With Brown's Zen group, focusing on breathing

by Brigitta Greene, The Brown Daily Herald, April 29, 2010

Providence, RI (USA) -- There is no “correct” style to sit on the Zafu. The plump meditation cushion ­— filled with buckwheat or kapok fiber ­— can be firm or soft. It can placed directly on the floor or on a zabuton — a stuffed floor mat to cushion the knees and the ankles. Legs can be cross-legged or folded directly beneath.

With three harsh snaps of the Chukpi, the meditation begins. Zach Schlosser ’10.5, one of three leaders of Brown’s Zen Group, settles into his breath.

“It’s a sense of finally, finally resting,” he said. “Of finally, finally being okay. Of finally, finally not needing to get anywhere or do anything.”

The Zen Group was founded in the early 70s when Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn began practicing in Providence. The group holds four open meditations each week in Manning Chapel. On Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons, the sessions are about an hour long. Twenty minutes of sitting meditation is followed by 10 minutes of walking, another 20 minutes of sitting and then a brief reading.

Monday evening’s sessions include an initial half-hour of chanting.

The experience of meditation is different for everyone, Schlosser said, but it is about “attention being right here, right now.” Through meditation, personal conflict and stress come to the surface, he said. “There is a deepening sense of already being fine, of already being perfect, of already being okay.”

And though Zen meditation is one path towards this peace, it “doesn’t have to be done sitting on a cushion.” While students often clear their minds at the gym or on the tennis court, the Zen Group “just created a space to explore and to create dialogue,” he said.

“It’s not a linear thing,” said Adam Yarnell ’10. Though some days it can be incredibly gratifying, “some days it’s really frustrating.”

Zen meditation is a Buddhist tradition, but the Brown Zen Group is practice-oriented. The group brings in teachers to lead meditations and give lectures, and holds one day-long retreat each year.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv