News

Upcoming Event March 26th

Day of Mindfulness, check the events page

May 22nd 2017

Dear Friends see this video of the BSNT international food fair fundraiser from Paul, including many of the different cultural celebrations from the different Buddhist groups attending our temple.Thank you again to those who volunteered for our DZG drinks stall. Thank you Paul
https://youtu.be/hdkIrrzmYh0

May 19th 2017

Dear Friends, Taking Refuge in Sangha is taking refuge in the unconditioned we have the intention, we tend to this...and let everything take care of itself.
The intention to shift focus from self to no self and to intimacy with all things. Sangha is the flow between Buddha and Dharma. Love and compassion naturally arises. How can this aspect of life ignore another aspect of life in distress? There is a movement to support the moment to be compete beyond desire and aversion. How do we create Sangha to support this?
To enter the formless we provide some form, some structure. When we are mindful and everyone is supported to be mindful and everyone feels taken care of. This is the ritual. We see this happening naturally when newcomers come to our relaxed and welcoming Darwin Zen Group. The ritual is not too rigid, it is an offering, an invitation. How we do anything is how we do everything in our daily life. Sangha is an opportunity to rest in the unconditioned and break conditioned habits of the body mind. We explore the Buddha's Upright and Complete Eight Fold path including upright complete activity and speech. From no self we find a new authenticity as we move to supporting the moment to be complete.
To rest as this unconditional awareness we need trust and confidence so the invitation is to be trust worthy and to connect in a different way: with unconditional awareness, which is to be accepted unconditionally for who we are.
To enter the Stillness and the Silence we support both, we give space for speech and silence. We have no preference. All voices are welcome. We explore the deep koans into the nature of reality, into self, into suffering, into love, into purpose, into birth and death. We also explore our everyday life koans. They are not separate. "It speaks in silence, in speech we hear its silence."
The invitation is for the group not only to inquire into what we do and how we do this but also who is doing this. What is the self and what does this mean in today's world, in this moment?
When we ask questions it implies there are answers but we trust in not knowing, beyond knowing and not knowing, beyond right and wrong, judgements of good and bad, and self and other. Just not knowing: Beginners Mind. The invitation is to belong and to be supported and so support others. It is enough to just show up. This is Zen. Simply Being here. Showing up in every moment. To share what is here now. To be the infinite potential of the moment. The potential for love, joy, creativity and freedom. "Singing and dancing are the voice of the (Buddha) Law."
This is transformational. This is taking refuge in Sangha
love Justine

May 12th 2017

Form is exactly emptiness
Emptiness is exactly form

May 9th 2017

This week Dharma talk and exploration Taking refuge in Sangha.
What is Sangha? Why do you come to Zen? What sort of group do you want to be a part of? What qualities do you wish for your Sangha?
Koan: Case 46 from the 12th century collection of Chinese koans compiled by Yuan Wu, the Blue Cliff Record (with commentaries by Xuedou).
JINGQING's VOICE OF THE RAINDROPS
The teacher or guide Jingqing asked an explorer or Dharma friend, “What is the sound outside?”
“The sound of rain dripping,” replied the friend.
The teacher Jingqing said, “Ordinary people are upside down, falling into delusion about themselves or pursuing outside objects.”
“What about yourself, Teacher?” asked the friend.
Jingqing said, “I’m on the brink of falling into delusion about myself.”
The friend asked, “What do you mean, ‘On the brink of falling into delusion about yourself’?”
Jingqing said, “To attain the world of emptiness may not be so difficult, but to express the bare substance is hard.”

May 2nd 2017

Dear Friends in the coming weeks we are exploring taking refuge in Sangha or the Buddhist community.
"If we do not have a supportive sangha, we may not be getting the kind of support we need for our practice, that we need to nourish our bodhichitta (the strong desire to cultivate love and understanding in ourselves). Sometimes we call it “beginner’s mind.” The mind of a beginner is always very beautiful, very strong. In a good and healthy sangha, there is encouragement for our beginner’s mind, for our bodhichitta. So the sangha is the soil and we are the seed. No matter how beautiful, how vigorous our seed is, if the soil does not provide us with vitality, our seed will die.
In my tradition they say that when a tiger leaves the mountain and goes to the lowland, it will be caught by humans and killed. When practitioners leave their sangha, they will abandon their practice after a few months. In order to continue our practice of transformation and healing, we need a sangha. With a sangha it’s much easier to practice, and that is why I always take refuge in my sangha."
Thich Nhat Hanh

April 18th 2017

Dear Friends Please see flyer re Buddhist Society Food Fair at the temple Sunday April 23rd. This is a great evening with wonderful food and a lovely opportunity to bring friends and family to the temple and enjoy the beautiful multicultural space.
(Please confirm if you are able to volunteer to support the drinks stall. 4-8pm in 2 hour shifts thank you.)
file:///C:/Users/justi/Desktop/2017%20April%20-%20BSNT%20food%20fair%20flyer%20A4.pdf
Love
Justine

March 31st 2017

This week Zen Talk: Taking refuge in Dharma: Zen Master Dogen writes “The real issue here, to clarify birth and to clarify death, is the great matter of causes and effects in the buddha house.

Cause is not before and effect is not after. Cause is complete and effect is complete, cause is all-inclusive, just as dharma is all-inclusive. Effect is all-inclusive just as dharma is all-inclusive. Although effect is experienced, induced by cause, one is not before and the other is not after. We say that both before and after are all-inclusive.

From the present existence, you reach an intermediary existence and from an intermediary existence you reach a future existence passing through moment by moment. In this way, beyond your intention, you pass through birth and death, driven by your karma, without even stopping for a moment.”

“The most serious mistake by those who study zen is to believe that a person who practices completely does not fall into cause and effect.

Immediately clarify all causes and all effects if you want to make the aspiration for enlightenment your priority and so respond to the boundless gift of the buddha ancestors.”

So what is it to clarify all causes and all effects? What is it to take refuge in Dharma: The Buddha law of cause and effect, of karma?

March 24th 2017

Loving Kindness and Compassion towards all suffering: including directed at painful thoughts and feelings in the so called self as well as so call other. Our exploration this week mentioned a willingness to be vulnerable. Our willingness to be present to our suffering and vulnerablity as a Dharma Gate to awakening.
https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

March 17th 2017

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScnYKa91BPaKB9mSZF-OKT991pZu7_5Hy_MIvGPv5g7Vz3mBw/viewform

March 17th 2017

TO REGISTER FOR OUR MINDFULNESS WORKSHOP Sun 26 March 8.30am-3.45pm please use the registration form on our website
http://dzg.org.au/events

March 7th 2017

INTEGRATING EMBODYING THE WAY: FOR WORK-LIFE BALANCE
You are invited to register for our Day of Mindfulness. The theme will be FREEDOM AND EASE IN EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE, in particular how to create the conditions in all aspects of our life to support us to be complete and at peace.
This day of mindfulness will focus on the experiential aspects of INTEGRATING AND EMBODYING PRESENCE (including letting go of any beliefs we may have about whatever this is or isn't).
We will explore the ways we can live according to our deepest values, from peace, love and joy.
We will also inquire into WORK-LIFE BALANCE and the Buddhist guidelines on how to achieve this with reflective exercises, guided effortless meditations and mindfulness practices.
Everyone welcome.
Cost $50 $25 unwaged.

Prior Registration and payment ESSENTIAL by 18/3/17. Space is LIMITED. It will not be possible to attend without prior registration.

To register and for more information please email darwinzengroup@gmail.com

March 7th 2017

You are invited to register for our Day of Mindfulness. The theme will be FREEDOM AND EASE IN EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE, in particular how to create the conditions in all aspects of our life to support us to be complete and at peace.
This day of mindfulness will focus on the experiential aspects of INTEGRATING AND EMBODYING PRESENCE (including letting go of any beliefs we may have about whatever this is or isn't).
We will explore the ways we can live according to our deepest values, from peace, love and joy.
We will also inquire into WORK-LIFE BALANCE and the Buddhist guidelines on how to achieve this with reflective exercises, guided effortless meditations and mindfulness practices.
Everyone welcome.
Cost $50 $25 unwaged.

Prior Registration and payment ESSENTIAL by 18/3/17. Space is LIMITED. It will not be possible to attend without prior registration.

To register and for more information please email darwinzengroup@gmail.com

February 24th 2017

Dear Friends
This week DHARMA TALK: TAKING REFUGE IN BUDDHA with the koan from the 13th C Gate-less Barrier Collection of koans:

Case 30 Ma-tsu
The student Ta-mei asked the Zen teacher Ma-tsu, “What is Buddha?”

Ma-tsu said , “This very mind is Buddha.”

WU-MEN’S COMMENT
If you can grasp the point directly, you wear Buddha’s robes, eat Buddha’s food, speak Buddha’s words, take Buddha’s role. That is you yourself are Buddha. Ta-mei, however, misled quite a few people into trusting a broken scale. Don’t you know you should rinse out your mouth for three days when you utter the name Buddha? If you are genuine, you’ll run away holding your ears upon hearing just those words, “This very mind is Buddha.”

WU-MEN’S VERSE
The blue sky and bright day-
No more searching around
“What is Buddha?” you ask.
Hiding loot you declare your innocence.

For inquiry ? What is Buddha? What is it to take refuge in the Buddha? What is the loot?
What is Ta-mei asking Ma-tsu?
love
justine

February 17th 2017

AN APPROPRIATE RESPONSE. "What is Yun men pointing to here? Buddha Mind, the mind of no mind. Koans are a response from the awakened mind, from freedom. Beyond appropriate and inappropriate, beyond wanting or avoiding, right and wrong, self and other. From no self. From oneness.

Not our fear and their fear, or our anger or their anger, our rights or their rights. Not listening to any tyrannical ideas about what should or shouldn't be happening, (not even so called our own.) But just seeing it all as thoughts feelings sensations reactions arising in this, as this....whatever this is or isn't.

In today's world how could we not respond? When its ALL OF US, when its ALL US? How can my left hand ignore my right when its in pain?

We start where we are, from simply being here, complete, needing nothing. Beyond wanting life to be different, beyond wanting, beyond self and other; to serve this moment with whatever is needed. Simply being this... being stillness, being peace we invite others to join us whether in work or relationships, or whether we feel incomplete and are moved to act to feel complete again. To educate, support, donate, lobby, lead. Its a natural response from no self. A response as love and compassion."
Justine

February 14th 2017

This week Dharma Talk on Yun men's Appropriate Response: Case 14 from the famous 12th century Blue Cliff Record collection of koans. We look forward to Simply Being with you.
love
Justine

THE CASE

A student asked the great master Yun Men, “What is the teaching which Sakyamuni Buddha preached throughout his life?”

Yun men answered, "An appropriate response."

(Different translations offer "An appropriate statement." or "Teaching in response.")

For contemplation and inquiry:
What is the teaching of Sakyamuni throughout his life?
What is an appropriate response?
To our life? To the world and the life and times that we live in?

February 5th 2017

A KOAN FOR OUR TIMES
Dear Friends this week we will explore and inquire into Case 14 from the famous 12th century Blue Cliff Record collection of koans. We look forward to Simply Being with you.
love
Justine

THE CASE

A student asked the great master Yun Men, “What is the teaching which Sakyamuni Buddha preached throughout his life?”

Yun men answered, "An appropriate statement."

(Different translations offer "An appropriate response." or "Teaching in response.")

For contemplation and inquiry:
What is the teaching of Sakyamuni throughout his life?
What is an appropriate response?
To our life? To the world and the life and times that we live in?

January 31st 2017

Dear Friends
Welcome back to DZG. Build up your Prefrontal Cortex! Many people feel motivated at the beginning of the year to practice meditation and mindfulness and so feel more complete, at ease and free. In the coming weeks we will explore ways to move towards more work-life balance and ways of bringing joy and well being into into every aspect of life. Research in neurophysiology shows us that beginners increase the size of their prefrontal cortex after only 8 weeks of meditation! For more info see below. We look forward to Simply Being with you. love Justine
Meditation and mindfulness activates the prefrontal cortex on functional MRI scanning of the brain.This is responsible for Executive Function including
•Positive thinking
•Coping with difficulty / pain
•Social Awareness / empathy
•Focusing
•Motivation
•Complex problem solving / abstract reasoning
•Sensory processing
•Subcortical regulation of emotions / body response
•Cognitive flexibility
•Goal directed behaviour (especially in line with values)
•Inhibition of inappropriate behaviour (pausing / impulse control)

December 19th 2016

Save the Dates next years DZG retreat Sun 23/7/17- Sun 30/7/17 at our bush retreat centre. email darwinzengroup@gmail.com for more info and see http://dzg.org.au/gallery/ZenRetreat2016

December 19th 2016

Dear Friends we will continue to be having meditation each Wednesday 7-9pm at the temple through Dec and January.
May all beings be at ease.

December 14th 2016

Dear Friends the koan I promised:
Case 2 from the Gateless Barrier Collection compiled by the Zen teacher Wumen:

CASE 2. PAI-CHANG’S FOX

Once when Pai-chang gave a series of talks, a certain old man was always there listening together with the monks. When they left, he would leave too. One day however, he remained behind. Pai-chang asked him, “Who are you standing there before me?”
The old man replied, I am not a human being. In the far distant past in the time of Kasyapa Buddha, I was head priest of this mountain.
One day a monk asked me, ‘Does an enlightened person fall under the law of cause and effect or not?’
I replied, ‘ Such a person does not fall under the law of cause and effect.’ With this I was reborn five hundred times as a fox. Please say a turning word for me and release me from the body of a fox.”
He then asked Pai-chang, “Does an enlightened person fall under the law of cause and effect or not?”
Pai-chang said, “ Such a person does not evade the law of cause and effect.”
Hearing this the old man immediately was enlightened. Making his bows he said, “ I am released from the body of a fox. The body is on the other side of this mountain. I wish to make a request of you. Please, Abbot perform my funeral service as for a priest.”
Pai-chang had a head monk strike the signal board (han) and inform the assembly that after the noon meal there would be a funeral service for a priest. The monks talked about this in wonder. “ All of us are well. There is no one in the morgue. What does the teacher mean?”
After the meal, Pai-chang led the monks to the foot of a rock on the far side of the mountain And there with his staff he poked out the body of a dead fox. He then performed the ceremony of cremation. That evening he took the high seat before his assembly and told the monks the whole story.
Huang- po stepped forward and said , “ As you say the old man missed the turning word and was reborn as a fox five hundred times. What if he had given the right answer each time he was asked a question- what would have happened then?
Pai-chang said, “Just step up closer and I’ll tell you.” Huang-po went up and slapped him in the face. Pai-chang clapped his hands and laughed saying “ I thought the Barbarian had a red beard, but here is a red-bearded Barbarian.”


WU-MEN’S COMMENT
“Not falling under the law of cause and effect” Why should that prompt five hundred lives as a fox? “Not evading the law of cause and effect” Why should this prompt a return to human life? If you have the single eye of realization, you will appreciate how old Pai-chang lived five hundred lives as lives of grace.

WU-MEN’S VERSE
Not falling, not evading-
two faces of the same die.
Not evading, not falling-
a thousand mistakes, ten thousand mistakes.

December 10th 2016

Dear Friends we hope you will join our Sangha Xmas Bring a plate this Wed. Following on from our last koan another one from the Gateless Barrier Collection from the same Zen Master/guide:

CASE 33. MA-TSU “NOT MIND, NOT BUDDHA.”

A student asked Ma-tsu, “ What is Buddha?”
Ma-tsu said, “Not mind, not Buddha.”


WU-MEN’S COMMENT.
If you can see through this clearly, your Zen training is complete.

WU-MEN’S VERSE.

Present a sword if you meet a swordsman,
Don’t offer a poem unless you meet a poet.
When speaking say one-third of it;
Don’t give the whole thing at once.

November 30th 2016

Dear Friends a School founded on Buddhist principles in Daylesford requesting support:

November 30th 2016

Dear Friends here are some photos from our Dharma Friend Shreeni from the Buddhist Community fundraiser food fair. All Buddhist communities sell food and drinks to raise money for the temple in Leanyer. Thank you to Rama, Laura and Vida and all the others for helping organise the Drinks stall.

November 29th 2016

Dear Friends we have now completed the last orientation for newcomers to zen for 2016. Orientations for newcomers will commence again in late Jan/Feb 2017. Please email darwinzengroup@gmail.com Thank You.
May all beings be well, happy and peaceful.
May all beings be free.

November 18th 2016

Dear Friends this week Dokusan and from the Gateless Barrier Collection of Koan's Case 30 Ma-tsu This very mind is Buddha. Enjoy!

Ta-mei asked Ma-tsu, “What is Buddha?”
Ma-tsu said , “This very mind is Buddha.”

WU-MEN’S COMMENT
If you can grasp the point directly, you wear Buddha’s robes, eat Buddha’s food, speak Buddha’s words, take Buddha’s role. That is you yourself are Buddha. Ta-mei, however, misled quite a few people into trusting a broken scale. Don’t you know you should rise out your mouth for three days when you utter the name Buddha? If you are genuine, you’ll run away holding your ears upon hearing just those words, “This very mind is Buddha.”

WU-MEN’S VERSE

The blue sky and bright day-
No more searching around
“What is Buddha?” you ask.
Hiding loot you declare your innocence.