Dear friends of the Way,
I hope you stay healthy.
The Coronavirus outbreak reminds us how interdependent we are, for worse in this case, but also for better when we stand together.
Last Wednesday, I made a kito for all the people who are ill. I suggest that we all do zazen at home and dedicate our practice for the good health of all beings.
I also propose that we do zazen together for 30 minutes, in the morning at 8 o'clock and in the evening at 7 o'clock (our zazen hours at the temple).
If some of you are contaminated by the virus, please give me their name and I will make a kito for them.
Take good care of yourself and your loved ones.
I hope that we will all see each other again soon and in good health, to continue our practice of the Way together.
With my spiritual friendship:
For some time now, we have been planning the summer camp in Godinne. The organizers and the ABZE Bureau have been thinking about all possible options to implement the necessary safety measures and minimize the risk of infection.
Finally, after a thorough analysis, the express recommendation of Roland and the opinion of the other Godos of our Sangha, we came to the conclusion that the complexity of the task would not allow us to organize the camp.
We therefore have the great regret to announce that we have to cancel
the summer camp of July 2020.
This period of pandemic is, like everything else, a teaching. We have to give up the habits that are dear to us and adapt ourselves to a restricted life. But the daily practice, gyoji, continues. We still have our body, our zafu and the supple mind that we experience in zazen, the mind which does not stagnate on anything and which welcomes from moment to moment each new situation.
The word Zen means silent meditation (zen in Japanese, chan in Chinese and dhyâna in sanscrit).
It defines one of the main schools of Mahâyâna Buddhism from Japan (sôtô Zen school) which favors the practice of sitting meditation going back to the experience of the Buddha Shakyamuni who, two thousand five hundred years ago, realized awakening.
This practice contains the essence of its teaching, whose message is carried universally.
It is called zazen or shikantaza, and essentially consists of “just sitting”, “simply sitting” facing the wall. It is not based on any dogma or ideology. Simply knowing texts is insufficient for understanding Zen.
Sit on the zafu (cushion) cross legged. In lotus position, put your right foot on the left thigh and bring the left foot up onto the right thigh. In half-lotus, put your right foot on the left thigh and alternate. The weight of the body is placed on three points: the knees pushing against the ground and the perennial muscle which presses against the zafu. The spine is straight and vertical. The back is flexed, and the shoulders are relaxed. The chin is tucked in, the back of the neck is stretched. Push the top of your head up towards the sky. The mouth is closed and the tongue touches the upper palate and the inside of the two front teeth. This calms “interior chatting”. The eyes are semi- closed and look down towards the ground, about one meter in front, without looking at anything in particular.
Document to download : The presentation folder of the ABZE
The Zen Buddhist Association of Europe (ABZE) was created by Master Yuno Rech’s disciples in July 2007.
Its main objective is to organize and spread the practice of Soto Zen Buddhism, transmitted from Buddha Shakyamuni by Masters such as Bodhidharma, Tosan, Dôgen, Keizan, Kodo Sawaki, Taïsen Deshimaru, Niwa Renpo, Yuno Rech and his disciples, in the spirit of person to person transmission proper to this school.
The association will study, practice and transmit the fundamental principles of this tradition all while adapting them to current living conditions in Europe.