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Centering Prayer

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The Aramaic Lord's Prayer


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Japanese Zen Buddhism

- Week 4 -

7:15-8:00 AM, Monday - Friday, Presbyterian House Sanctuary
8:15-9:00 AM, Monday - Friday, Presbyterian House Sanctuary
12:30-1:55 PM, Tuesday and Thursday, Hall of Missions


Zen is very simple... What are you?

In this whole world everyone searches for happiness outside, but nobody understands their true self inside.

Everybody says, "I" -- "I want this, I am like that..." But nobody understands this "I." Before you were born, where did your I come from? When you die, where will your I go? If you sincerely ask, "what am I?" sooner or later you will run into a wall where all thinking is cut off. We call this "don't know."

Zen is keeping this "don't know" mind always and everywhere.

When walking, standing, sitting,
   lying down, speaking, being
   silent, moving, being still.
At all times, in all places, without
   interruption -- what is this?
One mind is infinite kalpas.

Meditation in Zen means keeping don't-know mind when bowing, chanting and sitting Zen. This is formal Zen practice. And when doing something, just do it. When driving, just drive; when eating, just eat; when working, just work.

Finally, your don't-know mind will become clear. Then you can see the sky, only blue. You can see the tree, only green. Your mind is like a clear mirror. Red comes, the mirror is red; white comes the mirror is white. A hungry person comes, you can give him food; a thirsty person comes, you can give her something to drink. There is no desire for myself, only for all beings. That mind is already enlightenment, what we call Great Love, Great Compassion, the Great Bodhisattva Way. It's very simple, not difficult!

So Buddha said that all beings have Buddha-nature (enlightenment nature). But Zen Master Joju said that a dog has no Buddha-nature. Which one is right? Which one is wrong? If you find that, you find the true way.

-- Zen Master Seung Sahn


Eryl and Wayman Kubicka

John Pulleyn
John Pulleyn has been practicing Zen for more than 40 years, working with the late Roshi Philip Kapleau, the founder of the Rochester Zen Center and author of Three Pillars of Zen, and Roshi Kapleau's successor, Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

After graduating from Oberlin College with a BA in history, John joined the Zen Center's staff in 1968. Later he worked for many years as a paint and wallpaper contractor and software developer. John became a pediatric nurse at the age of 50, obtaining a BS and RN from SUNY Brockport and then worked for 10 years in the adolescent unit of Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong.

Currently John is a senior instructor at the Center as well as Head of Training and Assistant to the Abbot. He has led sesshins (meditation retreats) in Rochester and for a Zen Center affiliate group in Madison, Wisconsin. John lives in Pittsford, NY with his wife of over 40 years. The Rochester Zen Center's website is www.rzc.org.