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Protecting Bodhi Mind



Protecting our bodhi mind is very important.  Bodhi mind − the mind that seeks the awakening of others −  is what wakes us up to the reality of the world and helps us see a way out of our difficulties that helps all beings.  It can guide us through whatever comes our way.  Therefore, it is very precious. 

It’s truly difficult – perhaps impossible – to keep our bodhi mind in all the circumstances of our day.  There are nasty surprises and it disappears.  Or we just forget.  However, let’s give it a try.  

If we’re in an argument, it’s easy to forget there is anyone more important than ME, and it’s easy to get intoxicated by anger and defensiveness.  From there, we spiral into attachment to our position, aversion to the other position, and forget our basic connection with reality.  In this state, we damage the other person and our connection, and usually ourselves, too.  Returning to  bodhi mind wakes us up to the reality that this is another person with whom we are connected, who needs help in waking up.  This cuts through our intoxication and we see the whole picture more clearly.  This adversary is just someone who suffers, and someone we’re connected with.  We have the strength and clarity to set aside self and consider the best course for maintaining our connection in a healthy way.

But how do we protect bodhi mind?  I think the answer lies in recollection – in Japanese, nen  念.  We can protect bodhi mind by constantly keeping it in our minds and hearts.  Of course, we’ll forget.  Then we remember again.  We do this in the same way as we always come back to the present when we wander off in zazen.  As time passes, it becomes a part of us, a constant quiet presence that we have when we need it.  It helps us turn from anger and destruction to clarity.  It gives us the understanding and strength to put aside self and deal with others with the spirit of helping them arouse their own bodhi mind.  This is bodhisattva practice.

― Zuiko

Activities

Zuiko sits in the zendo at every zazen period listed below.  Please sit with her whenever you can.  Just sitting quietly can be helpful in times like these.

Sunday zazen and dharma talk are live-streamed on Zoom.  Contact us if you’d like the link.

Our Monday night dharma discussion group is continuing through Zoom.   If you’re interested in joining, please contact the Center.

You can connect with us through email or phone.  And you can listen to our dharma talks online and read our posts on Facebook.  To find the dharma talks, click on the “Resources” tab above, and you’ll see the link.

Upcoming Events

Monday Night Dharma – by Zoom – Monday nights , 7:00– 8:00 p.m.  Contact us for the link.

Buddha’s Birthday – April 4

Introduction to Zazen – by Zoom – Wednesday, April 21 , 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.  Contact us for the link.

Annual meeting April 25

Weekday Activities

Noon Zazen

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
12:15 – 12:55 zazen

Evening Zazen

Tuesday evenings – 20 minute zazen periods
6:30 – 6:50 zazen
6:50 – 7:00 kinhin
7:00 – 7:20 zazen
7:20 – 7:30 kinhin
7:30 – 8:00 zazen

Wednesday and Thursday evenings – 40 minutes zazen periods
6:30 – 7:10 zazen
7:10 – 7:20 kinhin
7:20 – 8:00 zazen

Weekend Activities

Sunday zazen – by Zoom

9:00 –  9:40 sitting
9:45 – 10:15 dharma talk
10:15 – 11:00 check in and discussion

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Quote of the week

Feel as a Meditator
 
There might be periods—a year or even two—when we can’t get to the cushion, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up . . . We can still carry meditation inside, still see and feel as a meditator, but physically practice differently.

 

From  The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life 

by Natalie Goldberg
 
 

CEDAR RAPIDS ZEN CENTER 1618 Bever Avenue SE Cedar Rapids, IA