Seikan Čech, Part Six
Med: I have got so much out of this discussion. There is a strong level of trust behind all of what you have shared here. You spoke about despair as one particular instance behind our being drawn towards meditation practice, reasons to meditate. This despair in contrast to trust is so great, and yet what is it that we are trusting but a mystery? What is it that supplants despair, and how do you view what I am referring to as trust? I also want to invite you to speak about what you are doing there in Melbourne in terms of teaching, classes, retreats, or any other meditation-related activities.
Seikan: Yes, trust is very important - both in relation to whatever despair that may have brought us to engage with Zen in the first place, and in relation to letting go fully into the practice and into life itself. Again, to say this is just another idea, and as an idea it may well appear to be "but a mystery". But in practice its application is very concrete and simple, not mysterious or mystical. Zen practice involves being engaged in very concrete ways, here and now, again and again.
As I remarked earlier, the structure of Zen provides a live picture frame whereby we can let go of trying to control and comprehend the nature of the picture itself. So we adopt the picture frame - in sitting, bowing, working, eating, sleeping, and sitting - and we choose to trust it. So when there is despair there is despair, when there is joy there is joy, when thoughts arise thoughts arise, and when there is stillness there is stillness. Having and trusting the frame enables us to accept the present painting as it is - and gradually or suddenly we realize just to be that painting, now and now and now.In my case, there is a number of community projects that I am involved with here in Melbourne. One is Melbourne Zen Meditation (www.zenmeditation.org.au), which I run with the aim of engaging people from all walks of life in "just sitting". There are different meeting formats, as well as talks, courses, etc. Then there is the Melbourne Zen Hospice (www.zenhospice.org.au), which is an organization providing free practical, emotional, and spiritual support to patients nearing the end of life, including their carers (caregivers) and families, across Melbourne. I also have some interest and involvement in some other areas, such as cancer and mind-body medicine, drug rehabilitation, homelessness, prisons, corporate training, and private counseling - partly as income generating activities. Generally speaking, I am most interested in being engaged around the roadblocks which all of us encounter at different times and in different ways. As a web portal for all of the above there is www.zen.org.au, which is itself a registered non-profit org, and has as its mission to develop and operate "projects that offer practical and spiritual support to individuals and the community in ways expressive of Zen".
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