Posts Tagged ‘Zen’

This is another year Reb Anderson invited us to have a jam session with him at a Zen sesshin on the tiny island of Idöborg in Stockholm archipelago. I suspect Reb developed a strong bond with the island and the cold waters of the Baltic sea as he keeps returning to this place just as many of us do.

The little experience of sitting sesshins I have come from this environment, with this teacher and basically this gang so in a way it was like going home. Meeting some of the people at the boat terminal on our way to the island was like seeing old friends again – it felt as if we never parted. Apparently, nothing brings people closer than sitting, surviving the contents of one’s mind, and working, walking, eating and sharing living space in silence for about a week.  Quite a few of the people have been to Green Gulch Farm where Reb’s been teaching and/or sat sesshins with him in other countries.



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“…In an appropriate place for sitting, set out a thick mat and put a round cushion on top of it. Sit either in the full or half-lotus posture. Loosen the robes and arrange them in an orderly way. Then place the right hand palm up on the left foot, and the left hand on the right hand, lightly touching the ends of the thumbs together…

…Now sit steadfastly and think not-thinking. How do you think not-thinking? Beyond thinking. This is the essential art of zazen…”


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Since I am not going to Green Gulch at the moment, Green Gulch seems to be coming to me (by way of the following invitation). So I am going on my first Zen sesshin and help me all Buddhas and Ancestors.

Zen Retreat

July 7 to 13, 2008

Teachings by Tenshin Reb Anderson, Roshi

On Idöborg in Stockholm’s archipelago, Sweden


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Reading: Eat, Pray, Love (2)

On looking for “the ultimate security blanket” (God)

From the book:

“… I don’t think Vipassana is necessarily the path for me. It’s far too austere for my notions of devotional practice, which generally revolve around compassion and love and butterflies and bliss and a friendly God (what my friend Darcey calls “Slumber Party Theology”). There isn’t any talk about God in Vipassana, since the notion of God is considered to be by some Buddhists to be the final object of dependency, the ultimate fuzzy security blanket, the last thing to be abandoned on the path to pure detachment…”.

This is where I discover that in the last few months of soul-searching not a single time did I think of looking for a “blanket” outside. Probably because I tried that before and came to the realisation that no warm sweater can really make me feel warm at all times unless the warmth comes from the inside.

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