Zen teacher Michael Kieran at assembly
Image: courtesy michael kieran

Extras / Why did Boddhidharma come from the West? What is the sound of one hand clapping? What did your face look like before your mother and father were born? These are some of the tantalizing questions students of Zen Buddhism attempt to answer. At the Palolo Zen Center of the Honolulu Diamond Sangha (HDS), a lay Buddhist organization in the back of Palolo Valley, Zen practitioners work on these questions, known as koans, through the rigorous practice of sitting meditation, or zazen. HDS was founded in 1959 by Anne Hopkins Aitken, Robert Aitken and Roshi (dharma heir of Yamada Roshi and author of nine books on Zen).

In today’s world of 24-hour news cycles, digital socializing, tweets and texts and the constant possibility of long-term global unrest, it has never been more important to stop and consider the directions our lives are taking. With that in mind, and in an effort to raise funds as well as awareness, the Honolulu Diamond Sangha joins thirtyninehotel for Zen at 39, an event benefiting HDS that will feature live music by local experimental jazz band Sean’s Bandana, a live Butoh performance by Tangentz and Japanese poetry readings by the participants of a Zen poetry workshop held at the Palolo Zen Center. The performers will collaborate, creating a Zen “happening” that promises to be a joyous celebration of Zen principles.

An organic vegetarian buffet and non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary with entrance donation. This event will also include an artisan craft and gift sale of items donated by writers, artists, businesses and friends.

thirtyninehotel, 39 Hotel St., Thu., 10/4, 5–8pm, free with donations requested at the door, [diamondsangha.org]