What is Zen?
Zen is very simple. It is about the true essence of all things, without attachments or opinions. It is not a belief system, nor is it a dogma. Zen is a system of doing. Doing what? It is a doing which imbues a rare sense of dignity- free from attachments, balanced, self-reliant and open. Zen enables us to wake up to the delusions and attachments of human existence.
Dogen Zenji, a great 13th Century Japanese Zen Master, wrote: "To learn the way of Zen is to learn about oneself. To learn about oneself is to forget oneself. To forget oneself is to perceive oneself as all things. To realize this is to cast off body and mind."
Zen means finding my True Self: Who am I? Why was I born? Why will I die? Zen points directly to our True Nature through mindfulness practice, using each moment as a tool, a teacher, enabling each and everyone to embark on this exciting journey of exploration into fully understanding the nature of self.
Zen practice requires a BIG question alongside great determination. The formal aspect of Zen training includes periods of seclusion called retreats, during which time we do prostrations, chanting, sitting Zen, walking and working Zen, as well as consulting and Kong-An interviews, meditation instruction and talks related to practice.