Ango: awareness, effort & perseverance
September 26, 2016
The Japanese word, Ango, means “peaceful dwelling”. When Zen Buddhism came to the west, it came with this word referring to a tradition dating from the time of the Buddha and his followers. It is the gathering of wandering monks in one place during the rainy season so that they could live, study, and practice together. This tradition began some 2.000 years ago. It has traveled now as Buddhism through many countries and cultures. In the west it is sometimes called an Intensive Practice Period. Its forms and rituals vary. Its essence is the same —to support and nurture a way of life that aspires to embody the Oneness of life so fluid and vast that it can’t be grasped and life appearing so concrete and unique that each arising and vanishing calls forth a particular response. Our human desire is for a predictable life of comfort. Our commitment to such a practice needs to be strong. Ango is a time when we support each other in this individual and collective practice, relinquishing our self-absorption in the service of everything..
entering this season have changed to serve the , the tradition of peaceful dwelling continues in even the smallest sanghas.
Sanghas around the world have different names for this time of intensive practice. After many years of familiarity with it, the Japanese word ango most fully embodies both the inner and outer nature of this dwelling, both its constancy and its fluidity, its ever presence and its absence of location. During this time of intense practice we take great care to hold all of life lightly.
We live out our love for it and our willingness to let it fly according to its arising. Being human, we have preferences and strong ideas about how life should arise, but life is not concerned with what we think or want. With compassion for our longing for happiness, we firmly hold an intention to live in accord with the moving neutrality of life and not in opposition to it.
(attention grounded in spaciousness takes note of details yet doesn’t fuss. Our practice becomes that of taking great care, while (through) holding all things lightly. Peaceful Abiding//Peaceful Dwelling…
First: we are grateful for bodhicitta, the naturally arising impulse to seek one’s true nature and to ease the suffering of others.
Second: we fully inhabit our bodies, our skins. When we breathe, we know it is our own breath. We know if it is short or long, shallow or deep, if it sins all the way to its bottom or stops short someplace midway between the nostrils and the hara. Finding or discovering a particular body practice would be good for some