On April 17, 2018 the CT sangha was privileged to receive an extended dharma talk by Richard Zipoli. Richard outlined the theme and content of the two most well known of the Taoist texts, the Tao Te Ching and the Chuang Tzu. In doing so he also pointed out their remarkable similarities to early Buddhism and how fundamental Taoist though was to the development of Zen.
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Michelle Hartel Reporting, Connecticut Sangha
During a recent class, the CT DTO Sangha was treated to a wonderful lesson on Buddha-Nature by our presenter, Richard Downey. Richard is a fabulous storyteller and an experienced artist. During his presentation of the Sutra of Hui Neng, also known as the Sutra Spoken by the Sixth Patriarch, the Platform Sutra, or the Altar Sutra, Richard used his artistic teaching abilities to help us all experience Buddha-Nature.
Since Buddha-Nature exists within every one of us, he used the art of origami to illustrate how Buddha-Nature exists and can flourish so it can be seen others. In this case, the paper contained crane-nature which nobody could see, although we trusted that the crane-nature existed within the paper. Just as we trust that Buddha-Nature exists within each of us and only needs to be recognized and nurtured to be seen by others, the crane-nature needed to be coaxed out of the paper with much folding and much patience. There was laughter and frustration along the way as we walked the path together unlocking our respective crane-nature.
In the end, we all witnessed the beauty of the crane-nature that we developed into our own special cranes. Much like our own individual practices, we learned that our own Buddha-Nature can evolve in different ways and the results of our practice together is beautiful, like our swoop of cranes. Each one different, yet similar. Each one the result of nurturing the crane-nature within.
Our CT swoop of cranes nesting in our new bowl cushion.
Craig Hannah Reporting, Connecticut Sangha
With the expert advice of Noble Silence and Thay, Ct sangha member Deborah McDonald selected a new bell and inkin while at the winter retreat in Pearland. It received its inaugural use at our December 16th practice. Its tone is magnificent and truly is a call to mindfulness.
Jeffrey Butts Reporting, Virginia Beach, VA
One year ago this month, our Virginia Beach sangha became the latest DTO sangha, joining a flourishing network of other sanghas spread throughout the country. Although we have an existing sangha thriving here, members of our sangha welcomed the development of the Dharma Teacher Order.
In our inaugural year last year, we had the honor of being visited by Venerable Thich Tri Hoang. He shared his time entreating us to the Dharma and introducing us the Dharma Teacher Order and its mission. Upon his departure, we were set with the colossal task of initial implementation of the DTO into our existing Sangha–that meant spreading the word and gaining interest, getting volunteer coordinators, establishing meeting times, etc. With the aid of early interest, we had enough momentum to get things unpacked right away. Indeed it was miraculous that within only a couple of weeks after Venerable/s visit that we were held an interest meeting and eventually held our first class. Read more ›
Bobbie Martin Reporting, Connecticut Sangha
On September 24, 2017, Lao Lane Xang Temple in Willington, Connecticut hosted Buddhist Global Relief’s Connecticut Walk to Feed the Hungry. The event began with a short talk by Bhikku Bodhi, explaining that other walks around the country were held in public parks where participants walked in pairs or small groups, chatting and keeping up a normal walking pace. Here in Willington, the walk was unique, single file, slow, a form of meditation that took us across the lawn and into the forest. We were instructed to consider those who would benefit from our efforts, the girls able to stay in school with donations of food to their families, the children able to receive a daily meal in Haiti, schools in impoverished regions that would be sup-plied with supplies, teachers and administrators, to name just a few. And so we stepped along the path, one foot-fall following the next, all following the monks and nuns that led us. Read more ›
Author: Ken Chitwood
Photo: Tri Hoang
With a smile like Mona Lisa, the face stares out with a subtle serenity, a gentle, yet influencing, contentedness. It invites the viewer to wonder what inner joy produces such penetrating tranquility. Is it a new painting at MFAH? An installment at Rice University? No, it’s a large and impressive new statue of the Buddha being installed at Chua Phap Nguyen and monastery in Pearland (a.k.a. Dharma Spring Temple). Read more ›