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Practicing with Wise Effort: Stillness & Activity in Everyday Life (5-week CLASS)

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Class Series as part of the Spring 2018 Practice Period at City Center

  • With Keiryu Liên Shutt and Tenzen David Zimmerman
  • 5 Tuesdays, May 8 – June 5
  • 7:30 – 9 pm
  • SFZC Dining Room
  • 300 Page Street at Laguna 

"Just to do something without any particular effort is enough."

—Suzuki Roshi, Right Effort

Zen practice is often seen as “busy” and full of “correct” doing and effort. At the same time, we’ve heard, like the above quote, how we don’t need to “effort’ so much. How are we to practice with these seemingly contradictory teachings? Join us as we explore teachings on Wise Effort as both prescriptive and descriptive. When can it be taken as instructive and when can it be inspirational?

During this Spring Practice Period, Wise Effort will be presented “on” and “off” the cushion. We’ll begin with “on the cushion” by studying and applying traditional suttas, lineage instructions, and contemporary commentaries on effort to the practices of stillness and meditation itself. What did the Buddha say regarding Wise Effort? How have teachers, past and present, translated these teachings to us as instructions or encouragements to the “craft” of meditation?

We’ll then explore ways to bring it into our everyday lives by applying these teachings to our activities in the realms of relationships, work, and the world/society. How can we take what we’ve practiced from the quiet, settledness of meditation “off the cushion” and into our actual activities as we engage with others and our communities?

At times of turbulence, it’s sometimes hard to figure out what one needs to do. When do we “get off our seats” and “go into the world”? Come explore with us, how these two are not diametrical. Harmonizing the stillness of “non-doing” with the activity of “doing” is possible with Wise Effort.

Appropriate for both beginners and experienced practitioners.