant telescope turned inwards.
Dharma, as in theory, talks, texts asf, are there to point at what to look for.


torsdag 4 september 2014

The chirping of the morning bird

The chirping of the morning bird is a special one.
Like the call of the service bell it calls out, breaking the silence.
It calls out in remembrance of things.
Things to come, things past, things present.
All things, comprised into one chirp.
It cannot be shown to any one else, you have to be there yourself in order to realize the magic.

- note from returning from the morning service


torsdag 28 augusti 2014

Just open the door


Every morning in the monastery there was an morning service at 5.00.
A young man living in the monastery for a while went, every morning, to the morning service. 
Not only did he go there, he went there 20 minutes ahead of time to meditate.
Every morning when he got there, an monk was already sitting there.
After the service on the last day, the young man went up to the monk to thank him for sitting with him every morning. 
The monk replied:
- No problem, I just open the doors.


fredag 22 augusti 2014

Bookreview: Vandring på spårlös stig


Kanja Odland Roshi is a ZenBuddhist priest in the lineage of Harada-Yasutani. She has been a student of both Roshi Philip Kapleau and his successor Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. She was ordained as a priest in 1999, and was given permission to teach by Roshi Kjolhede in 2001. Together with Sante Poromaa Roshi, she has been instrumental in the creation of a full-time training temple in rural Sweden called Zengården, as well as the growth and development of a network of City Zen Centers in Sweden, Finland and Scotland. This, her first book, was published in 2013.

In the book you will find retreat diaries, a description of how to perform Zen meditation, excerpts from instructions to a student, a tale from Japan and a depiction of the first meeting of zen. These things are all very good, but the book also contains Kanja Odlands own images, which add an extra layer upon this creation of hers. 
The pictures are alone enough to buy the book. They often give more than the text itself, although the texts are not bad, at all, the pictures are somewhat brilliant. I really look forward to seeing more books from Odland, even one with only pictures and reflections around them.

Kanja Odland has an talent for making good stories. A talent that really shines through in this book. The stories presented are almost all about herself and her experiences, but nevertheless are they, each on their own, an object of a good, thoughtprovoking, tantalizing, teaching.

Some may say that retreatnotes, or any diarynotes are not worth reading, and i sometimes agree, but with this book, Odland has proven that there are gems out there, and this is one of them. 
My only wish were that there were more...

If there is one thing I think the book lacks, aside from more digressions on some places is that it should have been written in english. But considering the language used sometimes, I foresee an english translation coming...

All in all, all I have left to say is thank you Kanja Odland for the book and for your practice.


måndag 11 augusti 2014

Loose floortiles


Every house should have an loose floortile or squeaky step.
What better reminder of practice is there?