Zen Club Meeting #11
The Great Matter of Life and Death
Sunday 5th November 2017
@Rojana Dhamma Center, Asoke
Zen club meets more or less monthly. You don’t need to be experienced – it is for anyone and everyone interested in exploring some of the tenets of Zen Buddhism.
During the morning is a Puja and Dhamma Talk – then there will be some Veggie Pad Thai offered for (free) lunch, plus homemade bagels will be on sale from our local shop, before we meet for the Aen Club. Feel free to come for either event or both!
- 1:30-3:30pm at the Rojana Dhamma Center, Asoke
- There is no charge for this event, and no need to book in advance.
- You do not need to take anything along. We’re all ready for you!
The Emperor of China asked the Zen priest Gudo, “What happens after we die?”
Gudo replied, “I don’t know. I’m not dead yet.”
Death, like suffering, is one of the fundamentals of life: it happens to all us. Yet death remains a great mystery. How do we view the problem of death in Zen? Why do Zen teachers often say that death cannot be separated from life? Why do they say death goes together with life? How does Zen interpret the Buddhist teachings about death? How is death a part of our Zen practice? How do we die while doing Zen meditation? We will use the teachings of Zen masters, as well as some of the poems they wrote just before dying. Outside every Zen meditation hall in Japan, there is a plaque that reads:”Each of us must clarify the great matter of life and death. Time passes swiftly. Do not waste this life.”
About Zen Club:
The Zen Study club is a beginners Zen Buddhism study group based around the teachings of historical Zen masters as well as contemporary Zen teachers, including the founder of San Francisco Zen Center, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, and teachers from this lineage in America. Zen is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism that started in India, then was brought to China about 1500 years ago, where it developed into a distinct school. It then spread to other Asian countries, especially Japan, before arriving in the West in the 20th century.The club will informally explore Zen thought, practice and teachings from the perspectives of Zen sutras, stories, poems, koans (riddles), and teachings from contemporary teachers, that will be taken selectively from a large body of Zen literature. Besides an informal and fun exploration of Zen philosophy, we will incorporate some guidance on the Zen method of meditation, which is the heart of the practice.In addition, we might show videos of dharma talks from the San Francisco Zen Center and other American Zen teachers.Joe, Sid and Reggie will lead the session – all are long time Zen students, and although not formally trained as Buddhist teachers, have had many years of Zen practice and study. They have a strong interest in developing their own Zen Buddhist practice and sharing it with others in Thailand who might not know about Zen and its practical and ancient wisdom. There will be more focus on interaction and group discussion than lectures.They always put in a lot of effort for these meetings – which is well appreciated!The group is open to all who seek a beginners mind approach to an ancient and revitalized Buddhist practice as it applies to contemporary life.
Please follow the map. It is VERY precise. It is easy to find: there are only one or two turns depending on which direction you are coming from. It is an 11 minute walk from Asoke BTS and even closer to Sukhumvit MRT
Go down Sukhumvit 23 to the first four way intersection. Turn right, and then turn right again at the end of the road.
Or just ask the motorcycles inside Sukhumvit 23 – they know the way.
A few tips:
- Don’t ask locals or taxi drivers the way – they will not know the Rojana Centre, and will send you somewhere else instead. They will all know Sukhumvit 23, so go there and find your own way.
- Follow the map – plenty of landmarks are shown and it it extremely precise!
- In Thai the centre is known as Rojanatam
- Quite a few other foreigners will be heading there at the same time.
Here are the GPS coordinates if you prefer : 13.739356, 100.564748