DESCRIPTIONS OF ALL 8 "LENS" TOPICS WITH LINKS TO THE ZOOM RECORDINGS ARE LISTED BELOW...or if you prefer audio only recordings you can stream them, along with every chapter of Carolyn Atkinson's book "A Light in the Mind," which we discussed during the practice period, on our SoundCloud site: https://soundcloud.com/taizangendo [On SoundCloud you'll need to scroll a ways down to find the Practice Period recordings starting on Oct. 6, 2020]
On this last session of our Autumn 2020 practice period, it is rather perfect that we end with The Lens of Ritual. As Carl Jung wrote, ritual and ceremony help us connect to things words alone cannot express. Does that describe our challenge with emptiness or what? On our last evening I will lay out some of the understandings that may shed light on the potential benefit of these tools of spirituality. And last--we will conduct a shunyata version of "show and tell," by inviting each presenter and participant a few minutes to show and tell using story, art, music, poetry, science--whatever "lens" may provide us with a glimpse of this elusive concept we have explored these past 7 weeks....
Presenters: Taizan Gendo, Gerow Reece, Chōbun Nenzen Pamela Brown, Cliff Isberg, and ALL PARTICIPANTS of the Practice Period!
LINK TO ZOOM RECORDING of Lens of Ritual:
The Lens of Science. Science and Buddhism: both are dedicated to the pursuit of truth; both face paradoxes, incompleteness, inconsistencies, and the unknowable. Emptiness (Shunyata) provides the background of potential.
Presenter: Cliff Isberg
LINK TO ZOOM RECORDING of LENS OF SCIENCE with Cliff Isberg:
The Lens of Nature. On this wide ranging exploration we venture into the worlds of imagination in a Jataka tale; next, is the Zen concept of Buddhanature perhaps like "original goodness" of the human being? And could the notion of human exceptionalism--that we are so "special" and "fortunate" to be the highest (by our own self judgement) lifeforms--lead to the misuse of our planet and disregard of our fellow creatures, whom we enslave, use and discard, and slaughter as if they are just "things?"
Presenter: Taizan Gendo
LINK TO ZOOM RECORDING with Taizan Gendo:
The Lens of Relationship. What does "relationship" mean in Zen Buddhism? How can we love what is empty of self and has no "inherent existence?" And what does it mean to follow a Bodhisattva path in an ultimately non-existent world?"
Presenter: Chōbun Nenzen Pamela Brown
LINK TO ZOOM RECORDING OF LENS of RELATIONSHIP with Chōsen Nenzen:
The Lens of Language. "Inter-faith dialogue" attempts to reconcile some pretty significant differences--starting with the belief in God, an eternal soul, or words like "the One," words not used in Buddhism. Rabbi Eli will help explore the problems with language, from a Jewish faith perspective.
Presenter: Rabbi Eli Cohen, Chadeish Yameinu
LINK TO ZOOM RECORDING OF LENS OF LANGUAGE with Rabbi Eli Cohen:
The Lens of Reason. Our Zen practice incorporates Nagarjuna's reasoning on ultimate emptiness of everything, the "Middle Way" and absolute and relative truths; Vasubandu's Yogacarin (Mind Only) reasoning; and of course the pesky Tathagata-garba's proposition of a "really existing" Buddha-nature" in the midst of shunyata…
Presenter: Kishor Forson
LINK TO ZOOM RECORDING of LENS OF REASON with Kishor Forson:
The Lens of Art. Where could Shunyata be "functioning" in Western art, in East Asian art? Can we peer through the lens in both directions--from art and from Shunyata?
Presenter: Gerow Reece
LINK TO ZOOM RECORDING of LENS OF ART with Gerow Reece:
The Lens of Story. Laying the foundation and context of this central doctrine of Buddhism with stories and alternate versions/visions of what IS shunyata, told by central figures of our practice.
Presenter: Taizan Gendo
LINK TO ZOOM RECORDING of LENS OF STORY with Taizan Gendo: