Non-Self, Mushrooms & a Poem
May this time of the New Moon find you rested, happy and safe. Spring has continued to work its way through the valley, with mushrooms popping up in the shade. To celebrate the blue sky sky of spring we offer you a poem from one of our novices, Brother Minh An. We also practice gratitude for the many bodhisattvas who stepped in to help us protect Deer Park Ridge from development years ago; Ron Forster shares the story.
Patrick from Florida asks how to share about non-self with his family; Dharma teachers Sister Dang Nghiem and Karen Hilsberg both respond to him on how to see ourselves as free from a separate self.
In an excerpt from February of 2004, Thay shares with us about his definition of heaven: it is a place where there is suffering—that is why, through our practice of compassion and understanding, happiness is possible.
In this time of renewal, enjoy the contact your feet make with the earth in every step you take. Freedom is here and now.
With love and gratitude,
The Nuns and Monks of Deer Park Monastery
By Sister Dang Nghiem and Karen Hilsberg
Patrick from Florida: I am writing in reference to perhaps an unusual issue I have had in recent months, when trying to explain in a succinct way the concept of anatta (no abiding essence) to close friends and family. As such, I have come to doubt the validity of my own conception of this revelatory truth. I suppose I am asking if it is a worthy endeavor to try and explain such a truth if you do not fully understand it yourself (?), since I have had little in the way of formal, engaged Buddhist instruction besides long spells at the local library!
By Brother Ngo Khong
Live Dharma talk that will stream from Deer Park Monastery on Sunday April 11th at 10:15 am Pacific.
By Ron Forster
Feelings of tranquility arise as I walk the paths of Deer Park – soft earth, fragrant sages, rabbits, and birds – all at peace. Deer Park is a place to reconnect with nature and ourselves. With the love and support of our monastics and lay community, we can continue to provide this refuge for future generations. There are times, though, when loving action is needed to sustain these conditions. The effort to “Save Deer Park Ridge” was one such time.
By Sister Dac Nghiem
Live Dharma talk that will stream from Deer Park Monastery on Sunday April 18th at 10:15 am Pacific. The talk will be in Vietnamese. Join the Zoom link in the description for translation into English.
By Brother Minh An
A poem about knowing and not knowing.
In this short teaching, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh talks about his definition of Heaven. To Thay, Heaven is not some place out there where there only happiness and no suffering. That is impossible. Thay's Heaven is a place where we know how to transform into understanding and compassion.
The marine layer in the morning creates conditions for mushrooms to come up now in the spring at Deer Park.