Author: Fong Sam

Standardization

People love to standardize everything. There are practical reasons, and good ones for that matter, when it benefits humanity. However, when standardization is used politically or as ways to exert power, then it should be protested against. Moreover, how do you standardize something that defies it? Zen is one such thing that could not and …

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Change

The air is getting cool, especially in the evening and early morning. The seasons are changing, which has always energized me. Maybe intuitively I’ve appreciated change and look forward to it. But, change is something you take account of after the fact. It is not noticeable in the moment. Actually, change is really an effect …

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Attachment to Words

Don’t be attached to your intentions for your own words, for they come with a sliver of suffering. Whether you intended for them to be very abstract or hyper specific, they are like paper mâché. They will bend and bounce and break, and might even get vengeful over time. At the same time, don’t think …

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The Virtue of Silence

Silence does not mean acquiescence, nor empathy, nor aloofness, nor resignation. Silence is simply observation. It means to accept what is, to not turn away or reject reality. Silence doesn’t equal quiet either. Silence is actually listening, truly and uninhibited. Silence is filtering out the excess, the superfluous, the obstructions, the distractions, and the delusions. …

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Satisfaction in the Incomplete

There is satisfaction in incompleteness. There can be joy in not finishing, contentment in being unfulfilled, and liberation in not attaining. What’s the point of achieving a goal and feeling that fleeting, tangent, ephemeral state of accomplishment only to experience emptiness, letdown, and restlessness shortly afterward? When you crave for a type of food and …

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Even Space Isn’t Safe from Fake News

There is a photo making the social media rounds that shows an image purported to be the final photo taken by the Cassini spacecraft as it plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere, as part of its end-of-life self-destruct choreography after a 13-year mission. This image depicts a breathtaking view of the Saturn cloudscape backdropped by the planet’s …

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The Little Sangha That Could

I was talking with Dave Cuomo, who manages Angel City Zen Center, about sangha membership and how to attract more people. This question came up: How is that some American Buddhist organizations have hundreds of members (and thousands more followers online)? ACZC is a misfit when it comes to your typical sangha. It’s “Zen Casual” …

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Angel City Zen Center Monthly Writing Workshop

Angel City Zen Center has a monthly writing workshop, usually on the 3rd Saturday each month. Today, on the 4th Saturday of the month (ha!), ACZC held the workshop after its weekly zazen, discussion, and community lunch. The writing workshop, while a platform for exploring and flexing creative muscles, also serves as an exercise to …

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Against the Stream to shut down

Against the Stream announced today it will be closing its operations as of September 30. This is a shame, because the organization benefited a lot of people. ATS leadership sent a letter to its membership detailing the conclusion of a lengthy internal investigation of sexual assault by ATS’s founder, Noah Levine. The letter stated that …

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