Law Dharma

To consider for October 22, 2017

Practice For Lawyers

Please consider the following:

We are on for the 22nd at IDEO. Please note that the date was changed from the 15th to the 22nd. I attach the flier with logistics. Please bring something vegetarian to share for the potluck brunch.
And, consider this from an ancient Chinese poem, “The Song of the Grass-Roofed Hermitage”:

I’ve built a grass hut where there’s nothing of value.
After eating, I relax and enjoy a nap.
When it was completed, fresh weeds appeared.
Now it’s been lived in – covered by weeds.

This is the opening stanza of the poem. In effect, it is practice instruction. One way to understand this is that the author, a monk, built a simple shelter for practice and to live in. It was built of nice grass. Soon, however, weeds appeared. After he actually lived there, it got to be covered with weeds. Oh well.

I think we want our practice, both law and dharma, to be clean and efficient. We want to feel that we know what we are doing and that we are in control. We don’t want a bunch of distractions. We don’t want our less attractive traits to show nor to trouble us. So, we reject the weeds. Oh well. Of course, it doesn’t work to reject the weeds. What about making friends with them? Getting to know them? Many have traits that are helpful. Weeds can be medicinal, after all. Nettles are good for the blood. Tibetan teachers say that an enemy is a great jewel. This “enemy” can be a person but it can also be one of our weeds. An enemy is a great jewel because such an item has much to teach us if we can calm down and pay attention. 

Please pay attention during these next two weeks and notice your “weeds,” and see what they may have to teach you. If you are resistant to this practice, notice that and see how well the resistance serves you.

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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