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A New Year’s Message for 2017 from Guy Mokuhô

Dear friends and members of Tenbôrin.

Thanks to all who have sent us good wishes, showing their affection  and support. It is heart- warming and  gives us joy and the  courage to maintain a place in Lanau where all practitioners are welcome at all times, throughout the year, whatever  their age or ability.

Sangha Father Christmas really heard our December appeal for financing a new oven for the big kitchen at Lanau Centre. A big grateful gassho to all the donors who participated in this lovely gift, so useful and necessary. We will be buying it very soon.

Now it’s our turn for our wishes for you, practitioners of the Way, and thus for all beings, from whom we are not separate.

In the Lotus Sutra the Buddha tells the parable of the ‘burning house.’

The house, ‘Earth’ is on fire and the children continue to play, in careless ignorance of the danger threatening them, despite the repeated calls of  their father(Buddha) Even though he begs them to leave the burning house, they pay no attention, they are so absorbed and enchanted by their toys. It is only by offering them new and more exciting toys that their father succeeds in pulling them from danger.

From this teaching, we can all deeply realise the urgent need to reinforce our practice and our faith, to  keep the wellbeing of those who suffer without the ability to intervene consciously at the root of their suffering. What can we offer other beings?

Buddha taught that we all have the capacity to awaken and discover peace and true happiness, putting an end to suffering. This is not a vain promise!!

The meaning of this parable is to encourage us not to lose our life in unawareness of our truth, attaching ourselves to superficial activities, satisfying mundane desires and passions, obstinately sticking to our selfish habits and our habitual schemes.

Buddha indicates that we can take our legitimate inheritance without further delay, peace, joy, awakening, which puts an end to suffering and the illusion of separation. The way of the Bodhisattva leads us to this treasure, pointing out the return to the Source.

Our ‘work’ as a practitioner is to discover this blood- line to the Buddha, to remind us of what we have forgotten, to revive our trust in our fundamental being. That which Is before even the slightest thought, the most simple words or even the smallest doubt can be formulated. It is in this gathering in, ‘pure and naked’ that this knowing beyond words comes back to us, what Master Dogen called Shikantaza ‘ simply sitting’ practised by the Buddha and the Patriarchs. And it’s is also in this devotion to respect and accomplish our bodhisattva vows for others that we engage every day in awakening.

Let our attitude in this new year be  welcoming, generous, kindly, patient, smiling and always aware of the presence of other beings. Let us stay in contact with that which lives in our heart at all times, witnessing and reinforcing our Buddha nature.

What the Zen Centre of Lanau is organising in 2017 goes towards deepening Bodhisattva practice and understanding the Buddha’s teaching.

Improving our relationships with others and better managing the possibilities that are offered to us each day remain the principle focus. This is on going work for which we offer different approaches for those who have already delved into these subjects.

Without, of course, forgetting regular practice at sesshin and summer sessions.

The 2017 programme of the Zen Centre of Lanau is set out on the website of the Association

Tenborin. Look at it regularly. Each major event will also be sent out by mail or in a newsletter. www.tenborin.org or www.centrezenlanau.org.

‘Correct speech and kindly listening’ will be the subject of the next seminar which will  be on 20-23rd feb. We offer 4 days of initiation into the method of Non Violent Communication (CNV) developed by Marshall Rosenberg, accompanied by teachings  of the Buddha and the masters on the theme.

For those who are already planning their summer, we have 3 sessions.

  • From 8-16 July Tenborin is organising the 2nd session of the summer camps at La Gendronniere (sign up with AZI)
  • From 6-14 August Summer Session at Lanau
  • 20-26 August Summer Session with and for children.

We will be in touch with the parents soon to prepare the programme.

  • 23-26 Oct Seminar on nourishment. . ‘ The Practice of Tenzo.’ We will be explaining the essential principles of how to nourish the body in harmony with what the universe provides.

For all activities,  sesshins, seminars that we organise at Lanau, we need help, particularly in the kitchen and for housekeeping. Please let us know your availability as far ahead as possible.

We wish you once more a beautiful and deeply human new year. May the lamp of practice light up your path and that of those you love and let it spread out to all beings.

With all my love

Guy Mokuhô