Letter from Michael

DSC_6999-482Dear Maui Zendo Sangha,

I look forward to seeing you at the Paia Rinzai Zen Mission this Saturday for our Samu Zazenkai. This will be a full day of practice with Zazen and Dokusan in the morning and Dharma Assembly, a 2 hour period of focused Samu practice, along with a special closing ceremony in the afternoon. Please note that our lunch time will be from 11:30 AM -12:30 PM, a half hour earlier than usual, but we will still end at 4:00 PM with tea and conversation following.

What would it be like to experience working at the Paia Rinzai Mission— sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, washing windows, pulling weeds — as just as valuable a practice as doing zazen? There is no question that this is precisely the teaching of the Zen tradition going all the way back to Baizhang’s saying, “A day without work is a day without eating.” When we view samu practice as a burden or obligation that needs to be fulfilled so that we can then have a place to go to do the real practice, we completely miss a huge piece of the wisdom and transformative power of our tradition, not to mention that same potency in our own daily activities. We’ll celebrate this bounty together on Saturday. See you there.

Best to all,