20111117

WHAT IS ZEN BUDDHISM?



Zen Buddhism is non-theistic, so its emphasis is on realizing our Buddha Nature, the nature of the self.  Therefore, all of Zen's rituals point to the oneness of the self and the ten thousand things.  Zen liturgy is upaya,- skillful means.  Like meditation and all the areas of zen training, it functions as a way of uncovering the truth which is the life of each one of us.

Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of reality.  Buddhist practices like meditation, are means of changing yourself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom.  The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path; a path which ultimately culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood.  An enlightened being sees the nature of reality absolutely clearly, just as it is, and lives fully and naturally in accordance with that vision.  This is the goal of the Buddhist spiritual life, representing the end of suffering for anyone who attains it.

Because Buddhism does not include the idea of worshipping a creator god, some people do not see it as a religion in the Western sense.  The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical:  nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible.  So, Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, caste, sexuality, or gender.  It teaches practical methods which enable people to realise and use its teachings in order to transform their experience, and instead of being a victim or blaming, to be fully responsible for their lives.

20111116

SUNDAY MEDITATION SERVICE SCHEDULE - 2020







Every Sunday
10 a.m.

January 26 - Zen Practice
February  2 - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
February  9 - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
February 16 - Samatha & Vipassana Meditation with Talk
February 23 - Zen Practice
March 1      - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
March 8      - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
March 15     - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
March 22     - Samatha & Vipassana Meditation with Talk
March 29     -Zen Practice
April 5         - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
April 12       - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
April 19       - Samatha & Vipassana Meditation with Talk
April 26       - Zen Practice
May 3          - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
May 10        -  tba
May 17        - WESAK & REFUGE CEREMONY
May 24        - Samatha & Vipassana Meditation with Talk
May 31        - Zen Practice
June 7         - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
June 14       - Meditation, Chanting and Dharma Talk
June 21       - Samatha & Vipassana Meditation with Talk
June 28       - Zen Practice


    SEARCH this site for details on each of the above practices



    LOCATION:
    74 Alpine Avenue
    Hamilton, Ontario
    (north of Concession St., West of U. Wentworth)
    ________________________________________________________


    DHARMA SCHOOL SCHEDULE



    Welcome to our Dharma School! 


    Chùa Huong Dam Temple & Little Heron Zen Hermitage

    DHARMA SCHOOL SCHEDULE  2020

    Teacher:  Thích nữ Tịnh Quang

    Through stories and songs, art projects and games, discussions and ritual, young people in our Dharma School are offered opportunities to deepen their understanding of themselves, the teachings of Buddhism, and the practice of the Dharma in their daily lives.  We strive to navigate a Middle Way between a sense of the sacred, mysterious, and ceremonial, and the light-hearted songs-and-games side of life.  The children learn to use tools to tackle the deeper questions, and have a good time doing it.
    Dharma School is for children and young people ages 8-18 who are interested in Buddhism or who come from Buddhist homes. It meets roughly the last two Sundays of each month from January to June.  A summer schedule will be posted at a later date.
    We do not require that either the family or the child identify as Buddhist. Some Dharma School students have no affiliation with Chùa Huong Dam or Little Heron Zen Hermitage, outside of Dharma School.  Acknowledging the validity of the spiritual path that their parents are on is an important part of supporting these children.  We do ask that children have parental consent, that they are interested in Buddhism, and are willing to participate fully.  Parents are welcome to attend the class with their children, if they do not already participate at a temple.
    Other Dharma School activities may include picnics and family days, participation in sangha activities, performances for the sangha, service projects, and occasional overnights during summer “camp” at the Temple.

    Time is always on Sunday at 2:00 (sharp), unless otherwise noted.


    JANUARY
    5
    26
    Breathing Meditation
    TET CELEBRATION
    FEBRUARY
    16
    23
    Mindfulness of Senses
    Mindfulness of Body

    MARCH
    22
    29
    Walking Meditation
    Mindfulness of Emotions

    APRIL
    19
    26
    Mindfulness of Thoughts Mindfulness of Eating

    MAY
    24
    31
    Family
    Acts of Kindness


    Cancellations:  In the case of inclement weather or any other unforeseen event, Dharma School teachers may independently determine that based on where in the area they live, it's best to stay home. If this is the case, cancellation will be posted at www.zenbuddhistnun.blogspot.com.  Parents are asked to let Su Co know if their child will be absent.

    Location:
    Chua Huong Dam Temple
    208 Brucedale Ave E, Hamilton, ON L9A 3M8
    Phone:  905-387-5905

    ATTIRE


    • Upasakas and Upasikas:  If you have taken precepts, wear your practice robe. 

    • Wear loose, clean clothing, something that is comfortable and allows you to stretch.

    • Sweat pants and shirt are fine; shorts and tank tops - NO!



    •  Avoid bright colours. Shirts with logos and writing can be distracting to a quiet, peaceful atmosphere.  

    •  Wear socks in the meditation room all year round. Warm socks are a good idea in the winter, as you will be asked to remove your shoes at the door.  

    •  Perfume and jewellery are not worn in the meditation room!



    REFUGE AND PRECEPT RECITATION




    Recitation of the 3 Refuges, 5 Precepts  will take place on the Thursday closest to the Full Moon, before Members' Sitting, unless otherwise noted*. If you have taken Refuge and the 5 Precepts, in any tradition, please join us on the following dates, in 2020.




    Februry 6 
    March 12
    April 9
    May 17 (at Refuge Ceremony)

    * IMPORTANT - See note below


    7:30 p.m.





    *  When the evening is cancelled for the group, recitation of the 3 refuges and 5 precepts are performed on your own.

    REGISTRATION & DANA

    Registration is required for all programmes, except Sunday morning sesshins. Please email to the address indicated in the programme outline on this site, with the following information.


    1. Register by emailing sistertinhquang (at) yahoo (dot) ca. (one registration per Contact).
    2. Full Name (Dharma name if you have taken Refuge)
    3. Address, including postal code
    4. Day & Evening telephone numbers
    5. Email address
    6. The programme in which you are interested in Subject Line.

    Space is limited ... register early! Registrations must be received no later than 5 days before the intended programme.


    Your registration will be confirmed by email.

    IMPORTANT:  

    THOSE WHO REGISTER AND DO NOT CANCEL THE REGISTRATION OR ARE A "NO SHOW", WILL ONLY BE ABLE TO REGISTER FOR FUTURE EVENTS/PROGRAMMES ON A STAND-BY BASIS.  IF THERE IS A CANCELLATION YOU WILL THEN HAVE THE OPTION TO ATTEND OR NOT.

    DANA

    *Dana, or generosity, is a lovely tradition in Buddhism that allows students the chance to convey their appreciation for Buddhist teachings by assisting the Sangha. A gift of Dana comes from our heart and is suitable to the circumstances. Each gift is valued and every practitioner appreciated.

    Your Dana helps a lot. All Dana is suggested only. There is no wish to deprive anyone of the opportunity to attend a workshop or other sessions because of financial inability.  Place Dana in an envelope and hand it directly to the teacher.  An alternative is to bring a non-perishable food item.

    ZEN PRACTICE

    ZEN PRACTICE




    The Last Sunday of every month.  2020 dates are:


    January 26
    February 23
    March 29
    April 26
    May 31
    June 28

    10:00 a.m.

    Zen Meditation 
    and 
    Zen Talk 
    by Su Co Tinh Quang


    Sitting in meditation is not a position of the body, it is a mental exercise where we remain still and silent as we observe the energy of our life.
    Being in the eye of the storm of the physical realm, we experience peace and tranquility. This is being in the moment, here and now.
    Opening the mind's eye, we see the One.


    FLOWER SUTRA




    Toward the end of his life, the Buddha took his disciples to a quiet pond for instruction. As they had done so many times before, the Buddha’s followers sat in a small circle around him, and waited for the teaching.
    But this time the Buddha had no words. He reached into the muck and pulled up a lotus flower. And he held it silently before them, its roots dripping mud and water.


    The disciples were greatly confused. Buddha quietly displayed the lotus to each of them. In turn, the disciples did their best to expound upon the meaning of the flower: what it symbollized, and how it fit into the body of Buddha’s teaching.


    When at last the Buddha came to his follower Mahakasyapa, the disciple suddenly understood. He smiled and began to laugh. Buddha handed the lotus to Mahakasyapa and began to speak.


    “What can be said I have said to you,” smiled the Buddha, “and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa.”
    Mahakashyapa became Buddha’s successor from that day forward.


    The Flower Sutra is a sutra in the Zen (or Chan) tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. It's earliest versions date from the 11th century. Zen Buddhism stresses wordless insight more than most other types of Buddhism. This sutra exemplifies that very well.
    In many versions of this sutra the Buddha doesn't walk around, he merely holds up the Lotus, roots and all, to a group of disciples. Most disciples are confused.


    Mahakashyapa smiles.


    To Zen Buddhists this sutra shows the origins of the wordless teachings of Zen - its history started with the Buddha himself.

    BODHI DAY




    Bodhi Day (Buddha's Enlightenment Day)! 

    Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.


    Bodhi Day is a holiday which falls on December 8th and celebrates the day in which Siddhartha Gautama sat underneath the Bodhi tree and attained enlightenment. This one defining moment would become the central foundation upon which Buddhism has been built upon for the last 2,500 years. It is a day on which followers can renew their dedication to Buddhism; reaffirm themselves to enlightenment, compassion, and kindness to other living creatures; and also understand the relevance of this religion as it applies to the modern world.

    Bodhi Day can be celebrated in a number of different ways. Often, Buddhist homes will have ficus religiousa tree that they decorate with beads and multi-colored lights – much in the same way that Christians decorate their Christmas trees. They will also put on reflective ornaments that represent the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Some people will spend the day meditating on the life of Buddha.

    Here, at the Hermitage, we will have a 2 hour sitting, followed by our traditional rice pudding and tea.

    Please register that you are coming by email - sistertinhquang (at) yahoo.ca, BY DECEMBER 5 (preferably sooner - thanks).



    MEDITATION COURSE & PRACTICE - Samatha and Vipassana



    Meditation Course and Practice

    Sundays at 10 a.m.

    NOTE THE FOLLOWING DATES:
      February 16, March 22, April 19, May 24, & June 21

    This is a course and each week has a different lesson, which builds on previous classes)


    LOCATION:
    Little Heron Zen Hermitage
    74 Alpine Avenue
    Hamilton

    BRING A NOTEPAD FOR "HOMEWORK" QUESTIONS.

    Whether you are a long time meditator or just beginning, it is always good to strengthen and deepen concentration, awareness, and mindfulness. Please consider refreshing and revitalizing your own practice, or recommending these options to family and friends.

    You've heard of Zen. You may even have had moments of Zen--instances of insight and a feeling of connectedness and understanding that seemed to come out of nowhere.  But what exactly is Zen?


    The scholarly answer to that question is that Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that emerged in China about 15 centuries ago. In China, it is called Ch'an Buddhism. Ch'an is the Chinese rendering of the Sanskrit word dhyana, which refers to a mind absorbed in meditation.

    "Zen" is the Japanese rendering of Ch'an. Zen is called Thien in Vietnam and Seon in Korea. In any language, the name could be translated "Meditation Buddhism."

    Everyone can benefit from this practice. It helps free us from illusion so that we can look at ourselves with greater clarity and make appropriate changes in our lives. We become aware of the depth of selfishness and the real intent that can motivate actions that are thought to be altruistic.

    Taught by Thich nu Tinh Quang, the original techniques used are for increasing your awareness and freeing yourself of painful mental habits. 


    You can learn the basics of meditation from books, websites and videos. However, if you're serious about pursuing a regular meditation practice, it is important to have a teacher and to sit meditation with others at least once a week; most people find it deepens the practice.  Every Sunday morning there is a meditation practice, either 15 minutes or an hour depending on the Sunday.


    Like many aspects of Buddhism, most of us have to practice meditation for a while to appreciate it. At first you might think of it primarily as mind training, and of course, it is. If you stay with the practice, however, your understanding of why you sit will change. This will be your own personal and intimate journey, and it may not resemble the experience of anyone else. 


    It is street parking here, so allow yourself time to find a place to park as we start promptly at 10:00 a.m.  


    Dana is gratefully accepted.

    WHAT PRACTICE IS



    WHAT PRACTICE IS

    Practice is about experiencing the truth of who we really are.
    Practice is about being with our life as it is, not as we would like it to be.
    Practice is about the clash between what we want and what is.
    Practice is about the transformation of our unnecessary suffering.
    Practice is about attending to, experiencing, wherever we are stuck, wherever we're holding, whatever blocks us from our true nature.
    Practice is about turning away from constantly seeking comfort and from trying to avoid pain.
    Practice ultimately deals with just one thing: the fear at the base of human existence—the fear that I am not.
    Practice is about willingly residing in whatever life presents to us.
    Practice is about seeing through our belief systems; so even if they remain, they no longer run us.
    Practice is about turning from a self-centered view to a life-centered view.
    Practice is about learning to be no one; not giving solidity to any belief system-just being.
    Practice is about learning to be happy; but we will never be happy until we truly experience our unhappiness.
    Practice is about slowly increasing our awareness of who we are and how we relate to life.
    Practice is about moving from a life of drama to a life of no drama.
    Practice is always about returning to the true self.
    Practice is about formally understanding the paradox that although everything is a mess, all is well.
    Practice is about learning to say "Yes" to everything, even when we hate it.
    Practice always comes back to just the willingness to be.

    DHARMA SCHOOL


    DHARMA SCHOOL SCHEDULE




    Welcome to our Dharma School!  



    Chùa Huong Dam Temple & Little Heron Zen Hermitage

    DHARMA SCHOOL SCHEDULE  2020

    Teacher:  Thích nữ Tịnh Quang

    Through stories and songs, art projects and games, discussions and ritual, young people in our Dharma School are offered opportunities to deepen their understanding of themselves, the teachings of Buddhism, and the practice of the Dharma in their daily lives.  We strive to navigate a Middle Way between a sense of the sacred, mysterious, and ceremonial, and the light-hearted songs-and-games side of life.  The children learn to use tools to tackle the deeper questions, and have a good time doing it.
    Dharma School is for children and young people ages 8-18 who are interested in Buddhism or who come from Buddhist homes. It meets roughly the last two Sundays of each month from January to June.  A summer schedule will be posted at a later date.
    We do not require that either the family or the child identify as Buddhist. Some Dharma School students have no affiliation with Chùa Huong Dam or Little Heron Zen Hermitage, outside of Dharma School.  Acknowledging the validity of the spiritual path that their parents are on is an important part of supporting these children.  We do ask that children have parental consent, that they are interested in Buddhism, and are willing to participate fully.  Parents are welcome to attend the class with their children, if they do not already participate at a temple.
    Other Dharma School activities may include picnics and family days, participation in sangha activities, performances for the sangha, service projects, and occasional overnights during summer “camp” at the Temple.

    Time is always on Sunday at 2:00 (sharp), unless otherwise noted.


    JANUARY
    5
    26
    Breathing Meditation
    TET CELEBRATION
    FEBRUARY
    16
    23
    Mindfulness of Senses
    Mindfulness of Body

    MARCH
    22
    29
    Walking Meditation
    Mindfulness of Emotions

    APRIL
    19
    26
    Mindfulness of Thoughts Mindfulness of Eating

    MAY
    24
    31
    Family
    Acts of Kindness


    Cancellations:  In the case of inclement weather or any other unforeseen event, Dharma School teachers may independently determine that based on where in the area they live, it's best to stay home. If this is the case, cancellation will be posted at www.zenbuddhistnun.blogspot.com.  Parents are asked to let Su Co know if their child will be absent.

    Location:
    Chua Huong Dam Temple
    208 Brucedale Ave E, Hamilton, ON L9A 3M8
    Phone:  905-387-5905

    20111115

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY


    Maintenance Volunteer(s) needed for the following:


    1. Install deadbolts and doorknobs on two doors
    2. Snow shovelling (in season) - Snow blower available.
    3. Lawn mowing (in season)
    4. Repairing walkways (various needs)

    Little Heron Zen Hermitage always welcomes individuals who are interested in pursuing the study of Zen Buddhism, as well as those who would like to contribute to the Hermitage as volunteers.

    20111016

    SUNDAY MEDITATION, CHANTING, & DHARMA TALK






    2020 dates are:


    March 1, 8, & 15
    April 5 & 12
    May 3
    June 7 & 14

    10 a.m. (doors open at 9:40 a.m.)

    This session is to bring a more formal element to your practice.  The format is one 15 minute meditation, followed by a Dharma Service.  The Service includes incense offering, chanting of Great Compassion Dharani, the Six Paramitas, The Mahaprajnaparamita Hrdaya Sutra, and recitation of the Vow of the Bodhisattva.   After chanting there will be a Dharma Talk by Thich Nu Tinh Quang.

    Please arrive early enough to allow for parking and settling in to sit, as the short meditation begins at 10:00 a.m. sharpEnter quietly, as people will already have begun meditation when they arrive.  The door is opened at 9:40 a.m. and locked between 10:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. so as not to disturb those who are meditating.


    Everyone is welcome.  (Registration is not required)

    20111011

    HELPING the HOMELESS LIVE WITH DIGNITY



    Kindness and compassion are the way of the Bodhisattva. Our objective is to provide sanitary products, toiletries, socks, gloves, winter head covering, and undergarments for those living on the streets.


    (Youtube video from Bustle)



    We are asking individuals to fill a backpack with the following items, to be distributed through HHH or Hamilton Food Share.

    Tampons/Pads, cups, Period panties, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, lotion, cleansing wipes, hair products, menstrual cramp relievers (Advil, Aleve) packaged underwear, gently used bras, heavy socks, dental floss, vaseline, chapstick and deodorant. Also brushes, purses, stockings, hair ties, shampoo/conditioner.  Toques, scarves, warm blankets, sleeping bags, winter boots, & winter coats would be greatly appreciated.

    Please do not include food items or candies.

    Once your package is complete, please drop it off at the Hermitage at 1 p.m., on Sunday, December 8, 2019.   THEY ARE BEING PICKED UP BY HELPING HAMILTON'S HOMELESS, AT 1 p.m.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.



    20111001

    HSIN HSIN MING

    Verses on the Faith Mind by The 3rd Zen Patriarch, Seng-ts'an

    The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.
    When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.
    Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
    If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything.
    To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.
    When the deep meaning of things is not understood the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
    The Way is perfect like vast space when nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
    Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.
    Live neither in the entanglements of outer things nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
    Be serene in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
    When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity your very effort fills you with activity.
    As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness.
    Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial.
    To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.
    The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth.
    Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
    To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
    At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
    The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance.
    Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.
    Do not remain in the dualistic state -- avoid such pursuits carefully.
    If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
    Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One.
    When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when such a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.
    When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
    When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
    Things are objects because of the subject (mind); the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
    Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
    In this emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world.
    If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
    To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited; even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.
    Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going.
    Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
    When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.
    What benefits can be derived from distinctions and separations?
    If you wish to move in the One Way do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
    Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with true Enlightenment.
    The wise man strives to no goals but the foolish man fetters himself.
    There is one Dharma, not many; distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
    To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes.
    Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
    All dualities come from ignorant inference.
    They are like dreams or flowers in air: foolish to try to grasp them.
    Gain and loss, right and wrong: such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.
    If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease.
    If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence.
    To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements.
    When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached.
    No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.
    Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, both movement and rest disappear.
    When such dualities cease to exist Oneness itself cannot exist.
    To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.
    For the unified mind in accord with the Way all self-centered striving ceases.
    Doubts and irresolutions vanish and life in true faith is possible.
    With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
    All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind's power.
    Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination are of no value.
    In this world of suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self.
    To come directly into harmony with this reality just simply say when doubt arises, 'Not two.'
    In this 'not two' nothing is separate, nothing is excluded.
    No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth.
    And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space; in it a single thought is ten thousand years.
    Emptiness here, Emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.
    Infinitely large and infinitely small; no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen.
    So too with Being and Non-Being.
    Don't waste time with doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this.
    One thing, all things: move among and intermingle, without distinction.
    To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
    To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with trusting mind.
    Words!
    The Way is beyond language, for in it there is
    no yesterday,
    no tomorrow,
    no today.