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Monthly Sermon

The theme of this year's sermons is the Four Principles (Shidai Koryo) of the Shushogi (the meaning of practice and verification).

Shushogi is compiled from extracts directly from Dogen Zenji's Shobogenzo.

Shushogi has five chapters. The four chapters following the first chapter, "General Introduction," are the basis of Soto Zen Buddhism and are called the "Four Principles." The second chapter is titled "Repenting and Eliminating Bad Karma," the third is "Receiving the Precepts and Joining the Ranks'" the fourth is "the Vow to Benefit Beings" and the fifth is "Practicing Buddhism and Repaying Blessings."

The tenets of the Soto School advocate the True Dharma of Shakyamuni Buddha, which has been handed down by successive ancestors through direct transmission from one mind to another, and the mind of shikantaza (just sitting) and sokushinzebutsu ( mind itself is buddha).

The Four Principles of Shushogi teach us how we can practice these teachings mindfully in our everyday life and elevate our life of faith.