Welcome to the Leaflet

The Leaflet blog provides:
. Innen's weekly comments from a Dharma perspecti
ve
• the up-to-date practice calendar for our Red Maple Mindful Living Centre,
• links to our Tendai family of centres

For more on RMS, or Tendai Canada, visit www.tendai.ca
For more on the Red Maple Mindful Living Centre, click the link on the right border


Thursday, May 29, 2014

COLOURS

COLOURS
We are surrounded by colours, natural and designed-in. Whether we practice indoors or “in the wild”, we will be interacting with a unique palette of colours. When we are establishing a personal practice space, we should consider what colours we are building into that. With our practice space at the Old Schoolhouse, for example, I deliberately chose certain highlights for emotional value. The main colour was a gold tinted white, with a gold highlight wall. This gold colour combines values of warmth, healing and energy. I used black and red, partly because these were the theme colours of the building, but also because red is the colour associated with Jizo bodhisattva, our “patron saint of walking”. It would have seemed ridiculous too, to not emphasize the red in our  Red Maple name. We also used lots of natural tones from bamboo, cedar and pine. Natural materials and colours keep our environment grounded in the natural world.
When we move into our new Centre in Pembroke, we will inherit a washed-out blue-green environment. This may have made sense in that room for its purpose, which was a hair salon. We will begin with that, but over the first few months will introduce a new palette, one selected for our contemplative purposes.

This is an interesting blog entry for ad designers. The graphic summarizes “The Psychology of Colours
http://blog.lightninglabels.com/color/5-tips-for-designing-full-color-labels/
                                          
Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu  
 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

STUFF

STUFF
This has been a weekend about our stuff. Dividing it into stuff to keep, stuff to sell, stuff to give away and stuff to toss. We lead lives surrounded by, knee-deep in, obsessed with and emotionally attached to our stuff. I’m reminded of the brilliant American comic, George Carlin who wrote:


This is my stuff, that's your stuff, that'll be his stuff over there. That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That's all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn't want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. That's what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get . . . more stuff!
 

In actively disposing of and watching our stuff disappear there is a very tangible sensation of lightening in our lives. Its like the sensation we get in spring when the weather warms and you can hang up your coat, hat and mitts, leave the boots at the door and step out lighter and easier into the daylight.

Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu      
               

Read the final Ask the Religion Experts column here
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/ask-the-religion-experts/index.htm

Sunday, May 11, 2014

WHAT IS SANGHA

WHAT IS SANGHA?

In the larger Tendai community we have been exchanging viewpoints on this question. Here is part of what I contributed.

Sam-gha - the translation for the word, sangha, comes from two roots - the second, the ‘gha,’ refers to movement; the first is a widely used prefix, sam-, meaning ‘together’. Think of words like sam-skara (elements acting together), samadhi (coming together of mental faculties) or sam-ut-pada (conditions forming together).

We should also keep in mind that Sanskrit, like its larger of language-family, is fundamentally verb-driven, so however we want to use sangha, we should keep in mind it has to do with com-ing together or act-ing together. It is not so much a noun or entity, but more like a process or activity. We could almost say what we are is “sangha-ing”. Westerners/Europeans construct our experience as nouns or things, setting ourselves up for the errors of permanence-mind.
Returning to basics in another way, sangha is first and foremost one of the tri-ratna, the Three Jewels, along with Buddha and Dharma. It is part of what we take refuge in during jukai. In a narrow sense it refers to certain groups of specialist-monks, although Mahayana has tended to view it more broadly, more like the term maha-sangha or so-dai. This seems to reflect the bodhisattvic perspective which suggests sangha as including all conditioned beings of the six realms, as well as the classes of buddhas and bodhisattvas. For me this is central because our mission (in the religious not corporate) sense is the liberation of all beings, and in that task we are called to align ourselves with the efforts of all buddhas and bodhisattvas. Our practice is always in the form of sangha, never solitary. Furthermore, a corporation or organization metaphor suggests we are somehow motivated by abstract internal corporate values and desires. This is patently not the case, as we, as Buddhists, are motivated by bodhi or bodaishin. We do not generate any vision statement or mission, we align ourselves with the activity of awakening because it is our understanding of who and what we are.


Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu 
                     

Read the this week’s Ask the Religion Experts column here
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/ask-the-religion-experts/index.htm

Sunday, May 04, 2014

ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS

ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS
The Buddhaway is defined by an acceptance of transience as the modality of our lives. Our practice is one of observing  experiences as they arise and pass away. We are called to attend to this flux and establish a posture of non-attachment. When we speak of non-attachment, we must be cautious not to mistake it for indifference, for neutrality or for a passive disinterest. Our awareness brings us the richness of life and death, not a boring flatness. We are recommended to be curious and observant, to inquire and explore. Our lives are an adventure, one which can illuminate the Dharma.
 





This weekend we marked an ending and a beginning. Our Dharma-home in Renfrew, which we called Akasha-loka, The Realm of Infinite Possibilities, has fulfilled it purpose, that of initiating a Dharma presence in this County. Now we recognize our purpose is best fulfilled in a new location, somewhat further West, where we have had a temporary and auxiliary space for almost as long. It would be absurd to say none of us feels sadness or excitement, that we are Buddhists after all and we shouldn’t feel such things. We are humans, and humans are blessed with the capacity to experience the panorama of our emotional life. To ignore such emotion would insult our humanity.
However, as Buddhists, we are attentive to the transience of our experience and of the places in our experience. We would be foolish indeed to expect any physical space to stay the same.
Like wise, we are disappointed to receive the announcement that the Religion Experts feature we have contributed to for almost 6 years will cease publication in a coupe of weeks. This has been an extraordinary means for us to explain the Buddhaway to a curious public, and to do so in a sort-of-dialogue with many other faiths.  Both of these endings introduce us to new beginnings, new possibilities for each of us to participate in bringing the Buddhaway into the community.


Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu 
                     

Read this week’s Ask the Religion Experts column here
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/ask-the-religion-experts/index.htm