Views from Myogen’s Cushion (Myogen is a member of the RRZC Sangha)
Hello and Happy New Year from Red Rocks Zen Circle!
What are we doing at RRZC?
Here, just down the road from Sedona, eight (or seven, or maybe ten)
people sit facing the wall. Most are low down, on cushions set around the
bare wood floor. It could be the year 600, not 2018. Or before. Or since.
The (lack of) activity of “just sitting” has been a major feature of this
practice of addressing human suffering since the Buddha founded it
(Shakyamuni Buddha died around 483 BCE). It is simple. Although
nowadays you can now download a broad menu of meditation apps, all you
really need is what was available since the beginning: your butt and a place
to put it. If you are truly blessed, add a (physical, human) teacher and a
small—sometimes very small—community. As we have here at RRZC,
founded by Sensei Eisho Peterson.
These people in the meditation room, or zendo as it is called, have all
made the decision to practice. At least for now. At least this minute. Many
made their first decision to practice several decades ago. Many have
begun and stopped and begun again. Some are fairly new to the whole
idea of sitting. So I asked the sitters here (including myself), “Why do you
practice?” Here are some responses:
“My Zen practice helps me negotiate this path through life in a more
peaceful, open and compassionate way and allows me to make more
sense out of my mortality.”
“Practice teaches me how t be kind and grateful for this moment.”
“I practice so I can truly appreciate my life.”
“Practice is finding the root source of this dissatisfaction (suffering) and
being at peace with “just this.”
“Practice brings about things I could never program in my head.”
“Why do I practice Zen? Can’t think of any reason why not.”
“I practice because I’m not done yet.”
Some of these responses have a practical element; some seem to play with the question. It’s likely some are fleeting, a particular color at a time of day. They do not, on the whole, sound like product endorsements. It is good to begin without expectations. Red Rocks Zen Circle is a welcoming place. If you are interested in Zen practice, or in exploring what Zen practice is, please come. Our contact information, regular practice times, and our address appear on the website.