Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications)


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Prebish, Dharma Communications is "one of the most efficient and successful publishers of Buddhist materials on the continent, and a place where practitioners can learn how to cultivate both mindfulness and compassion in front of a computer. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. John Daido Loori. Loori, 78, Zen Abbot and Photographer, Dies".


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The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, New York Times. With the new awareness we find together, we can better support each other, strengthening our individual practice as well as deepening our trust in sangha. The tools and models offered here for resolving differences are skillful means to help us take disagreements seriously, but also with some lightness. Following is an outline of suggested steps to take when conflict arises and we feel the need to explore a situation.

To determine what you want to do about the conflict, ask yourself:. Help for Further Self-Exploration. If you would like help in understanding your reactions and feelings, you can speak with:. Choosing to Reconcile with Another. To ensure a positive experience and outcome from a conflict resolution meeting, it is important to approach the other person as a dharma friend. In order to foster a willingness to learn together:. Part B. Stating the Actual. The first task is to express and understand the facts of the situation so that everyone starts from the same place.

Only then can we begin to develop a solution together. Follow these steps to begin the communication process:. The Sangha Steward can coach the parties individually before the meeting to help them prepare I-statements. Listening Deeply. To listen deeply:. Restating What You Heard. To avoid making assumptions, interpretations, and judgments about what was said, it is important to check that each person has correctly heard what the other has said:. Take the time needed for this step, as it becomes the first instance of agreement between the two people, laying the foundation for change.

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Reconciliation and Action Planning. Having discovered and acknowledged how each person has contributed to the disagreement, each person can share any further reflections, as appropriate and desired:. Resources for Communication and Ethical Conduct.

The path of mercy for all existence and things. This section gives some background information on the Precepts. Precept study is a recommend part of Soto Zen training. Studying the precepts is not, however, a requirement of membership in RCZC or a condition for attending our center or events. All who follow our Ethical Guidelines are welcome to practice with us, regardless of their relationship to the precepts or other Zen Buddhist teachings.

Note that the Bodhisattva precepts were expressed very simply in the negative case in the original Chinese and Japanese. As we have studied the precepts in English in our cultural context, translations have been made which include the affirming, positive, side of each precept. See the precepts sources in the references and look online for additional translations. We take refuge in Buddha. In taking refuge in Buddha, we acknowledge the Buddha Nature of all beings. We recognize that everyone is equally the expression of Buddha Nature: the possibility to awaken. Our Ethical Guidelines and our suggested Clear Communication process calls on us to see all parties involved as Buddha as best we can.

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We take refuge in Dharma. It is through this Dharma that we embody, express and make accessible the teachings the Buddha as conveyed to us through the lineage of the Soto Zen School by lineage founder Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, guiding teacher Zoketsu Norman Fischer and other teachers.

Realizing that our understanding and practice of Buddhism is of many sources, we acknowledge and respect all expressions of the Dharma. We take refuge in Sangha. In taking refuge in Sangha, we acknowledge the central role of sangha life to our practice.

We aspire to create an inclusive environment for everyone's engagement in the Bodhisattva Way. When our diversity appears to separate us, our practice is to recognize, understand, and appreciate our differences.

B. Specific Fields and Themes

In so doing, we affirm and respect our differences and similarities in gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political belief, and physical abilities and appearances. In creating an inclusive sangha, it is essential that we encourage open, ongoing communication among all sangha members, and that ethical concerns, communications challenges, and conflicts that arise are fully heard and addressed by the Red Cedar Zen Community in an appropriate forum.

To facilitate this, RCZC members are encouraged to study fundamental teachings of Buddhism and Zen, to understand the organizational structure or our sangha, and to take responsibility for their own actions of body, speech, and mind by studying the precepts. The Three Pure Precepts are the aspiration of every bodhisattva. Reminding ourselves of these three fundamental tenants whenever we consider a course of action is crucial. I vow to avoid harmful conduct. To avoid harmful conduct means to refrain from causing harm to oneself, to others, to animals, to plants, to the Earth, to the waters and to the air.

To practice this precept commits us to a life of learning more about the interconnections between all things. Much harmful conduct is inadvertent.

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When mistakes are made we commit to responding whether by feeling our regret, apology, confession, or atonement. I vow to do beneficial conduct. To do beneficial conduct means to act from the loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity of our awakened nature. This precept commits us to understanding the incredible power of our actions of thought, word, and deed for the good.

I vow to live for and with all beings. To live for and with all beings expresses opportunity to discover and express the awakened nature of all being. When there is a perceived conflict between these, the process of open communication and clarification is a practice of "saving all beings. They provide the basis for our specific guidelines for wise and skillful behavior. Here are a few comments on each precept that highlight their practice in sangha life. I vow to protect life, not to kill EDZ. This precept expresses our intent to live compassionately and harmlessly.

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When understood in its broadest context, not killing means not harming, especially not harming the body or psyche of another. Physical violence and abusive behavior including physical threats, extreme displays of anger, and maliciousness are "killing. We also acknowledge our role, directly or in complicity with others, in the killing of other forms of life. Realistically and humbly, we acknowledge that there is no living without killing and that difficult choices must be made.

This precept encourages us to choose wisely, nurture life, and reduce harm. In Sangha life this precept includes a careful look at power relations and institutional structures. I vow to receive gifts, not to steal EDZ. A disciple of Buddha does not take what is not given but rather cultivates and encourages generosity SFZC. This precept expresses our commitment to cultivate a generous heart.

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At a personal level, greedy behavior harms the person who steals; on a community level, stealing harms the opportunity and the environment for Zen practice. Those who handle sangha funds or other assets have a special responsibility to take care of them and avoid their misuse or misappropriation.


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We recognize that the misuse of authority and status is a form of taking what is not given. Within the complex life of the sangha, hierarchical levels of authority and seniority play a helpful role in some situations and not in others. I vow to respect others, not to misuse sexuality EDZ. A disciple of Buddha does not misuse sexuality but rather cultivates and encourages open and honest relationships.

Sexuality is as much a part of the field of practice as any other aspect of our daily lives. Acknowledging and honoring our sexuality is part of creating an environment where conscious, mindful and compassionate relationships can be cultivated. Special care must be taken when people of unequal status or authority enter into a sexual relationship. Everyone coming to practice at Red Cedar Zen Community in any capacity has the right to be free from sexual harassment. Expression of sexual interest after being informed that such interest is unwelcome is misuse of sexuality.

Remember that signals of sexuality are easily misinterpreted. Communication is all the more important here. I vow to be truthful, not to lie EDZ. While ethical transgressions can involve any of the precepts, deceit is often involved. Lying to oneself, to another, or to one's community obscures the nature of reality and hinders the intention of bodhisattva practice.

Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications) Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications)
Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications) Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications)
Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications) Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications)
Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications) Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications)
Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications) Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications)
Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications) Teachings of the Earth: Zen and the Environment (Dharma Communications)

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