Thursday, April 3, 2008
Zen Buddhism: Chop Wood, Carry Water
Known for its spare and beautiful aesthetic, the Zen Buddhist practice of zazen embodies a paradoxical approach - “the truth that can be told is not the truth.” The meditation technique is utterly simple, cultivating direct, undiluted, primary experience. The essence of the practice is to relax the mind by not striving, planning, or strategizing, but by acting simply and directly - just sitting, just walking.
Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a Zen priest and abbot, a husband, father, poet, and author. He is a senior dharma teacher a the San Fransisco Zen Center, where he was abbot from 1995-2000. He has published eight volumes of poetry, including the work “Opening to You: Zen-Inspired Translations of the Psalms,” which reflects his interest in interreligious dialogue, as does his work as co-author of “Benedict’s Dharma: Buddhists Comment on the Rule of St. Benedict.” Norman is the founder of the Bay Area’s Everyday Zen Foundation which is dedicated to sharing the Zen attitude, spirit, and practice in a mutually transformative dialogue with the world.
He is also guiding teacher to the Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, BC; the Bellingham Zen Practice Group in Washington; Mar de Jade in Mexico; and The New York Zen Circle. In 2003, Harper San Fransisco will publish Norman’s new book on spiritual mentoring.