It is being shared, with his consent, so that you might get a taste of the results of our program and the teaching that it offers those inside and outside the walls. Truly "No Barrier":
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Gassho, Doshin Sensei
"....I am still in confinement all by my lonesome. I quite enjoy the solitude. It's just me and my monkey mind.
"I must admit that I always found it easier to meditate while we've been together gathered as a Sangha. Being in the company of fellow practitioners lends me the resolve and motivation to discipline myself to sit still and observe. When I am alone, I tend to substitute mindfulness more than actually doing zazen. I guess I have work to do but I also realize that there is no wrong or right way in its absolute arbitrary form to do things. Attachment has many guises.
"Right now, my main goal is to observe my vows and remain centered in mindfulness. that is as best as I can expect from myself. I still catch myself entertaining certain thoughts and projecting certain scenarios where I'm always the leading actor basking in all the glory, fame and riches of the world. And yet I observe this absurd drama unfolding within my mind's eye and I just smile! When will it ever end? That of course is a rhetorical question because I don't know the answer and am quite comfortable in my ignorance -of sorts.
"I do not know when I will ever see you again. I kind of felt like a pupil that was dismissed by his teacher when the teacher finally realized that he had nothing further to teach his student and sent him on his way lest the student get overly attached to his teacher. I realize now that my journey is mine and no one else's and sometimes the weight of that knowledge can be overwhelming. Yet I know that everything is temporary and like you always said -'no feeling is final'. I draw strength in the Buddha, the Dharma and the lineage throughout thousands of years of practice by those brave men and women who have passed on the torch in an otherwise dark and confusing world.
"The Dharma teachings are simple and beautiful and yet I cannot even begin to explain what those teachings are when some curious soul begins to question me on Buddhism and Zen. I sort of just notice everything around me in its minute detail as if the inquiry wax the cue for me to remember the present. I cannot presume to give a reasonable explanation on what Buddhism is because to this day I don't quite know what it is yet. I feel and know exactly what it is but words are an inadequate medium, it wasn't always so at the beginning of my practice...
"Anyways, I am thankful that I found Zen and the teachings of the Tathagata. The Dharma has been a guide to me. The teachings of the Enlightened One has been the torch bearer that has lead me in time of great turbulence. I am only grateful and I can only truly manifest my gratitude by perpetuating the love and good works of the Dharma. It is hard because I must face and conquer my greatest arch-enemy -myself. I can always hear the negativity that arises within myself when I try to do something positive.
"The journey continues and I feel that I'm better equipped to face the travails of the world. I feel at peace with the world because I have learned to accept the unknown and mysterious with an open mind."