There is True Dharma Here – Emyo N. Darlene Tataryn
My first brush with Buddha Dharma in the mid 1970’s was an unexpected mystic experience that I began to understand years later as various teachers and teachings began to present in my life. Curiosity about The Tibetan Book of the Dead was my first exposure to Vajrayana/Tibetan teachings. Some years later in 1981, I was invited to a “retreat” in a forest hermitage in Canada to which I gladly agreed, having no idea what I signed up for; Mahasi style Vipassana, twenty of twenty-four hours walking and sitting with two meals and tea for breaks and four hours of sleep. I undertook one such retreat each year over three years, not really knowing why I would repeatedly punish my body in this way, other than I was told it would reduce my Karmic burden as well as the bondage of others, and I and others clearly needed some help navigating this existence. The first noble truth could not be denied. I was completely confused by the meaning of, and expression of desire, which I now understand as natural to human existence. It is the compulsions and the clinging, or attempting to “arrest the flow” of life as it presents that is problematic. Wise choosing, leaning toward what builds away from unnecessary suffering is how to work with desire. A clearly outlined path held promise. I suppose that is what Buddhism offered me that I find of value. The teachings align with my experience of existence, and provide definition to profound boundlessness without dismissal of what is referred to as either emptiness or form.
By 1984 Ken Wilber’s work and what became The Integral Framework caught my attention and it was at such an Integral gathering I met Jun Po Roshi and Roshi Vicara Mary Connelly. There was a comfort in deeply feeling “seen and known” in my depth by each of them. I attended a workshop they offered and having been told to “take my seat” on a few occasions I asked Jun Po what he was talking about. He invited me to a training at Loveland Retreat in Colorado and had the great benefit of sitting with Jun Po as he stepped me through the Mondo Zen process. Resonance. Clear Deep Heart Mind. Familiarity. Refuge. I took my seat.
My first Rohatsu was an exercise in disciplined ritual containment, and I loved the holding environment, from the bells to the Roshis and Jishas looking after the forms of practice and our wellbeing should we need an ear or direction. I had a feeling of tremendous respect for each individual sitting, pillars of practice, holding me to my own cushion and serving each other in this way, deepening into clarity, and softening into full presence. This golden chain of enlightened ones from time immemorial giving foundation and connection and expression through the immediacy of hearing the guy with the floppy slippers padding down the hallway, and the woman gifting origami birds, both whom and that I still hold dear. And then there was KatMa kindly waking a sleeping meditator with a swift whack before he fell over. I smile. Sangha. Virtual Sangha. These people I hardly know and whose hearts hold mine, and mine theirs.
Hollow Bones has had growing pains, and it’s teaching and disciplined practice taken its place among bonafide teachers and teachings across the world. Jun Po Roshi has fulfilled the mandate of his teacher and continues to teach us in his strength and vulnerability. I see that that organizational structuring is taking place as the forms that provide both utility and access to various programs and teachings. There is a “face” and “presence” to the larger community through communications channels online that are being established. This is what people see right now; the changing form and structure, the body that holds and directs the access to this teaching into the world. The Roshis, Priests, the Practitioners hold the great wisdom, and ride the current of the flow of the teaching that is the Heart of Hollow Bones, and will ebb and flow according to the needs of the times and the people. We all seek the stability of deep peace in meeting a challenging existence in relation to all things.
There is True Dharma here. “Let True Dharma continue. Let universal wisdom, compassion and awakening become complete.” That is what is important.