Daily Practice

Essential Teachings of Dogen

Buddha ancestors have said since ancient times, 
“Living for one hundred years does not compare with living for one day and arousing determination for the way.”

Even when you are uncertain, do not use this one day wastefully. It is a rare treasure to value. Do not compare it with an enormous jewel. Do not compare it with a dragon’s bright pearl. Old sages valued this one day more than their own living bodies. Reflect on this quietly. A dragon’s pearl may be found. An enormous jewel may be acquired. But this one day out of a hundred years cannot be retrieved once it is lost. What skillful means can retrieve a day that is passed? No historical documents have recorded such means. Not to waste time is to contain the passage of days and months within your skin bag, without leaking. Thus sages and wise ones in olden times valued each moment, day, and month more than their own eyeballs or the nation’s land. To waste the passage of time is to be confused and stained in the floating world of name and gain. Not to miss the passage of time is to be in alignment with the way.

Once you have clarity, do not neglect a single day. Wholeheartedly practice for the sake of the way and speak for the sake of the way. We know that buddha ancestors of old did not neglect each day’s endeavor. You should reflect on this every day. Sit near a bright window and reflect on this, on mellow and flower-filled days. Sit in a plain building and remember it on a solitary rainy evening. Why does the passage of time steal your endeavor? What kind of enemy is the passage of time? How regrettable to waste your time because of distractions. If you do not know yourself, you will not be able to be your own ally in this great undertaking.

Dogen (1200-1253)

— Excerpted from Enlightenment Unfolds: The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Dogen, by Kazuaki Tanahashi (1999)

Instructions On Zen Meditation

The Way Of Council

Zen Peacemakers Rule and Precepts

The Three Treasures, The Three Tenets, The Ten Practices, The Four Commitments and The Bodhisattva Vow serve as the foundation for the Zen Peacemaker work and practice. One may pursue their study with a teacher and/preceptor.

Gatha Of Atonement

Day Of Reflection

 

All karma ever committed by me since of old,

Due to my beginningless greed, hatred, and delusion.

Born of my actions, speech, and thought.

Now I atone for it all.

Indra's Net

By Bernie Glassman

When we realize that we are all bright pearls in Indra’s Net, we see that within each one of us the whole body of the universe is contained. Since we are all already connected in Indra’s Net, there are no limits to the possibilities of connecting with other people in our lives and our work.”

Mala Practice

The Mala practice of the Zen Peacemakers continues two legacies – the old Buddhist practice of alms-begging, and Bernie Glassman’s creative, maverick entrepreneurship

Characteristics of the Five Buddha Families

The Five Buddha Families is a Buddhist teaching that suggests the view of existence as a mandala, a composite of five main energies or ‘families’ of Buddhas. Each family is unique, indispensable and complements the others. Each aspect of reality, every animal, person, thought/word/deed, conflict, action can be viewed as a composite of the five, each in different balances and levels of constraint or liberation, delusion or realization. When viewed holistically, realized and unrealized potential energies can be discerned and invoked through practice of chants, prayer or visualization or other creative means. The chart below lays out the basic characteristics of the five Buddha Families.

The Five Buddha Families is a fundamental teaching in Zen Peacemakers activities. Founder Zen Master Bernie Glassman developed Bearing Witness retreats as well as social enterprises such as Greyston, based on these teachings, ever reaching to a finer articulation of the needs of those he served.

Gate Of Sweet Nectar

The foundation of the Gate of Sweet Nectar ceremony is based on Ananda’s deep connection with his mother, and his great suffering in relation to her trials in her afterlife. Ananda, according to lore, then went to the Buddha to see if there was anything he could do to help his mother. The Gate of Sweet Nectar was the Buddha’s gift to Ananda.

The ceremony is a profound plea to bring all the aspects of ourselves and of society that haven’t been served, that haven’t been taken care of to manifest right here and right now. It goes to the root of Buddhism itself, which is to save all sentient beings, understanding that we are all the Buddha and we all suffer. It is through this acknowledgment and through the ‘practice of the 3 tenets that all hungry spirits are liberated.

Essential Teachings of Dogen

Buddha ancestors have said since ancient times, 
“Living for one hundred years does not compare with living for one day and arousing determination for the way.”

Even when you are uncertain, do not use this one day wastefully. It is a rare treasure to value. Do not compare it with an enormous jewel. Do not compare it with a dragon’s bright pearl. Old sages valued this one day more than their own living bodies. Reflect on this quietly. A dragon’s pearl may be found. An enormous jewel may be acquired. But this one day out of a hundred years cannot be retrieved once it is lost. What skillful means can retrieve a day that is passed? No historical documents have recorded such means. Not to waste time is to contain the passage of days and months within your skin bag, without leaking. Thus sages and wise ones in olden times valued each moment, day, and month more than their own eyeballs or the nation’s land. To waste the passage of time is to be confused and stained in the floating world of name and gain. Not to miss the passage of time is to be in alignment with the way.

Once you have clarity, do not neglect a single day. Wholeheartedly practice for the sake of the way and speak for the sake of the way. We know that buddha ancestors of old did not neglect each day’s endeavor. You should reflect on this every day. Sit near a bright window and reflect on this, on mellow and flower-filled days. Sit in a plain building and remember it on a solitary rainy evening. Why does the passage of time steal your endeavor? What kind of enemy is the passage of time? How regrettable to waste your time because of distractions. If you do not know yourself, you will not be able to be your own ally in this great undertaking.

Dogen (1200-1253)

— Excerpted from Enlightenment Unfolds: The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Dogen, by Kazuaki Tanahashi (1999)

Instructions On Zen Meditation

The Way Of Council

Zen Peacemakers Rule and Precepts

The Three Treasures, The Three Tenets, The Ten Practices, The Four Commitments and The Bodhisattva Vow serve as the foundation for the Zen Peacemaker work and practice. One may pursue their study with a teacher and/preceptor.

Gatha Of Atonement

Day Of Reflection

 

All karma ever committed by me since of old,

Due to my beginningless greed, hatred, and delusion.

Born of my actions, speech, and thought.

Now I atone for it all.

Indra's Net

By Bernie Glassman

When we realize that we are all bright pearls in Indra’s Net, we see that within each one of us the whole body of the universe is contained. Since we are all already connected in Indra’s Net, there are no limits to the possibilities of connecting with other people in our lives and our work.”

Mala Practice

The Mala practice of the Zen Peacemakers continues two legacies – the old Buddhist practice of alms-begging, and Bernie Glassman’s creative, maverick entrepreneurship

Characteristics of the Five Buddha Families

The Five Buddha Families is a Buddhist teaching that suggests the view of existence as a mandala, a composite of five main energies or ‘families’ of Buddhas. Each family is unique, indispensable and complements the others. Each aspect of reality, every animal, person, thought/word/deed, conflict, action can be viewed as a composite of the five, each in different balances and levels of constraint or liberation, delusion or realization. When viewed holistically, realized and unrealized potential energies can be discerned and invoked through practice of chants, prayer or visualization or other creative means. The chart below lays out the basic characteristics of the five Buddha Families.

The Five Buddha Families is a fundamental teaching in Zen Peacemakers activities. Founder Zen Master Bernie Glassman developed Bearing Witness retreats as well as social enterprises such as Greyston, based on these teachings, ever reaching to a finer articulation of the needs of those he served.

Gate Of Sweet Nectar

The foundation of the Gate of Sweet Nectar ceremony is based on Ananda’s deep connection with his mother, and his great suffering in relation to her trials in her afterlife. Ananda, according to lore, then went to the Buddha to see if there was anything he could do to help his mother. The Gate of Sweet Nectar was the Buddha’s gift to Ananda.

The ceremony is a profound plea to bring all the aspects of ourselves and of society that haven’t been served, that haven’t been taken care of to manifest right here and right now. It goes to the root of Buddhism itself, which is to save all sentient beings, understanding that we are all the Buddha and we all suffer. It is through this acknowledgment and through the ‘practice of the 3 tenets that all hungry spirits are liberated.

Zen Peacemakers International
Journal