angry, tattooed monk

zen

online meditation meeting. 9 january 2022

slice of wood showing tree rings with dried flowers and piece of dried grass with a seed head sitting atop it

i enjoy online zazen periods where we all sit together in silence. no dharma talk, just the sounds of the inkin (a type of hand-held striking bell) along with the background sounds from our various locales. the coming together to do our individual work is the coming together as a community.

in late august, i started an online meditation period on monday mornings, but have changed the time to 6 p.m. scottish time, to better accommodate people's schedules. the zazen period lasts twenty-five minutes. it begins with three strikes of the inkin bell and ends with one.

the video conferencing application used is Jitsi Meet, an open source and ethical application (no tracking or mining of user's data) that works across multiple platforms. also, no account creation is needed to use the service, just the app or a web link.

here is the meeting link. as this is an inclusive and active meditation period, please enable the camera.

if you have questions, send me an email.

gassho,

daishin

#zen #buddhism #ZenMeditationInGlasgow #OnlineZenSangha

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online meditation meeting. 26 august 2021

slice of wood showing tree rings with dried flowers and piece of dried grass with a seed head sitting atop it

a necessary component of zen buddhist practice, for any contemplative practice really, is sangha — community. with the pandemic still raging and many zen centers and temples closed, we need community all the more.

i will host an online meditation period on mondays — no dharma talk, no conversation; just meditation together — at 5 a.m. scottish time.

the video conferencing application used is Jitsi Meet, an open source and ethical application (no tracking or mining of user's data) that works across multiple platforms. also, no account creation is needed to use the service, just the app or a web link.

the first meeting will take place on august 30th. here is the meeting link. as this is an inclusive and active meditation period, please enable the camera.

if you have questions, send me an email.

gassho,

daishin

#zen #buddhism #ZenMeditationInGlasgow #OnlineZenSangha

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poems published on Buddhistdoor. 20 may 2021

i recently joined the regular writers at Buddhistdoor Teahouse. here are the poems i've had published there so far:

Moisture Pond life Moonsilver Festering feast The pigeon Different expectations

#Buddhistdoor #buddhism #poetry #zen #daishinstephenson

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palm of the hand teachings. 22 july 2020

buddhahood means awareness.

#palmofthehandteachings #zen #buddhism #mindfulness #daishinstephenson

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palm of the hand teachings. 6 june 2020

as practice deepens, we fade away.

#zen #buddhism #mindfulness #life #daishinstephenson

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palm of the hand teachings. 22 may 2020

only when you accept that one day you will die, can you start living.

#zen #buddhism #death #mindfulness #life #palmofthehandteachings #daishinstephenson

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burden. 25 april 2020

a hut at the edge of a forest. it had no door and was dark on the inside.

i stepped into the hut to get out of the elements.

inside, i sat down on the floor, the entrance on my right.

something in the corner to my left had a halo glow. a staff with a three-pronged headpiece moved in the illuminated shadow.

it asked what dirt i brought inside.

“arrogance and impatience,” i answered.

the clangor of bells and gongs filled the space.

something hot yet cold touched my forehead.

it said if i kept walking the dirt would wash away, that anger was water.

#zen #buddhism #meditation #contemplation #kami #daishinstephenson

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a change in the weather allowed for a long walk outdoors. 25 august 2018

for the past week smoke from surrounding wildfires has shrouded the city, making my lungs burn and eyes water. the smoke-filled grey sky has transitioned to cloud-filled grey sky. the damp air is cool on my skin.

with the arrival of clouds, light plays trickery on the senses—the day looks as if it belongs to autumn, not summer.

i walk the streets and parks. a breeze moves the boughs overhead and carries a few fallen leaves across the sidewalk. a memory surfaces from close on five years ago: an autumnal walk with my partner. we were walking home from the market. while stopped on a street corner i spied a tree whose remaining leaf canopy only existed on its periphery. leaves quivered, some fell to the ground. with the leaves today and the memory, William Carlos Williams’s poem Approach of Winter came to mind:

The half-stripped trees struck by a wind together,
bending all, the leaves flutter drily and refuse to let go or driven like hail stream bitterly out to one side and fall where the salvias, hard carmine - like no leaf that ever was - edge the bare garden.

another gust picked up fallen leaves and they danced across the sidewalk. people are like leaves. they bud and sprout, grow and mature, weather the seasons. some die off prematurely, others fall alone or with leaves they have spent their entire lives beside.

on that evening five years ago, i could see my breath. then and now, the muffled hints of conversation, the din of traffic, the swirl of leaves picked up by the breeze — the interconnectedness of everything.

i am grateful for it all.

#compassion #dharma #interdependence #zen #williamscarloswilliams #daishinstephenson

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from a seattle high rise. 15 april 2018

from a high window i watch a murder of crows fly in concentric circles for close on five minutes. at this height, the push-out vertical window only opens two inches; the crow caws punctuate soft wind gusts which remind me of the sound of bound newspaper pages turning in the library.

i walk away from the window; my coffee cup needed filling and cooking needed to begin.

the metallic ping as salt crystals strike the bottom of the empty pan. the crunch of the onion giving way to the knife. the sounds take me back to a place, nearly seven years ago, where i was made eggs and toast by a man who loves me still and i danced in the kitchen while waiting.

i return to the window. the crows have flown elsewhere. heavy rain is falling, the chatter of conversations from those walking the streets below cannot be heard; tug boats position a shipping tanker in the bay, gantry bound; a man curses in the hall at a torn bag of rubbish; thoughts of a man in glasgow, whom i know is sipping tea and writing, even though i am not there.

#crows #glasgow #seattle #love #zen #daishinstephenson

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connections. 4 april 2018

a tug boat horn pulls me out of sleep. it is still dark out, the wind blows. the trees are mostly bare as only leaf buds dot the boughs. the sound of the wind, a low whistle, as opposed to the wrestling of leaves as if it were full summer.

my thoughts drift: a brief conversation with a homeless man, a chittering sparrow, my grams's progression towards death, a woman who miscarried.

“i am hungry, do you have any spare change? i'm not lying about being homeless. let me show you what's in my bag—all i have is a blanket and a pair of socks. please, believe me.”

“thank you for talking to me. people don't like talking to homeless.”

the young sparrow, the corners of its beak maturing from a yellow colour to cream, perched atop a wooden sign post, chittered at its brethren before shitting, then flying away.

my grams, no longer able to chew food, can only eat pureed meals.

a woman who miscarried is surprised by how much grief she feels for the fetus.

the closing line of philip larkin's poem, The Mower, came to mind while the coffee steeped:

…we should be kind While there is still time.

everything in the cosmos is interconnected. our separation is bridged through compassion and kindness; to others, ourselves, and the world around us. it travels further than the pealing of a temple bell.

by the by, The Mower can be read in its entirety here

#interdependence #compassion #netofindra #zen #philliplarkin #daishinstephenson

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