Thursday, July 02, 2015

Frustration's End

With palms together,
Good Evening All,

It’s a little after 9:00 PM and outside I see clouds moving in over the mountains with an occasional lightening flash.  At rest now, my heart is taking in the day, a day with frustrations, joy, intimacy, and business.  It seemed as though at every turn there were issues with hanging the ink brush pictures.  In the morning I will once again make an effort to complete the task.  

I am a typical man: as things get in the way, frustration rises and swearing begins.  Shukke Shin doesn’t approve of this, but then, neither do I.  Still, there is frustration and there is swearing. It’s so, so automatic.  Today, though, something changed.  We had a session with our therapist and the frustrations came rolling out.  What a relief it is to just let things come out. As we talked, laughter arose, another good thing.  

When I discovered that the title cards to the paintings were not sticking and that I had gotten the wrong type of wire for the pictures, and that I had also forgotten the drill so I could not make starter holes on the frames…when I discovered all that, I decided in calmness to pack things up, get the right sort of wire and some material that will work to stick the tittle cards to the walls, and come back fresh in the morning.  This friends, is actual progress.  There was a time when I would simply go on auto pilot and fly around not resting till everything was addressed, fixed, or well on the way to being taken care of.

Practice is a good thing.  Sitting quietly with my mind, holding it close, and letting it be what it is, can help immensely.  What happens is this: through mindful practice we begin to see things as they happen and respond quickly making the necessary adjustments in mood, behavior, and demeanor in the process.  It’s not that we are not frustrated, angry, or sad; its that we recognize these feelings and are able to create a space between them and our actions. I will be the first to admit I am not always able to do this, but I am able to recover from a bout of negative thoughts and feelings much more quickly than most.  

You know, Zen asks nothing of us.  The practice accepts us as we are.  We are not going to hell in a hand basket for being human beings.  The hell we fear is that which we create ourselves.  Recognize this and you are almost home free.  

May you be a blessing in the universe.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A talk on the Zen of Trauma in Kansas City

The Zen of Trauma: a talk with Roshi Daiho Hilbert, PhD

Thursday, June 25
at 6:30pm                               
3405 Highland Ave, Kansas City, MO

On Thursday evening, at a nearby Buddhist Temple the Rev. Dr. Harvey Daiho Hilbert Roshi, a Zen Master in the Soto lineage will offer a talk on “The Zen of Trauma.”  The Rev. Dr. Hilbert began studying Zen in 1966 after being shot in the head during combat in Vietnam.

Educated as a psychotherapist, Roshi spent many years in private practice, and in service to in-need communities in the southwest United States. Daiho was ordained as a Priest in 2000, and received transmission of the Dharma in 2005 as the sole successor of Rev. Ken Hogaku Shozen McGuire-roshi, a Chief Disciple of Zen Master Rev. Dr. Soyu Matsuoka-roshi. 

Zen Master Daiho will facilitate a discussion around the practice of Zen, through the experience of trauma. Ven. Sunyananda of Dharmakaya Buddhist Association highly recommends this event as a rare opportunity to engage a clear-eyed Buddhist master. 

Donations for the teacher will be kindly accepted, and a few copies of his chap book "The Zen of Trauma: A Practice for Life" will be available to interested participants.