The General Secretary’s message
Four times a year a Newsletter, once a year the summer camp of Godinne (during which takes place a General assembly), a website permanently updated in seven languages and, during the sesshins directed by Roland, the presentation of the association, these are the perceptible outer signs of the activities of the Zen Buddhist Association of Europe.
Sometimes we hear the question: “What is the ABZE and what does it do?” The answer can be found - among others - in the article 2 of the statutes:
Article 2 - Object:
This association has for missions:
1. To organize the practice of Soto Zen Buddhism, transmitted from Buddha Shakyamuni by the Masters Dogen, Keizan, Kodo Sawaki and by the Masters Taisen Deshimaru and Niwa Zenji, then by Master Yuno Rech and his disciples, in the spirit of the person to person transmission proper to this school.
2. To train the teachers, thus enabling the continuation of this spiritual Way. The aim is to study and practice the fundamental principles of this tradition, while adapting them to current living conditions in Europe.
3. The universality of this Way and the necessity of studying all aspects of Buddha’s teaching will be emphasized, without any sectarian spirit. Dialogue with the other religious traditions will be stimulated, to favor a better cooperation between all human beings. The idea here is – among others – to contribute to the emergence of a better universal code of ethics which will favor solidarity between all people, respect for the nature and peace.
4. The practice of zazen: the association will organize seminars, retreats, conferences and any other activity or event adapted to its object. She will help the people, groups and dojos - in harmony with its goals - which dedicate themselves to the practice of Soto Zen Buddhism and who will ask to be helped.
THE ABZE is the reflection, the associative shape of the sangha of Roland Rech and his disciples.
It is not a different entity from the disciples or from the places of practices, groups, dojos, centers or temples. To illustrate this fact, here are some figures: these last two years 612 people coming from 11 different countries were members of the ABZE and 67 dojos were affiliated to the association.
Other figures illustrate the means which the association rely on to realize its objectives: 18 administrators elected during General assembly’s carry the responsibility of the association tasks, 9 of them constitute the Board which takes care of the daily management, the administrative tasks and the financial questions. These administrators are of course working voluntarily, just like the dojo leaders and the teachers.
Various teams take care of the management, the technical support, the publications and the translations of the web site.
The preparation and the actual organization of the summer camp in Godinne are also part of the tasks of the association. In this Newsletter, you will find the detailed organization chart of the ABZE.
This enumeration is the proof of the amount of work done and of the commitment of numerous people who work for the smooth running of the association, besides their own tasks in their dojos. I would like here to thank them sincerely.
There is still a lot to do. We are therefore delighted every time somebody suggests to give his time, his energy and various skills to help the association.
Michel Busshin Ayguesparsse.