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In this article we explore an insight to Zen Poetry and how Zen meditation connects you more deeply with the moment and your “perfect-self” – a self with no limitations, no delusions. This Zen “Koan” could evoke in you great visualizations, a moment of realization, or nothing at all – the latter being the most powerful as a Zen Master would elude to. This February 25th-27th I had the great privilege to sit and explore Zen Meditation and poetry with Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara PhD. The three day retreat was a great balance of seated and walking meditations, guided by Enkyo Roshi’s experience rich and compassionate insight.
We explored awareness techniques and Zen poetry, with the fundamental theme being to shift away from a state of always rationalizing the moment, to a state that lives in the moment, enjoying it, connected to it.
This delicate balance of experiencing existence portrayed through the words of those who have spent their life in the moment and by immersing my body and mind in the same state, lead to a profound intimate experience of everything around me.
One of the excerpts of poetry we explored was the above Koan called “The Creek” written in the 1800’s.
As most Zen poems it puts you into a state of experiencing what is happening rather than trying to figure it out.
Connecting to the visualization of earths water flowing is the reality that our underlying consciousness (the part of us that is aware when we are thinking, or doing something even though we’re not verbalizing it in our mind) and capacity for enjoying this moment is always flowing, no matter the season, obstructions, limitations. There is nowhere to go, no need to always be tense in attaining and doing, to realize happiness and connection – take the time to just be with that which surrounds you right here, right now. In Zen there is a fundamental simplicity in life for happiness – and that is to realize that our desires, greed, ambition and thoughts of having more and being more than you are now will mislead you.
It is stunning how simple it is for us to re-connect with this “perfect-self” of which there are no boundaries, no limitations imposed. The more we have our attention pulled away from an awareness of ourselves the more we question that which we already know.
Tomorrow we will explore how to approach Zen Meditation and Zen techniques to bring awareness into your every day, to easily make this a reality.

If we think only of ourselves, forget about other people, then our minds occupy very small area. Recognizing Emptiness - Joseph Goldstein This teaching is given freely courtesy of Dharma Seed. Four Noble Truths and The Eight Fold Path - Andrea Fella This teaching is given freely courtesy of Audio Dharma. Investigating Desire - Gil Fronsdal This teaching is given freely courtesy of Audio Dharma.
Quiet Your Mind and Live Fully - Jack Kornfield This teaching is given freely courtesy of Dharma Seed. The Simplicity of Practice - Andrea Fella This teaching is given freely courtesy of Audio Dharma.
Loving Kindness Part 4 - Gil Fronsdal This teaching is given freely courtesy of Audio Dharma.
I’m also sorry to say that many committed Christians that I know hear someone use the word Zen in a comment and immediately put up a defensive or dismissive wall in their minds. In my humble opinion, it’s only then that I (and we) can build upon a platform of respect and truly communicate the Good News of the Gospel. This entry was posted in Kingdom Life and tagged christian communication, communicating the heart of christ, Contemporary Evangelism, how to express the gospel, Zen on January 1, 2013 by Gary Ellis.
Men who preach men are saved if they sincerely believe a lie are showing they care, but they are not preaching a gospel that saves. Men who preach you can have your sins forgiven without being baptized in water, care, however, that preaching cannot save anyone. Men who preach salvation apart from believing in Jesus, care, but that preaching cannot save anyone. Steve, nothing in my article even intimates that showing how much you care is tantamount to preaching the Gospel.

Her center The Village Zendo is located on the 11th floor of a building in the heart of Manhattan, Enkyo Roshi is a respected teacher for the Soto and Rinzai lines of Zen – Soto utilizes more seated and slow movement inspired meditations, while Rinzai practiced by Samurai’s is Koan based using absorptive quick movements – “wake-up!” “in the moment” techniques of meditation. Held in the Hart House at U of T’s Toronto Campus, the weekend left the whole group with an incredible, resonating insight about themselves and connection to everyone around them. The reality is that we are standing, or sitting, in perfection this very moment – we just have to realize it and get out of our way. With meditation we develop self-awareness, a direct way to reconnect with this “perfect-self” and silence the self-defeating nature we’ve developed.
Every Tuesday Michael Stone, a Psychotherapist and the centers founder, teaches yoga and Zen inspired meditation with a unique modern approach. Both have a sole purpose – to connect you with intimate depth to existence and the present moment. An insightful and experienced teacher, I highly recommend joining the Centre’s Tuesday afternoon sessions. That is, if you are attached to Zen mind, then you have a problem, and your way is very narrow. But the moment you develop a sense of concern for others, you realize that, just like ourselves, they also want happiness; they also want satisfaction.
So, if you think only of yourself, only your own happiness, the result is actually less happiness.

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