To study the Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.
Hoza (Dharma Circle) is fundamentally a spiritual group practice, an exercise in self-study, with an intention and willingness to change ones karma. It is a practice of compassionate listening and development of wise, reality-based understanding and solutions in our lives.
Hoza occurs when we come together with the common goal of applying the Buddha Dharma to our lives, particularly applying the teachings to our unskilled responses to life’s events. Unskilled or narrow sighted responses (views, thoughts, behaviors, etc) cause problems, suffering, stuck-ness, confusion…consequences in our lives…in other words, our karma. With our explorations in Hoza, we have the potential to discover the underlying causes and conditions. We find that our habitual faulty views, thoughts, and actions are at the root: they are conditioned phenomena.
All conditioned phenomena
Are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows,
Like dew drops and a lightning flash,
Contemplate them thus.
JANUARY 2008 VAJRA BODHI SEA 25
People sometimes have little consciousness around conditioned phenomena – their habits – the ones built up by familial bonds, life experience and cultural influences, thus they are repeated over and over and appear permanent as part of our character.
Hoza is a practice geared to shine a light on the underlying causes of our human suffering and find solutions to our everyday problems. As the Buddha said: “All conditioned things are subject to disintegration – strive on untiringly for your liberation.”