September 2011 Blog Posts (8)

Inquiry September 27

Inquiry is always a meanigful time but Tuesday's seemed especially so.  It was singular with both of our teachers revealing their own personal practices.  It was such a generous offering as it is with everyone who comes forward to let us get a glimpse of how practice works in real life.  It was so touching to see our teachers work so tenderly with each other.

Added by Joan Harman on September 28, 2011 at 8:34pm — 4 Comments

The Wish for Perfection

I just returned from a beautiful weekend on Cape Cod where I was officiating a wedding ceremony in Provincetown. During some leisure time I had the chance to walk along the beach, through the forested trails, and a beside serene pond on the tip of the Cape.  I realized that I was walking where Mary Oliver had no doubt taken many walks, and I remembered her poem, The Ponds. I have copied it here.  The line, "But what in this world is perfect?" resonated, as did the later lines…


Added by Flint Sparks on September 28, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Appamada Teacher Recognition Ceremony

September 11, 2011 the sangha celebrated together with the Austin Zen Center and the Houston Zen Center a Teacher Recognition Ceremony for Peg Syverson. The date marked the tenth anniversary of both the 9/11 tragedy and the date Peg first began working with Flint. Officiating were Jigen Koshin Flint Sparks and Austin Zen Center lead teacher Kosho McCall. Also attending were Gaelyn Godwin and students from the Houston Zen Center. 


You can see photos of the Ceremony here, with…


Added by Peg Syverson on September 21, 2011 at 9:44am — No Comments

Why Meditate or What I’ve Learned about Meditation

I started meditating consistently four years ago because people I knew and respected said to.  They said it would be better.  I really didn’t know or understand why I should meditate.  I just took it on faith that it was supposed to be beneficial.  I could see how it might calm me and give me some time to reflect and that seemed good.


Today, I came to understand (during meditation, of course) why it is beneficial to meditate – at least for me and maybe for you.  During these…


Added by Joan Harman on September 19, 2011 at 7:25am — 7 Comments

The Lost Comforting the Lost in the Fires of Life


I've learned so much about people in the years that I have volunteered. Spending all day this past Monday volunteering at The Ascension Catholic Church in Bastrop, Texas were lessons in Compassion I had never really seen this up close. Yes, the fires were up close (see my photos of early Monday morning over the shelter) but what amazed me about what was occurring was that the people I was volunteering with at THAT moment were others who had already lost everything. To watch how they…


Added by Marisue Mullins on September 9, 2011 at 1:14pm — 1 Comment

Such Immense Beauty Within the Flames

Such Immense Beauty Within the Flames

I'd like to write a short poem that exposes the burning and naked existence of life

and say something that shakes the very foundations of what we believe.

Something that might open us to that which is beyond belief.

Something that might even make us laugh in the process.

Although, humor seems elusive…


Added by Eric on September 8, 2011 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Men's Group Offering September 14th

Hello Sangha,

I am happy to announce that Steve Milan and I are now offering the latest version of our men's group.  This 10-week group titled Waking Up: Men Reclaiming Our Inspiration will begin on Wednesday, September 14, so now is the time to encourage anyone who might be interested in participating to contact us.  There is a description of the group and all needed contact information copied below.  Feel free to forward this message to anyone who might find it…

Added by Rupesh Chhagan on September 3, 2011 at 10:40am — No Comments

Zen & the Art of Food

I was fortunate to serve as tenzo at the week-long practice period at Lotus Lake in June. I wrote about the practice for Edible Austin, a local food magazine. Here is the online version:


Thank you to Tabrez, Joanie and Eric who led cooking practice in June and also to David for teaching me in his own tenzo…


Added by Robin Bradford on September 2, 2011 at 4:26pm — 1 Comment



Appamada is not just the occasional mindful thought or attentive state of mind, it’s actually a commitment to being attentive. It’s more than just a meditative state of mind, it’s more than just being mindful. It has to do with that primary ethical or moral orientation we have in life, with which we bring into being whatever activity we’re engaged in. Whether in formal meditation, in our interactions with other people, in our social concerns, or in our political choices, it’s the energetic cherishing of what we regard as good.

—Stephen Batchelor


© 2019   Created by Peg Syverson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service