Author: Daniel Scharpenburg

Buddhism: Doing it Alone or Doing it with Others.

  By Daniel Scharpenburg We all know that Buddhist practice is something Buddhists do. And when the Buddha attained enlightenment he was alone. We can have teachers and we can practice with others, but ultimately it’s our own commitment and determination that brings us to awakening. But, at the same time, the Buddha did describe community as something very important. The three jewels: The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha are what we take refuge in. That is: the example set by the teacher, the teachings, and the spiritual community. Or, put another way, the lineage, the philosophy, and the...

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Meditate To Awaken.

  By Daniel Scharpenburg Our true nature is within each of us. It is obscured because of layers of delusion, but it is there. Our true nature can be penetrated and understood intuitively. We just have to be willing to engage in some inner work. So, should we remain as we are: pushed about in our lives by our delusions and preconceptions? Or should we look for more? We can learn and grow. We can have a more advanced level of understanding and awareness. Practitioners of Buddhism are like explorers. We are opening ourselves to what is unknown within...

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What’s a Bodhisattva Monk?

  By Daniel Scharpenburg Recently I made a formal and official commitment to follow the Bodhisattva Precepts. I am a Bodhisattva Monk. My ordained name is Shi Zhao Dao, which means Venerable Shining Path. Not everyone who takes Bodhisattva Vows is a Bodhisattva Monk. It’s a special commitment beyond the Vows. The original Buddhist monks followed a set of vows called the Vinaya. Those monks are called Bhikkus and they have what we think of as traditional monastic vows; they must be celibate, they can’t accumulate wealth, etc. They essentially are separate from the world—set apart so they can...

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What is Far Out Zen?

By Daniel Scharpenburg Welcome to Far Out Zen. I gave that name to my teachings a little while ago and I’ve decided to keep it. It comes from the teachings of Ikkyu Sojun, who is one of my heroes. Far Out Zen almost isn’t Buddhism at all. I call myself a Buddhist but I’m not sure that’s even accurate. I am a spiritual mystic who follows the path that the Buddha laid out as passed through the Zen patriarchs down through the ages. Far Out Zen is iconoclastic. Buddhism could be said to be a history of renegades who were...

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