This Sunday, July 5th, at 10am Pacific, I’ll be joined by Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi for a dialogue we’ve entitled “Falling in Love with Death.”
Jun Po is the 83rd Patriarch in his lineage of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. He received inka from Eido Shimano Roshi in 1992 and went on to develop an innovative approach to Zen known as Mondo Zen which incorporates emotional maturity and insight with meditative awareness.
Our dialogue on Sunday will be a human conversation, a vulnerable exploration expanding from Jun Po’s own experience. Years ago, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer; more recently he’s been practicing with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. “The shakes, the confusion, the indignities.…it’s dissolution I’m dealing with!”
What he has learned is the power of radical self-acceptance, including radical acceptance of the reality of his mortality. This has opened the door to a new level of clarity and discernment. He has been able to perceive life and death as inseparable. In doing so, he has “fallen in love” even with his own death.
Jun Po says, “Falling in love with my death has been the resurrection of my life!” He considers both his Stage 4 throat cancer and Parkinson’s disease as two huge gifts — and two great teachers.
This lesson is available to us all, says Jun Po, in the myriad array of physical and psychological pain that we each encounter. Properly understood and radically accepted, your pain will become your liberator. This doesn’t meant the end of life’s difficulties, or the end of pain (“ouch”), but rather the end of suffering (“boo-hoo”).
As we prepared for this dialogue, Jun Po and I spoke several times. We dropped below the level of our personas, our stories, and even our teachings. His existential rawness is powerful; his discovery is that he is awakening in a new way while staring directly into the eyes of “the great sleep,” often overwhelmed by “gratitude for the wild, wonderful, crazy life that I’ve had.”
He reflected that the title Beyond Awakening points us to this truth. An Awakening Enlightenment experience is the beginning of your transformation, not the end. Although his medical prognosis is for “6-10 years of miserable disintegration” he says, “I want to beat that by 20 years.” His practice is still unfolding. And that’s worth tuning in to!
Join us on Sunday to hear what Jun Po means when he says, “We are all dying. Celebrate!”
About Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi
Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi is the 83rd Patriarch of his lineage of Rinzai Zen. He began his Buddhist practice at Zen Center San Francisco in the early ’70s, later becoming a student of Eido Shimano Roshi in New York and subsequently a monk. He received inka from Eido Shimano Roshi in 1992. Interested in bringing his Zen lineage (Rinzai tradition) into American culture without the Japanese cultural bindings, Jun Po left the monastery and founded the lay Buddhist Hollow Bones order, of which he is abbot. He also created Mondo Zen which incorporates emotional maturity and insight with meditative awareness. He established Hollow Bones seven-day Zen retreats for the Mankind Project. As a yoga instructor Jun Po traces his lineage to BKS Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Sunday, July 5th at 10:00am Pacific; 11:00am Mountain; 12:00pm Central; 1:00pm Eastern
*Find Your Local Time
Please Note: There will be a limited number of lines available on the live conference call, so we encourage you to listen online if possible. To make sure you can get through by phone, we encourage you to dial in early.
- To listen live by phone, dial: 425-440-5100 (alternate #: 501-707-0312)
- Then, enter Access Code: 272072#
- To listen live online go to: http://iTeleseminar.com/70992399
- To download the audio after the teleseminar is complete go to the Beyond Awakening Audio Page
Join the Dialogue: About one hour into the dialogue, we’ll open up the lines and you’ll have the opportunity to interact with us directly over the phone or via instant message. Here’s what to do:
To interact live by voice, dial into the conference line number and wait until we ask for a question from someone in your region, or
Send us your question via instant message in the teleseminar window on your computer
Send us your questions and comments before or during the live dialogue by posting them on our Beyond Awakening Community Facebook page
We look forward to your attendance!
The Beyond Awakening Team