Aug 31

A Buddhist Prayer for Teak Zenovka

Oh Buddhas and Bodhisattvas abiding in all directions,
Endowed with great compassion,
Endowed with foreknowledge,
Endowed with divine eye,
Endowed with love,
Affording protection to sentient beings,
Please come forth through the power of your great compassion,
Please accept these offerings, both actually presented and mentally created.Oh Compassionate Ones, you who possess
The wisdom of understanding,
The love of compassion,
The power of doing divine deeds,
And of protecting in incomprehensible measure,
Teak has passed from this world to the next,
He is taking a great leap,
The light of this world has faded for him
He has entered solitude with their karmic forces,
He has gone into a vast silence,
He is borne away by the great ocean of birth and death..…

Oh Compassionate Ones, protect Teak who is defenceless. Be to him like a mother and father.

Oh Compassionate Ones, let not the force of your compassion be weak, but aid him.

Let Teak not go into the miserable states of existence.

Forget not your ancient vows.



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Aug 31

Teak Zenovka Zen Teacher at the buddha center

Teak zenovka RL


Dear sangha

Teak Zenovka has left this physical world last Friday  He was a Zen Teacher at the Buddha Center and he helped creating and constructing the buddha center in SL. His love and compassion and teaching will continue in us. Please light a candle for him and his family.

This body is not me

I am not limited by this body

I am life without boundaries

I have never been born

and I have never died

Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars

manifestations from my wondrous true mind

Since before time, I have been free

Birth and death are only doors through which we pass

sacred thresholds on our journey

Birth and death are a game of hide-and-seek

So laugh with me

Let us say good-bye,

Say good-bye, to meet again soon

We meet today

We will meet again tomorrow

We will meet at the source every moment

We meet each other in all forms of life

Thich Nhat Hanh


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Aug 29

The Truth According To… Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu – Truthloader


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Aug 26

Grandma’s Blackie

Once upon a time, when King Brahmadatta was ruling in Benares, there was an old woman who had a calf. This calf was of a noble dark color. In fact, he was jet black without a spot of white. He was the Bodhisatta – the Enlightenment Being.
The old woman raised the little calf just as though he were her own child. She fed him only the very best rice and rice porridge. She petted his head and neck, and he licked her hand. Since they were so friendly, the people began calling the calf, “Grandma’s Blackie’.

Even after he grew up into a big strong bull, Grandma’s Blackie remained very tame and gentle. The village children played with him, holding onto his neck and ears and horns. They would even grab his tail and swing up onto his back for a ride. He liked children, so he never complained.

The friendly bull thought, “The loving old woman, who brought me up, is like a kind mother to me. She raised me as if I were her own child. She is poor and in need, but too humble to ask for my help. She is too gentle to force me to work. Because I also love her, I wish to release her from the suffering of poverty.” So he began looking for work.

One day a caravan of 500 carts came by the village. It stopped at a difficult place to cross the river. The bullocks were not able to pull the carts across. The caravan leader hooked up all 500 pairs of bullocks to the first cart. But the river was so rough that they could not pull across even that one cart.

Faced with this problem, the leader began looking for more bulls. He was known to be an expert judge of the qualities of bulls. While examining the wandering village herd, he noticed Grandma’s Blackie. At once he thought, “This noble bullock looks like he has the strength and the will to pull my carts across the river.”

He said to the villagers standing nearby, “To whom does this big black bull belong? I would like to use him to pull my caravan across the river, and I am willing to pay his owner for his services.” The people said, “By all means, take him. His master is not here.”

So he put a rope through Grandma’s Blackie’s nose. But when he pulled, he could not budge him! The bull was thinking, “Until this man says what he will pay for my work, I will not move.”

Being such a good judge of bulls, the caravan leader understood his reasoning. So he said, “My dear bull, after you have pulled my 500 carts across the river, I will pay you two gold coins for each cart – not just one, but two!” Hearing this, Grandma’s Blackie went with him at once.
Then the man harnessed the strong black bull to the first cart. He proceeded to pull it across the river. This was what all one thousand bulls could not do before. Likewise, he pulled across each of the other 499 carts, one at a time, without slowing down a bit!

When all was done, the caravan leader made a package containing only one gold coin per cart, that is, 500 coins. He hung this around the mighty bullock’s neck. The bull thought, “This man promised two gold coins per cart, but that is not what he has hung around my neck. So I will not let him leave!” He went to the front of the caravan and blocked the path.

The leader tried to push him out of the way, but he would not move. He tried to drive the carts around him. But all the bulls had seen how strong he was, so they would not move either!

The man thought, “There is no doubt that this is a very intelligent bull, who knows I have given him only half-pay.” So he made a new package containing the full one-thousand gold coins, and hung it instead around the bull’s neck.

Then Grandma’s Blackie re-crossed the river and walked directly towards the old woman, his ‘mother’. Along the way, the children tried to grab the money package, thinking it was a game. But he escaped them.

When the woman saw the heavy package, she was surprised. The children told her all about what happened down at the river. She opened the package and discovered the one thousand gold coins.

The old woman also saw the tired look in the eyes of her ‘child’. She said, “Oh my son, do you think I wish to live off the money you earn? Why did you wish to work so hard and suffer so? No matter how difficult it may be, I will always care for and look after you.”

Then the kind woman washed the lovely bull and massaged his tired muscles with oil. She fed him good food and cared for him, until the end of their happy lives together.

The moral is: Loving-kindness makes the poorest house into the richest home.


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Aug 25

Why Am I A Buddhist . . . Why Are You A Buddhist?

by Wayne Ren-Cheng

In St. Louis, Missouri a common question gets asked whenever strangers meet, “What high school did you graduate from?” The answer can make or break a possible friendship if one is found to have attended a rival school back in the day. The answer is important. Get more than one Buddhist in a room and the question, “What brought you to Buddhism?” will probably be asked. It isn’t the answer that is really important . . . it is the willingness to answer that is. I’ll venture to say that not one of you reading this would reject the friendship of another person because they didn’t come to Buddhism the same you did. Why we came to Buddhism really isn’t that important; why we choose to continue to pursue the Middle Path is. It is what defines practice.

Recently someone asked me, “Why are you a Buddhist?” Granted I’ve been asked this question before but it suddenly occurred to me that the reply that starts, “I found Buddhism because . . . your story goes here”, isn’t answering the question that most people are asking. It is actually a pragmatic question they are asking, one meant to reveal what is useful and productive about being a Buddhist in the West. Legitimate question, but having a legitimate answer requires me to listen deeply to myself, to be honest about why am I a Buddhist.

My response begins, “I practice Buddhism because . . .” and within those four words is a major reason why I am a Buddhist. I’m a human being and I want to be an even better human being and Buddhism offers me that opportunity through the guide offered by the Four Ennobling Truths and through how I choose to engage that guide in practice. I’m not expected to be perfect or to have all the answers but I am expected to keep practicing. Yeah, I know the saying “practice makes perfect” but honestly I’ve never seen any proof of that. In my experience I get better at being Buddhist but being “perfect” isn’t ever part of the agenda. In my experience “practice makes more practice” and I am good with that. For me it is in the doing, not in the done.

My response finishes with, “ . . . what we do matters.” Four words that encapsulate for me the whole of Buddhist psychology, philosophy and spiritualism as I have come to realize it. The Four Ennobling Truths are all about how our actions are the cause and effect of suffering – and that what we do matters. The Three Characteristics of Existence that include suffering and add impermanence and not-self are rooted in the ideal that we are each a unique part of dependent origination – what we do matters – we can bring about positive change on an encompassing scale. I haven’t read a sutra or legacy teaching that wasn’t sending the message “go do it”. The ideal that what we do matters renews my intent to be the best human being I can be. I want to cease to do harm because it matters. I want to do good because it matters. I want to do good for others because it matters.

“I practice Buddhism because what we do matters.” I am a Buddhist because my experience has proven to me that acting like a Buddhist engenders personal and social positive effects. Combine my practice with friends, family, sangha and consequential strangers who also recognize that what we do matters and that is a force for positive transformation that can’t be equalled. There is a dark side to the “what we do matters” that a Buddhist must view realistically. The negative actions of others also matter and we, Buddhist or not must not hesitate to act appropriately and decisively whenever we can to mitigate the negative karmic consequences that can arise. We can control what we do and how we react to the results of the actions of others. This is all about karmic consequences.

Acting pluralistically is the I and We. It makes no difference to me what faith, religion or tradition another person is . . . they are part of the We. Our commitments may differ but it is the goal of alleviating suffering that matters. It is engaging in thought and action that promote human flourishing that matters. What we do matters.

Taking action is highlighted in the words practice and do. Am I a Buddhist because I take action or do I take action to be a Buddhist . . . doesn’t matter as both are more likely to result in positive karmic consequences. Buddhism is all about action. The psychology, philosophy and spirituality of Buddhism has roots, beginning with the Four Ennobling Truths, in action. It takes personal action to recognize the reality of suffering and it takes engaged action to realize the alleviation of suffering. The Eightfold Path guides me to actions that will improve how I am and how I can be an agent of positive transition in the world.

The two words in the middle have their significance. I am a unique factor in dependent origination, and ‘because’ is causality, think ‘be causal’ . . . in a positive way. This happened because that happened. I practice to “be cause” of more positive than negative ingredients in the karmic stew. Each moment, each experience and situation are also unique factors so I’m mindful of the WHAT. What is the reality of the situation and what would be the most harmonious action to take NOW.

The eight word sentence is a mirror of what keeps me on the path. Action and responsibility, being the cause of good, the I and We of pluralism, do something, actions have karmic consequences so each action matters. My personal mantra, and you are welcome to make it yours – I practice Buddhism because what we do matters.

Ask yourself the “Why am I a Buddhist?” question before someone else asks “Why are you a Buddhist?”. Without the ability to be honest with yourself about the answer your chance of having a deep and engaged Buddhist practice is slim. Curiosity, desire, life experience, or wanting to be cool might have caused you to look into Buddhism but why you continue when it takes such effort and commitment is what is more important. It is there you will find the depth of your practice and what you can do to enhance it.

I picture Siddhartha sitting under the Bodhi tree after his awakening and thinking, “Man, what I just awakened to will really matter. Acting like that is going to take some practice.”


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Aug 06

Schedule Update Buddha Center

Buddha Center Teaching and Meditation Regular Schedule

08:30 AM SLT – 30 minutes of silent meditation with Tashi Aura in the main temple
09:30 AM SLT – Metta meditation with JenLanSerra at the Deer Park (in voice)
01:00 PM SLT – 1st and 3rd of the month teaching with Venerable Wayne Slacker in Deer Park (in voice)
05:30 PM SLT -30 minutes of silent meditation with Cysix Sage in the main temple
06:30 PM SLT – 2nd and 4th of the month teaching with Venerable Wayne Slacker in Deer Park (in voice)

08:30 AM SLT – 30 minutes of silent meditation with Savi in the main temple.
06:30 PM SLT – 30 minutes of relaxing meditation with Sanjali in Deer Park (in voice)
07:30 PM SLT – Pali Discussion Group moderated by Dar in Deer Park (in voice) Restarting after this summer

08:30 AM SLT – Meditation short talk and meditation to follow with Delani in the main temple (in voice)
09:00 AM SLT – Metta meditation with JenLanSerra at the Deer Park (in voice)
01:00 PM SLT – Jataka tales and meditation with Zino March in the main temple (in voice)
05:30 PM SLT – 30 minutes of silent meditation with Cysix Sage in the main temple

08:30 AM SLT – 30 minutes of silent meditation with Tashi Aura in the main temple
01:00 PM SLT – Lecture with Swami Luminos; “Journey into the Thought World of Early Buddhism” in the main temple (in voice)
03:00 PM SLT – Metta class with Dar in the main temple (in voice) Restarting after this summer
06:30 PM SLT – 30 minutes of relaxing meditation with Sanjali in Deer Park (in voice)
07:30 PM SLT – Metta class with Dar in the main temple (in voice) Restarting after this summer
08:00 AM SLT -– 30 minutes of silent meditation with Savi in main temple
12:00 PM SLT – Teaching with Ealadha Glasswing in the main temple (in voice)
02:00 PM SLT – Teaching with Venerable Wayne Slacker in the main temple (in voice)

08:30 AM SLT – 30 minutes of relaxing meditation with Sanjali in Deer Park (in voice)
10:30 AM SLT – Puja ceremony held every last Sunday of the month in the main temple (in voice)
02:00 PM SLT – Lecture with Tseten Thokmey in Deer Park (in voice)
Teachings – To Be Announced
Teachings by Lodro Kamala
Teachings by Lama Tsewang
Teachings by Venerable David
Teachings by Venerable Wayne
Teachings by Teak Zenovka
Teachings by DoKwang
RL teaching with Zino March


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Jul 27

Fear and Fearless


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Jul 27

book suggestion from the Buddha center

Dharma Drum: The Life and Heart of Chan Practice Paperback


Here is an ideal guide to the practice of Chan Buddhism by a great modern teacher. Part One presents Master Sheng Yen’s lively, anecdotal account of the history and main principles of the Chan tradition, along with his careful instructions for meditation. Part Two consists of 180 of his gemlike aphorisms and sayings that serve as inspirations to spiritual practice. The book will appeal to beginners as well as experienced students



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Jul 16

Dhammapada Verse 76: Revealing Treasure


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Jul 16


by Wayne Ren-Cheng

The Universe is not wise, it is not compassionate, and it is certainly not fair. The Universe only acts from the causal conditions that occur within it. You only have to view the Universe through a lens that strips away delusion and personal perceptions to recognize these truths. This not only leads to the realization that bad things happen to good people, but that good things happen to bad people. You can be the best Buddhist you can possibly be and you will still encounter moments of suffering in life the Awakened One fully realized in the Four Ennobling Truths. You can be the worst type of human being possible and still encounter moments of joy and wonder that doesn’t seem deserved. This too is an aspect of the first of the Four Ennobling Truths. Doesn’t hardly seem fair . . . does it?

Ryugen Fisher, the Venerable Shi Shen Long, over his lifetime (and this continues today with his students and their students) created a list of Life Lessons that arose from his own experiences, or the experiences of others. I often refer to the list for insight, inspiration and a dose of spiritual humor. Rule #11, The Rule of Expectations, offers a view of fairness: Expecting life to treat you “fairly” because you’re a good person is like expecting the bull NOT to charge at you because you’re a vegetarian. Like the bull the Universe doesn’t care WHAT you are, it responds only to HOW you are.

Not sure where this perception of a fair Universe arose but it is believed by many who’ve been acculturated to the notion that the world is supposed to be inherently fair. You only have to look around to prove this belief is a delusion. Students struggle for high GPAs in high school and college only to find themselves without job opportunities. Some business people engage in illegal and immoral activities and become unimaginable wealthy. People live lives of exemplary compassion only to be struck down by genetic diseases. Innocent children are abused and abandoned. The Universe rolls along with human beings evolving within it, but we aren’t steering it. We have our role as part of its motive power but it also needs the bad weather, steep hills and earthquakes because they are just as important to the workings of the machine. So what if those things make our lives difficult, the machine is just the machine. This means from our perspective that the ideal of fairness is a delusion.

There is no compassion, wisdom or fairness inherent in the Universe. There is also no vengeance, ignorance, or bad intent inherent in the Universe. The perception of the Universe meting out cosmic justice or punishment is the result of a misunderstanding of the reality of HOW it works. What happens is causally conditioned by all the phenomena taking place each moment. There is no doubt you can take actions that lead to unwholesome consequences . . . which is why a Buddhist looks to the Three Pure Precepts (cease to do harm, do only good, do good for others) to guide us way from such actions. You don’t have any control over unwholesome decisions made by others, the arising of new diseases, or what the rest of the causal process of the Universe is doing. When bad things do happen you must avoid attaching to them the perception that it was because of something you did, and focus on practicing ways to make situations better. By realizing that the “fair Universe” concept is a delusion, and that you are not 100% of the karmic consequences, you will come to realize . . . and here comes the good part . . . that you have the ability to engage in wholesome transformation of your self and the global society you are interconnected with, and interdependent on.

You are not 100% of the karmic consequences . . . still, what you do matters. Life’s circumstances can sneak up on you. When you develop an awareness of the conditions under which difficulties arise, and that chances are there was no intent to directly harm you, though is may feel so, you become better prepared to accept them and take appropriate actions. Your actions do play a significant role in future experiences but your’s are a part of them, not the whole of them. Not only what you do matters, but what you control over what you do.

You are part of a causal web and the rest of the Universe is too. The concept of “personal karma”, while it has its validity, is an ideal not encompassing enough to recognize the broader reality of karmic influence. Causality, what makes karma a reality, is how the Universe reveals its neutrality. The Universe doesn’t add a view, an intent, an action, or any effort to make things happen. You are not a target of it. It is egoistic for you to believe things happen TO us, or that they happen FOR us. They happen as a result of nonlinear consequences of causality and you just happen to have a role in a particular experience.

The realization that you are part, but not the whole of the karmic web is actually empowering. It is why you engage in becoming the best possible you, the best possible example of a wise and compassionate human being. The “small” role as one thread interdependent on the threads of others whose intent and actions mesh with your own is how incremental wholesome transformations happen. The web becomes larger and the probability of snaring positive consequences increases exponentially. Things may not happen TO us, or FOR us, but they do happen BECAUSE of us. We are each unique expressions of the Universe and our actions within it have unique consequences.

With the knowledge that you play a role, no matter how small, comes the responsibility for your actions. What you do matters . . . negative, positive or neutral . . . how you act, how you respond is what makes personal practice so important. It is through intent and action that a sense of fairness will arise. Fairness arises as a result of awareness, compassion, generosity and acceptance.

You occupy a part of the karmic web and so have a responsibility to the strand you control. You must develop both mindfulness and awareness so you can overlay the “personal” with the “global” karma and find ways to improve both. You accept that there will be situations that you can, and can’t control. You learn to take wise actions to be the cause and effect of positive transformation whenever, and where ever the causal Universe offers you the opportunity.


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