ONE PINE HALL NEWSLETTER
A Community of Soto Zen Buddhists in Seattle Washington
Issue 25 February 12, 2011
Shivers and goose bump
It is particularly
Cold on this clear day.
The sky is uncharacteristically clear today and the though the sun is out and offers its light, it is not a warm light.
I remember a tea teacher once suggesting to me that I relax my skin one cold morning as I was helping to prepare for a tea party while I was shivering. Then there was the time of changing the paper on the shoji screens at Rinsoin before New Year day. It was a cold day and a colder night as we wet the screens and washed off the old paper, our fingers stiff from the cold water. And during my childhood we heated and cooked with wood and I had to chop and carry wood onto the porch. I remember a snowy day that was particularly harsh with feet and hands that felt like blocks of frozen pain. The physicality of life is so directly felt on cold days like those.
Our practice of sitting is a place where the physicality of life is also felt. The erect spine brings a regal sense of uprightness. The relaxed face and eyes brings a reflected sense of calm. The kinetics of breathing drawing us ever closer to the present. The growing sensation of pain in our knees helps to keep us humble. Our practice slowly over time brings us to the truth of thusness.
In February we remember the Buddha’s death by reading from the Nirvana Sutra. This Sutra tells of Buddha becoming sick and falling to the side of the road. It also tells of the Buddha becoming tired. And finally it tells of the Buddha’s death. What a great gift the Buddha gives us by showing that even when enlightened a person subject to death. Enlightenment did not save the Buddha from getting sick or tired or even from death. So what did enlightenment do, it did give the Buddha a clear eye to deeply experience his life directly. Let us celebrate the Buddha’s life by living our own life as immediately and deeply moment by moment as it unfolds regardless of cold or warmth of the day.
I would like to invite you to come sit together in remembrance of Buddha’s Paranarvana on Friday February 25 from 7pm to 9pm and Saturday February 26 from 9am to 5pm. Please bring your own lunch Saturday.
One Pine Hall
425 23 Ave S. #114
Seattle WA 98144
7:00pm – 8:30pm
40 minute period of sitting, 20 minute talk, short service, and tea
Please call to let me know you are planning to attend
Robby Ryuzen Pellett