March 5, 2014
Our class has been preempted again by another event at the Austin Zen Center, this time by a weekend retreat led by a wonderful Zen master, Reb Anderson. However an alternative venue has been graciously offered by Corey in south Austin for such eventualities. Therefore the Sunday March 9 meeting looks like this:
Austin Words of the Buddha
March 9, 2014, 2:00-3:30pm
Cory’s, 2107 Eva St., Austin 78704, TX
This is in South Austin near Congress and Oltorf. A map is HERE. Please bring cushions. Contact Cory at: 512-373-2179 or email@example.com. Please come. There will be … coffee.
February 4, 2014
Our class will be preempted by another event at Austin Zen Center, a five-day “Genzo-e” retreat with Shohaku Okurmura Roshi. We will meet again on February 16 at the usual time. Thank you for your patience.
On patience. In the middle of our construction phase at the Sitagu monastery, the head electrician, a burley Romanian, once expressed his regret at the inevitable delays during construction.
“I bet you anxious you move into new cabin,” he said.
“I’m patient,” I replied.
“Buddhist not be patient like Romanian not drink Wodka.”
December 31, 2013
This topic was brought up in yesterday’s class. Let me give you the link to an essay I wrote on this important topic about a year ago:
What Did the Buddha Think of Women?
This essay is concerned with the status of women primarily in Early Buddhism and not directly with the history of women in Buddhism, nor with modern issues.
As for history, most of Asia, like most of the West, has a legacy of patriarchy that historically has often undermined the opportunities of women for practice and the recognition of accomplished women as teachers, in spite of what I hope to have shown were the Buddha’s pure intentions. For example, until very recently the sangha of fully ordained nuns (bhikkhunis) that the Buddha created has been missing in both the Theravada and the Tibetan traditions.
As for modern issues, this is changing even in Asia largely through Western influence. I think this is not so much because the West has itself totally changed its patriarchal ways, as that those Westerners who come to Buddhism tend demographically to be among the kind of educated and socially and politically progressive elements that have been most supportive of gender equality.
Here is a link that will take you to more information on the modern bhikkhuni movement:
December 19, 2013
The Cushion or the World?
Bhikkhu Cintita Dinsmore
There is a pervasive disagreement in Western Buddhism. Those whom we can call the traditionalists see virtue in adhering rather strictly to Buddhist practices as they have been transmitted by our Asian teachers, particularly focusing on stringent meditation practice. Those whom we can call the modernists feel the necessity of integrating into their practice new features more relevant to their modern daily household and professional lives, to their relationships, to their jobs, and to their social engagement, generally by mixing in everything from psychotherapy to performance art. These two factions sometimes exchange epithets like “stuck in the mud,” “stuffed robe,” “patriarchal,” “new-agey,” “touchy-feely” and “watered down.”
December 3, 2013
Last Sunday we finished talking about the human condition and, for about the last ten minutes, began the topic of the Life of the Buddha. You may click HERE for the outline and readings on the new topic, and for the first audio file.
There will be no class this coming Sunday, December 8, because we’ve been displaced by the annual rohatsu sesshin, a major Zen retreat. We will meet the following week,on December 15, and hopefully maintain more continuity after that. Of course you are each invited to come out to the monastery to talk Dharma or about your individual practice almost any time. Just let me know by email: bhikkhu.cintita @ gmail.com.
November 23, 2013
Now that the “Robe Offering” season is over, I will foreseeably able to teach each Sunday right through the holidays. Although I expect physical attendance to suffer, I know you will be there in spirit, and that you be able to follow the audios on line. We will meet tomorrow, the next Sunday (in spite of Thanksgiving) and beyond. I expect to finish “The Human Condition” and begin “The Bringer of Light,” on the life of the Buddha, next week.
Kim points out that we will not be able to meet Sunday, December 8; the Zen Center has a one-week retreat including that day. We will meet December 1, 15, 22 and 29, foreseeably.
November 11, 2013
This Sunday’s class will be preempted by an robe offering (Katthina) ceremony at the Sitago Buddha Vihara. Please come to participate in a festive event and see where Bhante Cintita lives. The event is called a robe-offering ceremony. The schedule is:
- 11:00 Lunch offering to monks
- 11:30 Lunch for lay people
- 1:00 Katthina Ceremony in Dhamma Hall
- 2:00 Entertainment (Burmese music and dance)
Bhante will offer tours of the monastery, which is in many ways like a Buddhist theme park if you arrive well before 11. Ask around for “the American monk” if you have trouble locating him. There will be delicious food, mostly Burmese, great company, mostly Burmese, exotic entertainment and, oh, a traditional offering of robes to about 11 monks.
Location: 9001 Honeycomb Drive, SW Austin, off of 290. Find directions HERE.
October 25, 2013
Here are some photos from last Saturday’s event (to which you were all invited and a few came) at the Sitagu Buddha Vihara: