//This is an English translation (kind of) of the previous (Russian)
Good health to you, friends of the Teachings!
Thanks to everyone who sent congratulations, wishes and expressions of gratitude. May the good energy of our actions move without limitls in all the worlds!
This year I rarely wrote ... but don’t think that I have moved away from Zen Buddhist activity. Rather, I plunged into self-examination, departing from “due” and “necessary” - so that what comes from the inside could manifest in the vacated place.
And it turns out that long intensive retreats change habits and states of mind so greatly. So helping to get out of cocoons of thoughts and moods. Allowing the awakening to manifest.
So, the news from the Russian Zendo in the second half of 2019:
= 1 =
Work on the Joint Path website is progressing.
When I made the programs for myself, I thought that the initial version of the site would be released in a month or two — and putting it on the Internet would be simple. Alas... Imagine an artist who built a beautiful rowboat in a pond behind his house. And then he wanted to make a big ship in order to swim across the ocean all together... And there, in the ocean, there are storms and tsunamis, sharks and pirates, giant squids and sometimes aliens jumping out of nowhere. Have you imagined this?.. The artist suddenly needs to know the science of shipbuilding, to know steel grades, engines, navigation rules, etc. And suddenly crowds of workers run through the ship every now and again, to improve parts of the hull, patching holes... and accidentally sawing up new ones...
The fight against glitches and inconsistencies, disaster recovery, attempts to configure software components without becoming a cool specialist in them... I could tell a lot about the fight against the Swedish language in databases, about the crash of the system due to the new version of a certain library and etc., but not everyone would be interested in those programmers' tales.
I’ll just show the demo header of the site: see if such an interface is convenient, especially on mobile devices (which I don’t have; I rely on others in testing).
Tested there are: buttons and menus, saving personal settings (such as changing the background and language) in the session and database. Soon there will be an opportunity to register, to enter and work with texts and their relationships, to communicate through messages, questions and answers, chat and joint editing.
= 2 =
At the suggestion of a friend, I started a “channel” on the Yandex Zen blog:
These are short texts with pictures - I hope some of them would turn out to be more or less entertaining and would help popularize Zen as a practice for setting up a harmonious life.
If you like these texts and “illustrated stories”, then:
* read to the end,
* set likes
* and subscribe to the channel -
- all this will raise it on the ladder of popularity.
Suggest the content of further articles and write for this channel too - for example, about feelings and personal changes in the experience of your practice.
Do similar stories with pictures and send them to me - and I will publish them. I hope this could help some people to join a lively, real practice. Probably not a very large percentage of people are interested in Buddhism and Zen, therefore, it is important to popularize those ways of improving life.
= 3 =
Similarly, let's create a quarterly magazine. "Zen Now"?
Let it be in electronic form. Then it could be distributed to different web sites (like libraries etc.). This would give some people chances to find ways to resolve their issues.
New York practitioners publish Chan Magazine in English. Likewise, we can fill our magazine with interesting translations, topical articles on the application of Teachings; Dharma talks, stories of practitioners about the experience of practice and etc.
You can write something like reviews, summaries, discussions - on the sutras, Zen texts, etc., including articles from Zen-Do.Ru. To make readers interested, to give pieces of necessary knowledge, to help move forward.
I invite everyone to participate in this: translate, send poems, beautiful Zen photos, experience reports, notes, reviews... Not necessarily something fundamentally new, because just a good statement of the "well known" can help to think about it and to apply it.
= 4 =
To work together (for example, with translations), we can use the Wiki:
I started a new section - Diary - for thoughts “on the go”:
A lot of interesting things were added in the "Texts" section and in answering questions.
Translations from conversations of Master Sheng Yen:
- (finished :) Four proper exertions
- Buddhist truths
- The unity of ultimate and conditional truth
- Transmission of Dharma
From Conversations by Master Simon Child:
- Explanation of Buddhism in Western culture
Constant Illumination notes:
- Practice of attention
- new version of ch. 2 “Learning and Practice” from the “Buddhist Micro-Encyclopedia”
- Buddhist vows (memo)
- Alcohol and Buddhism
- Getting out of cooking pots
- The primary methods of practice
- Practice with and without exit
- Green horse
= 5 =
Who is interested in publishing Sheng Yen paper books: the right to publish commercial books in Russian must be bought. For example, the literary agent Korzhenevsky says that for “Things Pertaining to Bodhi,” Shambhala Publications may ask for around $ 1,200. If there is such money, I already have some notes on translations. Work is also underway on free books, little by little (I am now translating "Six Paramitas"). Here are the free ones:
For example, "Tea Words" is a two-volume collection of Sheng Yen's selected conversations (as always, deep, inspiring and informative). Many of these conversations have already been translated, see them on the web site ( https://zen-do.ru/ ). If we would have money for printing, it would not take long to publish the books on paper. I could conduct editing and guidance for those who want to do translations.
= 6 =
Anyone who has matured to organize a group for Zen practice and is looking for a teacher - please contact me. I might come to you and conduct classes. I’m not sure that finding time and health will always be easy, but so far there is such an opportunity.
And that is what I'm wishing to everyone: may all beings in all worlds have the opportunity to realize and embody their true nature!
Alex Constant Illumination (常照)
Discussion group "Buddhism" / Группа рассылки "Буддизм"