Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Zen Mind - a trailer for the movie.

This is a great documentary from Empty Mind Films. I'm sure you can work out what it's about, but it also gives a pretty good insight into life in Eiheiji and Sojiji temples, the two main Soto Zen temples in Japan. It's well worth a watch and you might be able to find it in full on the internet.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Report from the Eiheiji sesshin, Part 4. Evening Service.

After eating we went back to our bedroom, drank tea and waited for the monks to return to take us to evening service. Again, I sat alone. As a matter of fact, no-one really spoke to each other at all, apart from a few mild greetings, a gassho at the tea urn, a nod when sitting down close to another. There were no chairs in the room so we had to sit on the floor. It was clear that people were already starting to feel the pain the their legs, and this was not even the end of the first day. Some were stretching whilst others were rubbing their knees and flexing their joints. Already I was starting to feel a burning in my knees. Sitting for eating was tough, after two periods of zazen as well, but I knew the scariest bit was to come; evening service and at least an hour of seiza.