In this second week of Zen teachers Chodo and Koshin’s retreat, “Serenity and Meticulous Effort,” they develop the ideas from the previous week by exploring the third and fourth awarenesses from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra: serenity and meticulous effort.

As Koshin says, serenity is not just about bliss, but about about finding presence and grace in the moment-to-moment chaos of daily life. This part of the practice demands rigor and constant effort; it is the ability to turn outward and open to life, however terrifying or difficult it may seem to be. Serenity, then, is not an escape from the stresses of the moment, but is instead being satisfied with not knowing what will arise next.

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