Abstract: Working with Preferences/ Loosening
This month we will look at preferences and how to work with them through the teachings of Seng-T'san, the 3rd Zen patriarch and Roshi Norman Fisher
· Roshi Norman Fisher, former abbot of San Francisco Zen Center relates the koan:
· A monk asked Master Tozan what to do because he was having trouble practicing with the heat and the cold at the monastery. Tozan answered the question and said: "When it is hot, let the hot kill you; when it is cold, let the cold kill you."
· Fisher uses this koan to motivate a way to work with clinging to preferences. He says that "let the hot kill you" means feeling the dislike so deeply that you are fully with it; not shying away from it and creating a fixed aversion. He says that what is killed is the preconceived and fixed notion of what hot and cold are like. The result of this is a loosening of the fixed views of what reality is like. -- A loosening of the fixed views which cause suffering.
· But extreme hot and cold can be terribly uncomfortable. How can we turn to them and not just feel we dislike them? We will look at the Brahma Vihara and Impermanence practices that support Vipassana and allow us to dispel our clinging to desires.
Good but not necessary preparation can be found at:
· Everyday Zen: http://everydayzen.org/index.php/search/?search_paths=&query=preferences&submit=Go
Where you can find Fisher's talks and writings on preferences.
· And at:
Where you will Find Seng-T'san's poem on preference.