Can I Take Back My Vows? — Navigating Uncertainty, Fear and Despair

06/08/2024, Mushim Patricia Ikeda, dharma talk at City Center.
In this talk, given at Beginner's Mind Temple, San Francisco Zen Center, Muslim Ikeda examines the question, How can Zen practice be of benefit to more people during what many are calling "unprecedented times"? In mid-2024 the news is filled with political divisiveness, threats of fascism, ongoing genocides, and, as the polar ice caps continue to melt, Mexico City is facing a possible "Day Zero" when millions of people will have no running water. Weaving threads from Chinese Chan, Korean Seon, Japanese Zen, and Vietnamese Thien, Mushim Ikeda asked how possible it might be, on one hand, for her to live up to Korean Zen Master Naong's ‘Great Resolutions;’ and, on the other hand, to possibly chicken out and take back her Bodhisattva Vows. Mushim shared from her wide-ranging recent explorations into a Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhist modern version of Chöd and other experiences, suggesting that the vital inquiry for each of us might be to engage in heartfelt discernment each day, asking, "What is the most important thing for me to be doing, here, now, with all that I am?"
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