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Category Archives: External Media Resources
Our gratitude to Santa Cruz Zen Center for their permission to link to this dharma talk.
Our Abbot, Rev. Myo Lahey will provide a lecture @ SFZC for advanced Buddhist studies on: The Platform Sutra, or T’an Ch’ing, of the Sixth Ancestor, also known simply as the Sutra of Hui Neng, is a pivotal work in the history and development of Ch’an (Chinese) or Zen (Ch’an’s name in Japan) Buddhism in China. It is probably the only work in the Chinese scriptural canon that is of Chinese origin, is not allegedly spoken by Buddha himself, and yet is accorded the status of a sutra, or a direct revelation of the Buddha Word. In it we find many of the characteristics of Ch’an which would come to be identified with that form of Buddha Dharma. It is also striking in the contrasts it exposes between the Ch’an style and more traditional sutra-based teachings.
2 videos, second begins as chapter 13. Endless gratitude to all in these videos, produced these videos and all who have helped keep the light shining to today. Including you. Enjoy!
This Friday is the Summer Solstice Enjoy your longest day and shortest night.
A few of us joined SFZC to march in the 2012 Gay Pride Parade and here are a few photos. You will have to look hard in the background to see some of your fellow HSZC Sangha members, but we are there! And we will work on getting some photos we took added to this website soon!
Two interesting studies on the neurological effects of meditation have recently been published which relate to our practice of zazen and mindfulness. The first study, carried out by Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and MIT, shows that mindfulness meditation helps modulate alpha-wave activity in the brain and reduces one’s susceptibility to distractions. This phenomenon may correspond to what Suzuki Roshi referred to as “mind waves,” and his teaching that sitting zazen calms these waves and helps one remain upright in the face of distracting thoughts or images arising within the mind. This new study also related this change in brain activity with a demonstrated enhancement of memory recall:
“Mindfulness meditation has been reported to enhance numerous mental abilities, including rapid memory recall,” says Catherine Kerr, PhD, of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Osher Research Center at Harvard Medical School, co-lead author of the report. “Our discovery that mindfulness meditators more quickly adjusted the brain wave that screens out distraction could explain their superior ability to rapidly remember and incorporate new facts.”
A second study from UCLA on the effects of meditation on the aging process, shows an increase in the density in various regions of the brain, increased neural connectivity, and better insulated white-matter fibers and overall brain health in long-term meditators.
“Meditation appears to be a powerful mental exercise with the potential to change the physical structure of the brain at large. Collecting evidence that active, frequent and regular meditation practices cause alterations of white-matter fiber tracts that are profound and sustainable may become relevant for patient populations suffering from axonal demyelination and white-matter atrophy,” she says.