Monday, March 29, 2010

I woke up at the usual wakeup time but today there was no bell to ring. Alas, I lost my job!
Then i found myself a new job of sitting Zazen in my bedroom, doing Qigong in my living room and cooking breakfast in my kitchen. I can't believe that i am now not living in my Zen temple after 10 years! I am remembering you, Beginners Mind Temple and sending you all best wishes!
Deep bow to all of you for your practice and for your love!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Time flies! Tonight we're starting the 7 Day sesshin and very soon it's the Shuso Ceremony (March 27)! I am looking forward to the week of just stitting without any clinic shifts, classes, emails, blogging... Let the mind be still and focused; Let the breath be quiet and deep; Let the body be soft and present! What a precious way of ending this practice period!
Thanks to my Zen teacher Teah Strozer for her years of teaching! Thanks to Abbot Paul Haller for taking me on for this Shuso training! Thanks to senior Dharma teacher Blanche Hartman for her great example! Thanks to my beautiful Benji Renee who is constantly available and helpful! Thanks to all the former Shusos who are passing this tradition warm-hand to warm-hand - Dana helped me to get the shuso blog set up; Joan prepared me with a warm pre-shuso tea; Vicki shared her life with me over a hearty meal; Bernd talked with me over some sweet cookies and tea; and many other teachers and practice period participants greeted me with encouraging words and friendly gestures. I could not have gone this far without all of you - my dear Sangha! Here is my deep bow to all of you for your support and for your practice!
Words cannot describe how this Shuso period has been transforming for me in its mysterious yet simple way.
Here is the teaching: Just show up! Just ring the wakeup bell! Just clean the toilet and just watch the breath and sit!
Yes, this Shuso is signing off and ready for the sesshin.

Much love to all of you through the cyber space!
Liping (Clear Wind Wisdom Sword)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

---"A Three year old child can even say it!"
---"But an 80 year old man can't even do it!"
When i read the story of these two exchanges, i exclaimed, "That's so true!"
There are so many things that we know and we say, but it is so hard for us to really do it especially when it comes to the real situation. For example, we all say "be present", but sometimes or a lot of times we just can't do it. At least for me this is true. I found myself not listening to what was being said,found myself getting caught up in the fear of past or the worry of the future, found myself jumping into conclusion instead of really experiencing what is in front of me...Does this sound familiar to you?
The beauty of this practice is that we return to this over and over again, being present and noticing when we are not being present!
Thank you for all the inspirations each of you is offering through your examples of practice!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

How is the Shuso doing? Wiped out!! She has been last two days trying to keep up with acupuncture clinic, teaching schedule and the Zen schedule with some late hours. A long nap can do the healing magic!!
I am feeling good about finishing the shuso teas this weekend and about today sending out invitations for Shuso ceremony which is only 3 weeks away!
The teachings coming to my mind today are about the Three Regulations in meditation - Regulating Mind, Regulating Breath and Regulating Posture. Paul was asking us to practice pausing to just breathe in the midst of busyness. That was regulating breath and mind in every day life. It's important to do the three regulations in the beginning of each meditation to get ourselves situated and centered, and this practice can be carried on throughout the day in our daily non-Zendo activities: Am I aware of my breath when I am chopping vegetables? Am I breathing deeply, slowly and smoothly? Am I upright in my posture, having my shoulders down when I am sitting in front of my desk or sitting in a class? Each moment is our practice! "Standing, Sitting,Walking and Sleeping, you stay close to IT!"

Monday, March 01, 2010

Happy Tiger Year!
Last Friday at city center we had our annual Chinese New Year dinner which happened to coincide with the end of the 2 week Spring Festival celebration in China. Lucy and I were the cooks for the meal but we had so many people coming in to help with chopping, washing, setting up and cleaning up. We made vegetarian chicken, Buddha's delight, Chinese greens and Mochi Cake for dessert. It was so nice to see how a feast brought the whole community together! In China we always celebrated with our small families of 5 or 6 people but here we were celebrating with about 100 people. It is very special to celebrate this special holiday with a big and sweet family here in America! Here you see Sebastian singing his new Chinese song with me at the table and little Kylie visiting us with mom Yuhuan and dad Ryan who used to live in the temple as residents.
After dinner there was a poetry reading in the back of dining room by Genine and Frances. Looking at the crowd, listening to the laughters in the room brought so much warmth and joy to my heart... I realize that i haven't cried and been homesick any more during Chinese New Year time for the past several years.