A different Zen Trip

4 01 2007


P1010081

Originally uploaded by Zen-do.
The lady Zen and I went to a zen meditation group tonight held at a Christian church. It had a sign up with the chruch name I guess, written in Korean. So I thought well ok, this makes sense why here.
It was not what I had expected. The group was meeting with another group that evening in the main church not in a side room. A few people sat on cushions and most of the other sat in on the benches. I thought because there was not enough cushions. Anyway, the center cushion is unoccupied so I naturally thought that is where the sensei would sit, who was a female, from the website picture and bio. After a while a guy comes in and sits there, so I go along with the program, no one says anything they just start. I gave Lady Zen a few quick directions on what to do since no one had come up to us, other than at the door to show us where to go since we looked lost.

After a bit the leader starts speaking, then reads from a lilttle book some passages. Now he explains that these are from a Rabbi and that the ancient text and thought of early Judisum(sp) and Christians came from the the East not the West. This Rabbi who he was reading from speaks of God more in Taoist terms. Says the name God in Hebrew was more like it is in Taoist terms, more of a creative spiritual force, rather than some old guy with a beard. He further states that this Rabbi did not use the term Tao for the God idea/Force, which was closer to it, but rather “Reality”, because he did not think the Jewish elders were ready for that.
So he reads several verses from this Rabbi’s book which sound very much like Taoist/Zen thought to me. After which point everyone meditates for about 10-15 minutes, then he reads more. This goes on for about 45 min. Then he reads a couple of verses of prayer which we answer/respond “of this we pray oh Lord” Now Lady Zen was not following much of this, but I thought it was interesting. To me it just validated my thoughts on the basic truth(s).

What I did notice most at the end is that the group leader, a minister, I guessed from a few things he said did not even come over and speak with us afterwards…hmmmm

So after it was all over, we got up and walked out with the rest. In the hall a lady stops us and introduces herself as the one who leads the Zen meditation. She says once a month they join in with this other group. She remarked I bet it was not what you exspected tonight eh! Not at all I reply. Interesting but different.
We talked abit and she invited us back next week for her session, where she would give some instruction and said that she had a nice group.

The whole thing was different, as said I found it interesting and pleasing to my spirit through. Like my kind of a church ceremony. As a minister if I was to hold a service it would be like that.

We will go to the Zen Center in Berkeley again this Sat morning so Lady Z can get some basic training and me a re-fresher. Maybe we will go back to the church group’s regular Zen group next week at least once more. My ceramic class will start soon and it is on Weds. So the Weds. Zen is not going to be a regular thing.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the potter’s wheel. What I found interesting of late is the on-line ceramic artists group I joined, for the most part practice some type of meditation along with their ceramic work. In some cases the act itself is meditation to them. Many say that helps them throw better and be more centered. The breath is important to their focus and relaxation whilst making their pieces. I remarked that focusing just of the breath or relaxing maybe liimiting the experience. The act of foucs total focus takes away from the total centering. ( The guy said something similar tonight in the reading ) That everything should be taken in as a whole and blended into you and the pot. Another guy agreed with me exactly . He said that is just what he does. This person is a student of Zen and a martial artist. Trippy, like minds…

There is one Tao, but many branches

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