Hope and hopelessness & Hope and hopelessness

When I got my orders to Okinawa I was initially thrilled at the idea of meeting up with a Sangha, one that would hopefully be more accessible than the one that I had been with down in Portland.

I had heard stories from veterans that they were introduced to Zazen in Okinawa.
Things change, and a quick google search, followed by some pretty intensive google searching revealed that there just isn't much in the way of Buddhism or Buddhist practice in Okinawa at all.

That is what gave me the "idea" of starting the Okinawa Zazen Group. After all, I have the fancy lobster bib, shave my head and took those vows that made me promise to save all sentient beings.
Since no one else appeared to be stepping up, I felt obliged to.

That, and the increasing popularity of Buddhism in the west, There being a pretty large number of westerners around here, and meeting three people who professed to be Buddhists "Too" in my own unit. It seemed like the thing to do.

Today, after kinhin, I was joined by the cat. Who decided to use me a a cushion despite there being several available. I sure did appreciate that.

I have asked the wife to ask google about Buddhist groups in Japanese.

I'm pretty hopeless about that turning anything up too.

The Schedule for next week's Saturday morning Zazen Group is as follows:

0930- Introduction and Instructions for sitting and Zen hall etiquette,
1000- Heart Sutra recitation
1005- Zazen
1030- Kinhin
1040- Zazen
1110- If you show up, we'll talk about practice. If you don't show up, I'll probably write another blog post.

You should know that even if all the buddhas in the ten directions, as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, together engage the full power of their buddha wisdom, they could never reach the limit, or measure or comprehend the virtue, of one person's zazen.


Anonymous said...

S. Suzuki started with attedences of Zero.

Anyway, you are looking at this all wrong.

You've set up a Zendo and advertised it. That's your job done for now.

Other people turning up - well, that's their job not yours.

If they don't turn up it's not about you. IF they turn up it's not about you.

But a thought on dress code. No-one could call Camo or khaki BDU colorful or distracting clothing so it's within the spirit of say Fukanzazengi if people wear it.

Maybe you are Mr Cushion Rental Guy not Mr Tailor??

SlowZen said...

Yeah, and then he got... HIPPIES!

Totally with you on the second point though.

Certainly not a taylor, but as far as the Khaki or camo goes, the target audience has to look at that every day. And khaki in particular can give some folks a bad vibe. Kind of like the vibe one might get from IEDs and snipers.

Thanks for stopping in, missed you around here.

Anonymous said...

Fair point on the vibe - kinda taking your work home. Not always helpful.

The hippies and beatnicks did grow up - reality does that...

SlowZen said...

I wonder if they grew up or just grew old...

Uku said...

Great job, Jordan, don't give up! An honest heart find always friends.

Bows to you and to your efforts!

SlowZen said...

Thanks Uku, As always, for the encouragement.

Unknown said...

Hi Jordan!
100 with Uku,

If you sit they will come- keep it up!

FWIW I sat my first night with the group, lastnight. Ended up just me and the breeze. Chanted, sat, kinhin, sat and chanted... think I spooked the guy going to the washroom out side the studio with my sudden

Anywho I'll be sitting alone with you too!


oxeye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oxeye said...

Hi Jordan. I wanted to edit out what wasn't necessary..

Good luck should cover it.

SlowZen said...

Dirk, Jeff,
Thank you for the encouragement.

Thanks for looking!