Law Dharma

Dharma Group for Lawyers

One Sunday per month, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
For the foreseeable future we will meet by Zoom. If you don’t already have the Zoom app on your device, you will need to download it. It is free to those not hosting. If you are interested in joining, please contact Mary Mocine at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

There is a classic Zen saying: “Please treasure yourself.” These are difficult and scary and anxious times. Please bear in mind this admonition. Of course you should wash your hands and avoid contact and stay home. But, don’t forget to treasure yourself as well. Take time to meditate, eat wholesome food (maybe a bit of ice cream) get exercise and so on. The more grounded we can be, the better decisions we can make.

Please treasure yourself.

For Sunday, July 12, 2020
We are on for this coming Sunday. Please note that I will send out an invitation to join the meeting, so do not use the one that Rochael sends for other Sundays. I attach the calendar which lists all of the regular meetings. Rochael hosts a check-in on the other Sundays. You are welcome to join that, just let her know if you are interested. For both, we start at 9:30 with 30 minutes of zazen. My invitation will go out at about 9:25. Everything is on Zoom.

Please consider this:

Please consider this about “don’t know mind.” A student asked a teacher in a regular column in the magazine Buddhadharma:

 “Zen teachings speak of not knowing or “don’t know mind.” Tryig to stay with that mind has been a powerful practice for me–more than once, its kept me from jumping to an incorrect assumption or unskilled action. But at some point, don’t we ask if we need to do something? What’s the threshold for saying, “I know I don’t know, but I know enough to draw a conclusion and act on it?”
The teacher, Angel Kyodo Williams responded as follows:
“The practice of “don’t know mind” is not so much a practice of not knowing as it is a practice of not knowing. We practice tolerating this discomfort (from being confronted with the unknown) over and over again so that we no longer (or less often) impulsively react to the discomfort itself….To practice–to live into–the Zen teaching of “don’t know mind” until it becomes the Way is not some philosophical exercise or story of dead wise masters to replicate; rather it is direct experience…So when actio organically arises, we can get out of the way when necessary (and simply act) …without fixation on the action, the actor or even the results. When such action is ethically grounded in meeting experience directly, we can’t help but bring the heart of the whole world. We are without fixation, and yet we are accountable for every action we take. Organically arising. Wholehearted. Being and doing the best we can.”
I appreciate the distinction she draws between not  knowing and not knowing. We are in difficult times and it is very very uncomfortable. we don’t know what next month will bring. We don’t know what November 3 will bring. It is tempting to avoid the discomfort by being sure we know what is right and be sure we know what is wrong. When she speaks of practice, she is referring to meditation mostly. We get quiet and pay attention and even when discomfort in body or mind arises, we stay with it and allow it and see that it is not to be feared. (Just in case, I’m not telling you to sit still for the kind of pain that can harm you). This practice is exactly the “living into” this mind that is not so sure. This mind is useful in our law practice and in our lives, I believe. How about you?
“See” you Sunday.

Practice For Lawyers

Tassajara has canceled May retreats, including ours.

If you are interested in participating in an on-line version of this retreat, please contact Mary Mocine at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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

Articles by Mary Mocine

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