Copy
January 2020 -
Long Life and Good Fortune
View this email in your browser

Long Life and Good Fortune

It’s New Year’s again. Let’s be grateful for this past year and look toward what 2020 will bring.

Whatever the last year has been like, we can be grateful that we are here. Not all of our adventures have been what we hoped for, but we can say “thank you” anyway. Perhaps we went through some really heartrending times when a loved one was sick or died or something we longed for or depended on was taken away. We can be grateful for the chances those occasions gave us to grow and understand. If there were no difficulties we wouldn’t continue maturing as human beings. And there were wonderful times – recognition for our efforts, the joy of a sunny day, the warmth of a smile from someone who matters to us. Let’s remember these, hold them in our hearts, and be happy they came our way.

Even though none of these things is happening right now, they are part of this moment and part of our life. The important thing is to use their presence with wisdom. We don’t let the hard times crush us. We remember to get up and figure out how to take the next step. Then we take it. We don’t let our mistakes disturb our regard for ourselves or our actions. Like a calligrapher who’s made a wrong brush stroke, we let it be and continue on, making the next character as well as we can. The imperfections can make things more interesting. And our mistakes can give our lives life and movement.

But now it’s 2020 and we’re eager to look forward to this bright, clean new space of time ahead of us. What will come our way? We can pretty much be certain that this will not be our perfect year. Stuff just happens and we can’t control it all that much. What we can work with is how we react to it.

Perhaps the real question is “What will I make of the coming year?” How will we enjoy the wonderful times? How will we take care of the messes?

Having the right attitude is a good start. It’s important to be an active participant in, not a passive recipient of whatever happens. Dwelling on the mistreatment and humiliation we’ve received will ensure that suffering follows us very closely. While we can’t totally control what happens to us, we can direct our response to it and influence what happens next. We can figure out how to navigate the situation and, while it may not come out as we wish, we’ve taken things in the direction of wellbeing and joy.

When things happen, we can also remember not to seek outside ourselves for happiness. Recent research on our outlook on life is finding that each of us has a particular level of happiness to which we always return. If we win the lottery we’re exultant, but we soon return to the level of happiness we had before we won. If we are injured and end up in a wheelchair, we’ll climb out of our despair to our old happiness level. From this we can see that, although we think our happiness or sadness is caused by what happens to us, it isn’t. We can make the coming year much happier by remembering that and not looking for new accomplishments or acquisitions or approval to make us happy. Instead, we can notice our usual level of happiness and think of ways to help ourselves be more content and joyful.

One way to have more contentment is to turn toward concern for others. At New Year’s in Japan, people wish each other long life and good fortune. They hope for others’ long, healthy lives filled with contentment and satisfaction. When we’re concerned about others, we forget about self. When we forget about self, we become content. Another name for this contentment is nirvana.

So let’s wish each other long life and good fortune. Let’s wish that for everything in this vast and wonderful universe.



 
 

 
 

January Highlights

 

 

 

January 15: Introduction to Zazen

  7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
 

The Zen Center offers a one-evening introduction to Zen Buddhism and zazen. This includes a talk about Zen, zazen instruction, a short period of zazen and an opportunity for questions. Donations are welcome.

 

 



 

January 19: All Day Sitting
5:00 a.m. - 4:40 p.m.

 

All-day sittings are informal times of sitting together, and a chance to do a mini-retreat for a morning or spend an entire day sitting, walking, chanting and sharing food. Participants can come and go as their schedules allow. If you’re from out of town and need to stay overnight, there’s room at the center. Donations are welcome; there is no fee. A typical all-day sitting schedule is available here.



 
 

 



 

Other News

 


A New Year's Thank You

 

Thank you to everyone who attended  the New Year's sitting and open house . As well as those who helped with preperations and clean up, including Lauren Manninen, Myoho Kendall, Robyn Groth, Kyaw Kyaw and Kyi Kyi Oo and their family. 



 




 


 




 

Coming in February

  

 

 

February 16: All Day Sitting

 5:00 a.m. - 4:40 p.m.
 

All-day sittings are informal times of sitting together, and a chance to do a mini-retreat for a morning or spend an entire day sitting, walking, chanting and sharing food. Participants can come and go as their schedules allow. If you’re from out of town and need to stay overnight, there’s room at the center. Donations are welcome; there is no fee. A typical all-day sitting schedule is available here.


 

 

February 19: Introduction to Zazen

  7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
 

The Zen Center offers a one-evening introduction to Zen Buddhism and zazen. This includes a talk about Zen, zazen instruction, a short period of zazen and an opportunity for questions. Donations are welcome.

 

 

 
 
 

Other Sitting & Sangha Opportunities

 

Bloomington-Normal, Illinois group meets at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings at Palms Together Yoga, 1717 R.T. Dunn Drive, Unit E in Bloomington. For more information, click here or contact them at bnzengroup@gmail.com.

Des Moines - Daishin McCabe and Jisho Siebert lead half-day sittings from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month at Pure Land of Iowa – 8364 Hickman Road in Clive. For more information contact Daishin.

Weekly practice


Sundays 
9:00 a.m. Zazen
9:45 a.m. Dharma talk
10:30 - 11:15 a.m. Samu (working meditation)
11:15-11:45 a.m. Tea/Discussion

Mondays
6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Monday Night Dharma
 
Tuesdays

12:15 – 12:55 p.m. Zazen

6:30 – 6:50 p.m. Zazen
6:50 – 7:00 p.m. Kinhin
7:00 – 7:20 p.m. Zazen
7:20 – 7:30 p.m. Kinhin
7:30 – 8:00 p.m. Zazen

Wednesdays
12:15 – 12:55 p.m. Zazen

6:30 – 7:10 p.m. Zazen
7:10 – 7:20 p.m Kinhin
7:20 – 8:00 p.m. Zazen

Thursdays
6:30 – 7:10 p.m. Zazen
7:10 – 7:20 p.m. Kinhin
7:20 – 8:00 p.m. Zazen

Fridays
12:15 – 12:55 p.m. Zazen

Monthly practice


Third Wednesdays
7:30 – 9:00 p.m.  Introduction to Zazen and the Center

Second and fourth Thursdays
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Baika

Mondays
6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Dharma Study

Fourth Sunday
Sangha meeting (following dharma talk)
Click here for more information about Cedar Rapids Zen Center.
gray-facebook-48.png Share
gray-forwardtofriend-48.png Forward
Like us on Facebook
Copyright © 2020 Cedar Rapids Zen Center, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp