Heart Chan (Zen) III

24 06 2007


It was our third session of six lessons with the Heart Chan group. As with our second visit we are the only non-Chinese there. However it does not feel that way, like we are outsiders. One of the opening statements made by the group leader was welcome brothers and sisters. Then explain why in oneness of all how that is true. All ideas of separation and duality are illusions. Not exactly his words but my translation for here of the meaning.

We went through a few focusing drills today, first solo then as a group, to feel the difference, if any in the awareness or sensitivity of the focus from a single person to a group, as well as a practice to maintain it. Then a chakra breath drill.

We also after doing a few minutes of “zanzen” went into small groups and discussed our ideas, feelings and whatever about our practice. In my group two of the five were scientists, one of those was Catholic, he said he would not have come if this was about “hugging the Buddha” yet, we held one belief about the nature of “Chan (zen)” and the practice. It is beyond labels of religion and faith. It is the underlying truth of the universe, it is all things, yet none of them. One has to give up nothing to practice, yet can gain everything, enhance whatever path you walk. It is about your connection to the Universe not the form, shape, color of your manifestation. We agreed that it is not about something you believe in, it is like acupuncture whether you believe in it or not, it works. Sometimes the results are right away, sometimes it take a few sessions.

After our small group talk we gather as a whole again and had one person speak on the group to the other groups. The results I think made us overall more connected as a group through the sharing. It is a totally different energy from the Berkley and SF Zen centers we attended. It is also different from the other paths I have tried in my journey for truth, meaning, peace, purpose. TM, Scientology, Born Again, etc, generally after a couple of sessions I’m feeling trapped, or these people are tripping, or WTF, or I do not get it or something of the like. Like with the Unity Church I like their philosophy of oneness with all things, we are from the same God who has many names, It is the foundation of life the universe, but when they hold hands and start swaying, that seems like it has crossed the line… cultish…why, do not know, but feels weird. But that is just me. As I said before we can hold hands and pray as a group, fine, but the swaying cumbaya stuff… anyway I digress.

Being some what of a sceptic about things of this sort I asked, “so what happens after the introduction sessions. Is there a fee , membership cost, this world runs on money. ” Peace, love, oneness is all good . but somebody has to pay to keep the lights on…I was told, there are no membership cost, dues, or fees or plans to have some. If you want to make a donation to help with the cost of renting the space, it is up to you. We feel it is worth while enough to share from out of our own pocket when needed. If you wish to donate to the main chapter’s programs on feeding poor, shelter and the like again that is totally up to you. I thought hmmm and checked my internal warning systems, they still remained neutral…

We will miss the next 2 session in July of the 6 introductions. I have my sailing class to teach, also the USA Chuk Kai Tai Chi Mantis Memorial Summer Events are in July, I will need to help & attend. The final of the beginning group is in Aug, we will be able to attend that. We were told, there will be nothing missed that will cannot catch up to if we continue to practice. Lady Z felt better hearing that. She told me on the way home she is really understanding this and it is directly connecting with some of the things she is reading from a book from a Japanese author on a different topic, but still dealing with life, Chi, death, energy, the Universal life connection, and after life experiences. She does not believe in organized religions, but firmly believes in a God, but not as a Old White Guy looking down on us from some throne.

There is a yearly Heart Zen retreat in Santa Barbara this year. Every year I am told it is someplace else. This year it is here and SB is not that far. I want to attend, it is over laborday weekend. Cost wise it is really not much, at least it was not when I was making a good salary, …now though only a couple of hundred …it seems out there. Everything is comparison in a lot of cases isn’t. I will put it out there as a desire for the Force to resolve…and see what the tide brings…




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