Ango Intensive Spring 2019 – Manifesting Buddha: Where Night and Day Intermingle
with Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi
April 11 - 14, 2019
We yogis do not consider obstacles are entirely evil and pernicious. Whatever forms and visions the demons may conjure we accept as helpful conditions and gracious gifts. – Milarepa
Pleasure and pain, sweet and bitter seem clearly distinct; the first we enjoy, the latter we dislike. From this perspective, it seems natural enough to try every means to keep the two far apart, to seek out the sweet and avoid the bitter. Simple though this seems to an unexamined mind, it insures a life of disappointment and suffering. To trust the Mahayana teachings is to have faith in, and practice the reality of the non-separateness of all opposites, the manifestation of emptiness within all things.
Within light there is darkness but do not try to understand that darkness. Within darkness there is light but do not look for that light.
How do we practice within this faith? How do we honestly and powerfully shift our way of experiencing difficulties such that they become “gracious gifts” rather than reasons not to practice? In this Intensive, we’ll examine the meaning and essential role of faith in Buddhist practice, and explore the basis for our trust, whether it arises from conceptual knowledge or direct experience.
If we are to practice sincerely, it is essential that we have faith in the teachings that underlie this practice. With this foundation, we will then probe various ways to understand and enter obstacles as gates of passage into liberation. As our ability to perceive differently develops, the possibilities to experience difficult life challenges as “helpful conditions” for awakening blossom.
Please don’t let financial issues prevent you from attending a program at the Monastery. If you can’t afford the program fee, there are options.
Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi is the Head of the Mountains and Rivers Order, abbot and resident teacher of Zen Mountain Monastery, and abbot of the Zen Center of New York City. Shugen entered full-time residential training in 1986 after studying mathematics and receiving a degree in classical music. He received dharma transmission from John Daido Loori, Roshi in 1997. His teachings on Zen, social justice and environmental stewardship have appeared in various Buddhist journals, and The Best Buddhist Writing 2009 (Shambhala Publications). His book of poetry, O, Beautiful End, a collection of Zen memorial poems, was published in 2012.
Learn more about Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi