Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 06/12/2014

Happy Uposatha – Dharma Tour Edition

Happy uposatha! I woke up today feeling out of sorts and a little ill but have decided to undertake the observance despite that. Once again (as it alwways seems to be of late) I find myself worrying about business matters but I have the distinct advantage of being able to see around it. No longer does this recurrent source of anxiety block out everything else and I am able to continue the practice not only in spite of the lay life blues but because of them.

But, I digress. Without realizing that I had done so, I made the decision to attend an intro night at the Chogye Zen Center by my house which coincides with the uposatha.  Years ago I did a retreat with them and attended their 5:20am meditation, bowing and chanting sessions. I liked the people well enough but was eventually put off by my own ideas of what the Dhamma should be as well as my own misgivings about scandals that had involved their founding teacher decades ago. I won’t get into that here but you may Google the controversy if you like.

Anyway, as part of my plan to expand my views and to become less judgemental I have decided I would like to practice with theKwan Um Sangha and eventually take precepts with them. It seems to me that they have grown as an organization as a result of the missteps of their founder and I appreciate their commitment to group action in the interest of serving others.

Will I be “less Theravada” if I do so? My heart says no but the fear is certainly there but it is just that: fear. In this life at least I will always believe in the primacy of the Pali canon and turn to the bhikkhu sangha as the ultimate arbiters and interpreters of Buddha-vacana but the Dhamma is as varied as those who practice it so I see no reason not to practice with Buddhists of all stripes. And, this is especially true when doing so helps me to overcome unskillful patterns of though and speech I have been unable to dislodge otherwise.


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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.