Law Dharma

To consider for August 13, 2017

What exactly does nonattachment in Zen practice mean? First of all, it does not imply a lack of feeling, or a quietistic unconcern. Basically, nonattachent means all-acceptance with willingness and positivity of mind.  All-acceptance means complete willingness to admit thayt trhings are exactly as they are. This implies absolutely nothing about whether or not they can or should be changed, but it does mean seeing things clearly. After all, we can’t understand something that is right in front of us if we do not first accept that it is. when we see things clearly with an all-accepting mind, we stand a much better chance of acting wisely. All-acceptance means to drop the “self,” with all its preferences, opinions, and attachments, whenever it arises, remembering our own free, natural mind of meditation. In the practice of all-acceptance, one of the toughest things to do is to drop attachment to the results of our most carefully planned actions. Because we usually have strong expectations about how our efforts should turn out, we often can’t accept the results we actually get.

This quote comes from my friend, Zen teacher, Kyogen Carlson’s book, Zen In the American Grain, in an essay, “Drifting Clouds, Flowing Water,” about the role of willingness in meeting our challenges. I think it is useful to remember that our freedom lies in our willingness to meet whatever comes our way, be it rude judges, needy clients or briefs to be written. When we fight or deny whatever comes, we only make it worse. Of course, you know this intellectually but how often do you succumb to holding on to what you want instead of facing what is? Argh! Too often. Meditation can be defined as practice with sitting still with what is. sometimes blissful, sometimes boring, sometimes painful emotionally or physically. Sit still and see what happens.

Practice For Lawyers

Law Dharma offers lawyers meditation-based programs intended to deepen their practice of law. Too often we are so entangled in our emotions or our view of a case that we cannot see clearly. We cause ourselves and others to suffer when we lash out in anger or we fail to see opportunities because we are so blinded by our own attachments to emotions or views. The meditative perspective helps to keep us grounded and able to see clearly.

Law Dharma founder Mary Mocine studied law at Hastings College of the Law. She was admitted to the California bar in 1971. Ms. Mocine practiced legal service, litigation and labor law for 18 years. In 1989 she left the practice of law to become a Buddhist monk.

Law Dharma offers a monthly meditation/discussion group. We meet at 9:30 for a half-hour meditation then have a discussion of a topic of interest for about an hour then have a potluck brunch.

There is an MCLE retreat led by Mary Mocine held at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Details can be found below and registration information at www.sfzc.org.

Articles by Mary Mocine

Dharma Group for Lawyers

One Sunday per month, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Meetings will be held at Rochael Soper’s office at Ideo, 501 The Embarcadero in San Francisco. Metered and lot parking in the area and near BART and other public transportation. Folks are asked to bring their own cushions or benches if they do not want to sit in a chair. After the discussion, we have a vegetarian brunch. Coffee and tea are provided.

Meditation instruction will be offered. A teaching donation will be requested.

Schedule 2017

January 22
February 19
March 19
April 23
May 10-14  Tassajara Retreat
June 11
July 16
August 13
September 17
October 15
November 12
December 10 (holiday brunch)

2017 Law Dharma (pdf)


Finding Stillness Amid the Storm Of Legal Practice

Tassajara Zen Mountain Center
May 10-14 2017
4 Hours MCLE
(2 hours ethics, 1 hour Competence Issues and
1 hour Recognition and Elimination of Bias)

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