Dharma Talks

Prison Dharma

Posted by on May 19, 2015 | 0 comments

  In 2011 I received a letter from on inmate in New Jersey, it had been sent to an old address, but the Aberdeen post office figured out who it was meant for and I got it a few months after Chris Richards mailed it. He had been in the New Jersey prison system for two years of a seven-year sentence.   “I was seeking the guidance of a teacher,” Richards says, “specifically a Zen teacher, who would be willing to work with me both while I was inside and later when I would be released. I got the original information from the back of Sitting Inside: Buddhist Practice in American...

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Meditation Instructions

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 | 0 comments

Meditation Instructions for Peer-Led Meditation Groups This “script” was developed for groups who do not have an experienced meditation instructor available. It presumes the attendees are sitting in chairs. The leader can read the following at the beginning of the meditation portion of the meeting. We meditate for (length of the meditation should be determined by group consensus) ___ minutes. I will read the instructions for meditation, then ring the bell. We will continue in silence until I ring the bell again. Read: Meditation is a combination of relaxation and alertness. Our...

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August 2014 Newsletter

Posted by on Aug 3, 2014 | 0 comments

Plum Mountain Buddhist Community August 2014 Newsletter   Weekly Schedule: Daily 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Service with short recitation and half hour seated meditation, at 516 W. Cushing in Aberdeen. This is except for Fridays and when Thay Kobai is away from the Harbor. Our regular community (sangha) gathering is Tuesday evenings at Cushing St. 6:30 to 8 p.m. We do some movement and sitting meditation, with plenty of guidance for newcomers.  Thay Kobai or a senior student gives a short talk on Buddhist principles followed by Q&A and discussion.       Events in August   5...

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Yet Another Dharma Book

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 | 0 comments

Do we really need another Buddhist book? It’s a question I asked myself about 15 years ago when I was working on my first book, Sitting Inside: Buddhist Practice in American Prisons.  The answer then was Yes, since no one I knew had discussed how to practice mindfulness and meditation while in jail or prison. Or how to go inside to help inmates with their practice. So the book was done and—after a good number of reversals—finally came out in 2002. I’ve also contributed articles and book chapters on Buddhist practice in the Gay community. For similar reasons I felt that Queer Dharma,...

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Trying to Love

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 | 0 comments

Metta, or loving-kindness, is both a concept and a practice emphasized in our tradition. If we picture Buddhist practice as the severe, self-absorbed sitting on a cushion trying to achieve serenity, we will be constantly frustrated. Metta gives us some practical tools to use both during meditation and in our daily lives. I teach a prayer and meditation workshop in the local substance abuse treatment center. My audience there is frequently squirmy, passive aggressive, sleepy or outwardly hostile. So I can’t just throw meditation at them. I have to start with loving-kindness.   It’s...

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PMR June 2014 Newsletter

Posted by on May 30, 2014 | 0 comments

Plum Mountain Buddhist Community June 2014 Newsletter Weekly Schedule: Daily 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Service with short recitation and half hour seated meditation, at 516 W. Cushing in Aberdeen. This is except for Fridays and when Thay Kobai is away from the Harbor. Our regular community (sangha) gathering is Tuesday evenings at Cushing St. 6:30 to 8 p.m. We do some movement and sitting meditation, with plenty of guidance for newcomers.  Thay Kobai gives a short talk on Buddhist principles followed by Q&A and discussion. In May we’ll be looking at the First Path Element, Wise...

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