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


Monday, December 29, 2014

THE YEAR BEGINS

THE YEAR BEGINS
As we leave behind this calendar year, we also leave behind our reflections on that year. It is now time to begin the conversations about directions for the coming year. We have completed our move and reestablishment of our practice space, creating numerous new opportunities in
 Pembroke. As sanghas do, ours continues to change and develop according to the needs and interests of its members. Our sangha remains part of the international Tendai community, which is also growing and changing, prompting us to attend to those larger currents in the presentation of Buddha Dharma.
We have a two-part commitment as the representative of Tendai in Canada. On the one hand, as with all our fellow sanghas, we are charged with presenting the teachings and practices of our faith in a manner consistent with our 1200 year old tradition. On the other, we do so in a unique Ottawa Valley context, with its own needs and understandings. We have traditions and rituals to preserve but we are also obligated to respect, as we are taught, that there are innumerable ways to present Buddha Dharma, using what we know as skilful means to meet those who seek the Dharma where they are at.
We will spend some time over the month of January in collectives and individual conversations in search of these new directions. At the end of the month, as we begin the Chinese new year, the Year of the Ram, we will announce our intentions for this coming here. I encourage everyone, regardless of the length of their participation in our sangha, to participate in these discussions or to contact me directly with recommendations for what will best serve their needs.
No matter how you calculate the calendar for this year, may I wish each and every one prosperous and insightful year of learning and practice.

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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

LOOKING BACK -III

LOOKING BACK -III

Last weekend a few of us spent the afternoon exploring the past year in a very structured manner. We began reflecting on what intentions we had for the year, then identified who contributed and very specifically, what spiritual intentions we had this past year. We finished up with identifying the momentum which we experience as we move into our coming year. This is our preparation for an intention-setting exercise scheduled for January.
This workshop came at the end of my own reflections on my personal and Red Maple’s collective year. I was struck at the huge changes which characterized this past year. This included the closing of our space in Renfrew and the establishment of our temple space in Pembroke. I didn’t have any sense of the same level of change for the coming year but could recognize the flow of momentum into 2015.
I was also struck by the impact of the many people who have contributed over the past year. People who have participated in practice and events, who helped with packing and re-settling, who contributed ideas, advice and encouragement.
I was particularly reminded that this reflective exercise is one of looking at intention, direction and momentum, not tallying up accomplishments. We must always be careful not to get caught in claiming credit for events and successes. We apply our efforts in a larger context, one which includes the efforts of countless other beings. Of course this includes our friends and supporters, but as Buddhists, we cannot ignore the efforts of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Our process is not to “set our goals” but to align ourselves with the expressed intentions of those beings, to collaborate with them for the benefit of all.

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

      
                  
  

           

Friday, December 12, 2014

Looking Back-Again

Looking Back-Again

This past week has been our annual celebration of the Buddhist holiday known as Bodhi Day, December 8. This is the date reserved for the remembrance of the final awakening of Shakyamuni Buddha, some 2500 years ago. This marks the culmination of his many years of practice and exploration into the nature of human experience and lead us to his presentation of the first turning of the wheel of the Dharma. As religious festivals go, and in spite of the significance of this event, this day hardly seems to generate the same kind of excitement that you would expect for the turning point in the history of a religion. Compared with Easter, Passover or Eid, this day, while acknowledged as important is not especially celebrated.

This is not to suggest that the date or events are unimportant, only to indicate the peculiar form of its celebration. I have already written elsewhere that, in spite of the efforts of the politically-correct, to associate Bodhi Day with the other religious days that fall around the end of December, to suggest that we can roll this in with a hearty Happy Holidays is rather absurd.

On another note, as we in this Sangha engage in our annual year-and reflection, we are all encouraged to look back again, so that we can appreciate the momentum of our intentions and actions. In doing so we can reference our future orientation to the clear trajectory established in months past. I will be posting our year-and review in the tab above, and in late January, will revise that to include our intentions for 2015. We welcome all comments and suggestions for this process of review and intention.

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

      
                  
  

           

Friday, December 05, 2014

MALAS

MALAS

I was into Ottawa last week to see some old friends and I had some opportunity to go back to 3 Trees, the Nepali and Tibetan gift store ( http://www.3treesottawa.com/ ). Its been one of the main destinations for me to pick up authentic Asian items. I have found Buddha-rupas , gongs,
(see below) incense, cushions and altar items there. While there I picked up an assortment of reasonably priced 27-bead malas which are now available at the Centre.
Some people like malas (also called rosaries or nenju) because they are attractive fashion accessories. Meditation practitioners know them primarily for their use in practice. The two most common uses are presence and counting. They provide a tactile presence for our hands while we practice. You don’t have to do anything special with them. Their weight and texture keep attention in the belly region. For those who want to perform any repetitive practice, be that counting breaths or reciting mantras, the mala allows for simple counting.
The ones we have are quite simple, in that they are a circle of 27 beads with a larger one to mark the pivot point. More elaborate ones have side strings which allow for counting multiples and intermediate count markers. The Tendai tradition uses a flat bead instead of a round one. There are 108 bead and enlarged bead versions used in extended chanting situations.

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