Worship Service – Contemplative Practice as a form of Resistance
Contemplative Practice as a form of Resistance
by Sean Tetsudo Murphy, Sensei
The four great vows of Zen Buddhism, also known as the bodhisattva vows, also commit the serious practitioner to work for the benefit of all sentient beings, not just for their own liberation. But how are we to keep our spirits strong enough to weather the seemingly endless nature of the work, the many disappointments and setbacks, particularly at this most difficult time in human history? We’ve probably all experienced the burnout that can come with trying to serve, and the anger and despair that can afflict those who try to work toward a better world. In this talk we’ll examine how to establish a healthy balance between the apparent dualities of contemplation and action, and examine how that balance may help us to more fully actualize compassion and effectiveness in our lives and in the world.
Sean Tetsudo Murphy, Sensei, is a fully authorized Zen teacher in the American White Plum lineage, as well an award-winning author and recipient of a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing. He is founder and director of the nonprofit Sage Institute of Taos, NM, which hosts an innovative Meditation and Mindfulness Leader Training Program. The author of One Bird One Stone: 108 Contemporary Zen Stories, as well as three novels with Bantam Dell books, he also teaches creative writing, meditation, and literature for the University of New Mexico-Taos and many other venues. His debut novel, The Hope Valley Hubcap King (Bantam Dell 2004), was winner of the Hemingway Award for a First Novel and his current fiction project, Wilson’s Way won the 2017 William Faulkner Wisdom Award for a novel-in-progress. See his website at www.sagetaos.com