My good friends,

“You are this light, pure selfless awareness.”

This is how we understand the resolution to practice that the Buddha left us with.  This reminder of the essential basis of practice opens the entry through which the practice of non-dual awakening moves toward this fruition of enlightening.  We are this light!

Some wonder whether we are too focused on ourselves – navel gazing?  This is an exquisite question.  Hollow Bones Zen focuses on the awakening practice, ringing with the message, “You are this light.”  We invite all who come, all whom we meet, to join us in awakening to the marriage of wisdom and compassion as the expression of enlightening in this life we share.  We are what we practice: awakening through our distinctive methods – the three refuges, five practice mirrors, and Mondo.  Our practice is realizing this as we actively live our world.  We have the means for this, and this is our focus.  In realizing this, we shine with this light in our world, intending to kindle this flame collectively and individually.

Writing this year-end piece is an interesting challenge.  It’s been an eventful year.  Most importantly we have continued to honor the three treasures, the refuges: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.  These three lenses shining on the path of awakening.  We as Sangha, practicing together the path of awakening –Buddha practice, realizing this Dharma left by Siddartha Gautama, the patriarchs, and our beloved founder Jun Po.

There is much for which to be grateful.  As Hollow Bones, we have recognized the precipice of trying to do too much and becoming scattered and fragmented.  We have recognized a looming financial imperative and reached out with the inquiry, “Do we want this to continue?.. and if so how and what?”  Resplendent Zen, clear deep heart-mind, shining as a light on the challenge.  You, this Sangha, respond with practice: awakening and generosity – wisdom and compassion.  Interestingly, it appears the answer has the ring of “less is more,” especially as it relates to what fills up our online space.  Hollow Bones will continue as a crucible of practice – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha… our community in which to practice this awakening.  Your awakening practice and generosity –in sustaining contributions and other gifts as fits your circumstances – make this possible.  We all come together to make this possible: your presence in this practice is your most important contribution.  In resonance with this Sangha, I am deeply grateful for the privilege of practicing together in Hollow Bones Zen.

We begin to gather again with the reality of Covid and the multi-pronged ecological and social challenges we face.  We respond by shining the light inward, recognizing that we are what we practice.  In sesshin and retreats, using the tools we have developed to engage as a Sangha when we cannot be together physically in one place, we respond with this practice.  Do not wait to awaken!

As Jun Po extolls in closing the Sutra Book:

Never doubt the imperturbability of your true, pure awareness!

Never doubt the invincibility of your true, pure heart!

Gratitude and Blessings,

taiso Roshi


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