Special Wednesday Night Program
Seattle Zen teacher Anita Feng joins us to explore stories of awakening and share about her new book on the story of Buddha and Awakening Sid.
In this dynamic workshop we'll explore experience and story. Please join us. Note that Anita will also be giving a reading on Tuesday October 13th at Village Books.
The Sid/Siddhartha Project
How we can find within our own experience, our Siddhartha path to awakening as it has already appeared, and is appearing right now? This workshop is designed for anyone, with or without creative writing experience. The only prerequisite: a willingness to try something new and to bring an open spacious mind to the moment.
There is a tendency in the human consciousness to rarify those that guide us. The stories that have come down to us about the life of Buddha bear this out, providing a classic warning from out teachers, “Don’t be attached to the finger pointing at the moon. Directly perceive the moon.”
For example, from the book, Sid, as Siddhartha’s mother, Mahamaya, gives birth to him: “She stands very still. All sentient beings, it seems, conspire in energetic joy. She smiles. And a moment later a lovely child steps out of her side. How the heavens tremble! The earth quivers and the oceans sigh. A pure, tranquil light appears in a broad swath across the sky.” Complimenting this ancient, inflated account, we have the example from the moment of Sid’s birth, from the viewpoint of his mother, Maya in 21st c. Boston: “Because of me and ten thousand other causes, you’ve materialized, spilled out of a cesarean section gone wrong. Confused and woefully ill equipped, you will have to take up the gauntlet of cause and effect on your own now, Sid. And good luck with that. Shine a light on it, little one.”
How can we disentangle the stories that have come down to us or been created in our own minds? This is the practice of meditation. There is a saying that if you have a hot sickness, use hot medicine to cure it. Parallel to that line of reasoning, if you have an attachment to words, use words to counter that condition. In this two-hour workshop we will engage in some unusual, fun and engaging creative writing exercises, exploring the Sid/Siddhartha stories and the realities of our own Buddha Nature.
Anita Feng (Zen Master Jeong Ji) holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University and has published widely. She has taught both Zen and Creative Writing to a diverse range of communities. Currently she is the guiding teacher at Blue Heron Zen Community in Seattle, in the lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn.