It's time again for Tea & Dharma at Teance Tea Shop! Tomorrow night, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 we will gather at Teance, on 4th Street in Berkeley, at 7:30 PM, to share stories of heroes. The topic will be:
"Heroes: Who Do You Admire and Why?" And "American Anti-heroes: Our Love of Individual Expression."
Come join a discussion about what makes a person heroic and bring a story to share about who inspired (s) you to want to be like them?
Alternately come to share a story of anti-heroes, and how our culture idolizes outlaws, free spirits who bend the rules to order to win.
The 11th Annual Conference of the Dharma Realm Young Adults is happening this weekend in Berkeley at the Monastery. Organized and lead by college students and young professionals, the conference brought 100+ youth to the weekend gathering. Details are available at www.drby.net.
The Berkeley Monastery is hosting a "Sing-along Concert" of activist songs from the 60s. Called "protest songs," or "peace songs," or "freedom songs" or "anti-war songs," these tunes woke up a generation of people to the deeper connections and the deeper yearning for awareness in humanity around the world.
Betsy Rose, Alan Senauke, Melanie DeMore and I will be presenting a program of the finest of these songs this coming Sunday, March 1st, at 7:00 PM at the Monastery.
The online home of the Chinese Buddhist Association, "Buddhism On-line" has posted news of our delegation's visit to the headquarters of the Chinese Buddhist Association and our visit to Master Shenghui at Guangji Monastery on Sept. 7th, 2006.
Sad to report that the CTTB's magnificent, pure white albino peacock was eaten by a wildcat last month. He was everybody's favorite, spectacular, and strange to say, so dedicated to protecting the Patriarch Hall that he seemed to report to work at the same time every day, patrolling the door to the Hall, rain or shine. He'd nest on the roof at night and be back to work the next morning, right on time.
We've chanted on his behalf; his feathers were collected. Perhaps he accomplished his karmic debts and is now enjoying another rebirth in a better body than an albino bird's. He certainly made a lot of people happy as a peacock. An outstanding Dharma-protector! May he enjoy his merit in lives to come.
Visit to Bodhinyana Monastery. Invited by Ajahn Brahm to stay in Bodhinyana Monastery, Western Australia, was an outstanding experience. Continuing the brotherhood begun by Master Husan Hua and Ajahn Sumedho, I have the privilege of learning about Theravada Buddhism.
Traveled through Asia with 61 Dharma-friends from all over the US and Canada, on a Dharma-tour Delegation from DRBA, our home organization. When DRBA goes to Asia, by and large we do what are called "Dharma Assemblies" or "fa-hui" in Chinese. Most Western Dharma-friends have not experienced Dharma Assemblies, and at some point I would like to capture the feeling and the energy of 600 people bowing and chanting together for up to 21 days, with the Dharma of sutras, praises, offerings, repentances, silence, movement, constant bowing and absolute harmony of voices and consciousness by so many people all at once.
My experience of the Dharma Assembly can be shared a bit by these superb photographs by Mr. Larry Hsieh (Hsieh Kuo-cheng) a photographer from Taiwan, who is also a long-term disciple of the later Master Hsuan Hua.
Larry Hsieh's photographs convey the intense personal encounter with the Dharma, in a group setting, that is the essence of the Fahui. I hope you all get a sense of this amazing "door to the Dharma," through his photos.
Made a vow yesterday to memorize the English version of the "Universal Door Chapter" of the Lotus Sutra. That's the chapter on Guan Yin Bodhisattva's ability to help people. It's full of goodness and truly inspiring. Here's a link to an English translation.
I've memorized it in Chinese and recited it for 20 years but learning the text by heart in English will be a new experience.
The next step: setting the "Universal Door Chapter" to music!