Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Reflections from the Zen Center

As I posted Friday, I took my first trip to the Indianapolis Zen Center on Saturday for their Introduction course.

The center is an old two-story house with the first floor being mainly an entrance, a kitchen and the meditation "hall." The upstairs has living quarters and meeting rooms - and of course, a Zen cat. (This picture is not the Indy Zen Center)

Attending this class was only one other participant and we were led by two dharma teachers-in-training: Crysta and John. The first few hours were spent upstairs on couches, where we were presented with the history and philosophy of Zen - from Gautama/Shakyamuni all the way to the present. This portion wasn't all that helpful to me since I'm a bookhound and already had an understanding of what they were presenting. What was helpful was the explaination of their tradition - which is the Kwan Um School of Zen, a Korean lineage brought to the US by Zen Master Seung Sahn. It is therefore neither the Soto nor Rinzai schools that one so readily reads about in Zen texts - particularly those by Alan Watts.

We had a light lunch prepared by one of the teachers, then spent the second half of the class in the meditation hall where we learned the practice ritual such as how and when to bow, how to participate in the liturgy and proper meditation procedures and postures. This, of course, was very helpful for now I feel comfortable joining them for practice during the week without feeling like a fish out of water.

All in all it was a good afternoon, although I'll be able to reflect more when I am actually able to attend one of their weekly practice times.

(Note: You can only leave Anonymous comments for now. See why.)


Anonymous said...

Hi Trev, will be interested to read more about your experiences at the Zen center in the future. I got that punk Zen book you mentioned and have it squirreled away for my DH for Christmas. He's a musician too and music geek, he will enjoy the obscure music references in there.

Yoga...I think you can make yoga into your only workout, if you are vigorous enough. I don't think that's all Madonna does. What about Sting? I don't know. Vinyasa (flow) yoga, which is what I teach, will make you sweat and raise your heartbeat if you work it. However, I am not strong enough yet in the upper body to make it my only w/o. When I was only doing yoga, I lost ground. I had to get back to weight lifting (hand weights). I think if I was stronger in my upper body, I could maintain it with the more advanced poses.

For a kick, check out this dude's yoga "resume". Yoga to Jimi Hendrix, and he demonstrates *strong* yoga. Go here and look on the left hand margin for "My Resume", it's a quick little video download. I *wwwwiiiiiissssshhh*!!!


Celeste yogaluca.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

You know- I hate Blogger most days!
It seems lately I've spent more time composing posts only to have them vanish here at Blogger and at Hotmail due to whatever problems they may be experiencing. I now compose all post, all emails on Word, saving them un til posting is verified.

Just spent 15 minutes responding to your post here....and it vanishes before my eyes....


I want to hear more about your experience...I know you've been wanting to explore zen more and I'm glad you moved into that space, making it happen for you.

I love going into something I think I know something about and having the 'rug pulled out from under me' by learning something entirely new.

How often do you plan on attending- do you just walk in and assume zazen with everyone or is there a 'service'?

Please share more with us.

OK, gonna try and post this- I see others have been able to post using their names...I can't so I'm signing off-