23 Aug 2010 Leave a comment
I learned a secret last weekend. It should have been obvious to me.
Everytime I visit a Buddhist center, no matter what the tradition is, there are no really fat people, other than me.
There might be one or two but when you talk to them they tell you that they're for the first time or they only come occasionally…
After a while, no matter what type of Buddhism you follow you will find yourself in a situation where prostratiopns are the order of the day.
What are prostrations?
Think back to junior high gym class. Your coach proabably called them up-downs or some such. Basically, you fall flat on the floor and touch your face to the ground and turn your palms up in supplication.
That's the whole thing. We do them to maintain humility and to pay homage to the Triple gem The Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha.
One of them wouldn't be bad but they alwasy come in groups. In Zen, it's usually in threes. I've heard of extreme pratices concerning prostrations including doing 1000 a day or prostrating for miles and miles on a pilgrimage.
I did six last weekend and I'm still sore. I'm not sure I can go next weekend at this rate. John over @ Sweep the Dust, Push the Dirt says he does 20 a day. He must be in hella good shapoe to do 20 a day. I've seen a 96 year old monk do one of these like it ain't no thang. I'm way more impressed, now, with this feat.
Anyways, other than the prostrations I loved my time at the Houston Zen Center. Everyone was welcoming and I met lots of new people. Gaylyn gave a great talk about the chapter she helped Kaz Tanahasi translate for hsi epic new translation of Dogen's Shobogenzo. It was about seeing the Buddha or seeing beyond forms.
Yup, the HZC is almost certainly my sangha home. Now if only I could convince my wife to go there with me.