First Encounters of the Zen Kind

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Heisoku
    • Jun 2010
    • 1338

    Re: First Encounters of the Zen Kind

    To be revised....
    Thought I had better do it. I started reading zen stuff because my younger brother kept leaving books he had borrowed around the house. The first was by Alan Watts and the way his writing linked to nature seemed to hit home with me. The next was by DT Suzuki and I went and bought it 'An Introduction to Zen Buddhism', I even tried zazen. I was 17 and could not tolerate sitting for even 1 minute no matter hard I tried.
    At that age most of my thinking was tied with walking, both as a necessity for transport and as a passion for the wilderness. Walking was 'my time' when I had time to think and to watch the world as it/ I passed by.
    Reading zen literature led to Taizan Deshimaru and then to Dogen via a Moon in a Dewdrop. I admit to being enthralled, without understanding either the themes, words or the fact that you need to practice zazen!
    Anyway life's calamities eventually led me to reassess what I was really doing and that personal thinking about the matter of what is life, how it should be led and the bigger questions of what I was doing within this was not working! I looked for a teacher in meditation and practiced with a Theravada group for several years in the lineage of Ajahn Chah.

    I learnt how to sit and to understand how the mind plays, but for me I just seemed to be drawn back to zen literature. Searching for local zen groups I realised the closest was several hours of driving away. While looking at the the American zen teachers site I saw a group in Tsukuba which I knew was in Japan and investigation led me to Treeleaf, a sangha I could participate with live. Well, that is until the zazenkai times changed. The fact that there are so many options for participating and that we can share and hear so many viewpoints from different cultures and situations makes this sangha something special and unique...without being special or different of course.

    I cannot say how important this place is to me. The collective wisdom and information is immeasurable. The dual styles of Jundo and Taigu ensure there is something for all moments. Maybe one day I will feel more confident or questioning to start a thread but while I am really busy with family and work I participate within my level of understanding.
    I would like to get on G+ but I cannot have a regular commitment at present...but to everyone on Treeleaf... Many thanks and deep Gassho.
    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)


    • Hogen
      • Oct 2009
      • 261

      Re: First Encounters of the Zen Kind

      In the late 80s-early 90s I was a punk rocker/poet/artist/hanger on/wanna be.

      Gary Snyder was the man. Still is. I loved his words and his action.

      I knew nothing of zazen and tried to sit. Internet was not too mature so even looking for what books to read was kind of hard when you didn't know what to ask for. So i just sat.

      20 years later I still sit, but perhaps have more wisdom on how to sit and the place zazen has in my day.