Mar 11

Lamp Transmission for Kenley

With deep joy and gratitude, I am happy to share with you the good news that I have been invited to receive the Lamp of Wisdom, encouragement to teach, by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village community. Lamp Transmission Ceremonies for monastic and lay practitioners will be held at Deer Park Monastery, near San Diego on Saturday, March 17-18, 2012. My friends Karen Hilsberg, John Salerno-White, Joann Rosen, and Jim Scott-Behrends will all receive the Lamp at Deer Park next weekend. In total, there will be 8-lay practitioners and 6-monastics receiving over the course of two days. Though the transmission is coming from Thich Nhat Hanh, he will not be physically present for the ceremony.

For those of you unfamiliar with this tradition, lamp transmission refers to "the manner in which the teaching, or Dharma, is passed from a Zen master to their disciple. The procedure establishes the disciple as a transmitting teacher in their own right and successor in an unbroken lineage of teachers and disciples, a spiritual 'bloodline' theoretically traced back to the Buddha himself." According to Zen schools, the first instance of Dharma transmission occurred as transcribed in the Flower Sermon, when the Buddha held up a golden lotus flower given to him by Brahma before an assembly of "gods and men."

This is a deep honor along with a long term commitment. I am very grateful for my sangha, my family, and my friends who have supported me on this path. My hope is to include some pictures and words about my experience after next weekend.

#miscjoy #buddhism #dharma

In album 2012-03-11 (1 photo)

Self-Portrait in the Garden

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Mar 01

Frog Warriors

I'm stepping out of my comfort zone by choosing to join a small group of men for eight gatherings over the next four months. I've done a great deal of group work over the last twenty years, but this one already feels different. It's not a Buddhist group. It's not a 12-step group. Most importantly, I'm not the leader. We will gather to look into our manhood, to learn from each other, and to build community.

Even though I've lived in Ojai for seven years, I've not taken the opportunity to create a community of my own. It's a small town and I know many people, but I tend to honor my introvert self and stay home with my family or do things on my own. I met the eight men last night for the first time. I knew only one person, and even him I only know on a very casual level. What I discovered in two hours was a group of very kind men who want to explore something different and build community.

Let the adventure begin. Open heart. Open mind.

#miscjoy #ojai #family

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