Dharma and Informal Talks
- Either the head teacher or an invited member or guest will provide dharma or informal talks for the group.
- During dharma talks, listen with your full body and mind and receive what is being delivered “as is”. It is not necessary to understand or agree with everything being communicated, nor experience closure on what is shared. If possible, keep a “beginner’s mind” and allow the information received to be processed over time. Talks are wonderful windows into our habitual processing of information. What do we remember? What makes us feel comfortable or uncomfortable? What confuses or edifies us? Yes, the content is important, but in Zen, how we relate to content is even more important.
- During discussions or open question periods, listen mindfully and carefully to each other. Again, unless you are asked directly, refrain from giving others teachings or advice.
- If you feel a need to answer someone else’s question without direct solicitation, notice this tendency, pause, and ask yourself why this might be? How does responding serve you? How might answering another person’s question rob them of the opportunity for growth?