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About Gassho

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    Dao Bum
  1. I wana be blunt and ask a question?

    "stop thinking, keep training.." Seems like good advice to me. If you read old Zen and Daoist texts, I don't think you will find anyone concerned with strait vs. gay as an issue. Stop worrying about the details, and go straight to the heart of the matter.
  2. I know a few mantras: Om muni muni maha muni sakyamuni bodhi sowaka - a joyous hymn of praise to the Sakyamuni Buddha. Gya te Gya te Hara Gya te Hara Som Gya Te Bodhi Sowaka - From the Heart Sutra. - Solemn and deep, the essence of the teaching of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Om O Lo Lok Sri Svaha Sulu Om - I don't know what it means, but I feel its power to center and heal. Om Mani Padme Hum - Invokes the compassion of Kwanzeon (Kwan Yin, Avalokiteswara.) I know that these and other mantras center me and open my heart. I think that mantras, like sutra chanting, have the power to affect me by centering me and opening my heart. Chanting the Kanzeon Sutra makes me weep with gratitude for the reality of boundless compassion. I feel that mantras are a part of the tool kit for spiritual progress given to us by the generations of Buddhist teachers who have striven to benefit us. I bow nine times nine in gratitude for the kindness of our teachers. _/\_
  3. Greetings from near Seattle

    Thanks, Mal! I like your gassho emoticon. _/\_
  4. Greetings from near Seattle

    I was in the 9th grade when I felt attracted to searching the library for esoteric topics. I found Yogic thought and similar Indian traditions, and had the feeling, getting warmer, but this is not 'it.' When I read about Zen, with its wry directness, I felt that I had come home. There was nothing in my environment that would have suggested anything like this - so perhaps it is evidence of reincarnation. I do not favor the idea of reincarnation in general, as I generally see very little evidence for it, but the facts of my own path are tantalizing. I once asked a monk who led Zen groups, "If there is no individual soul, what is reincarnated?" He said, "That's an interesting question." I was shocked, not that he didn't know the answer, but that he had never asked himself the question. I practiced by myself for a while, and found my way to a couple of sesshins at the San Francisco Zen Center when I was a college student, when Suzuki Roshi was alive. I remember that I was there when Appollo landed on the moon, because the Roshi said in Teisho, "You know what they will find? Rocks." I have practiced occasionally with others in NW Zen centers, but never quite found a Zen home. Zen is in my bones, but I actually feel that perhaps it is my heart that needs developing more than my insight, and I am now drawn to develop my compassion more than my insight. I have chosen Gassho as my nom-de-Zen, as I seek to develop more gratitude and compassion.