News from the Dojo of Bonn
By Patrick Damschen.
At the San Bo Dojo of Bonn (Germany), we renewed a relationship with a method that was well known to many people who practiced in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi back in the 1960´s and 1970´s. “Zen and Sensory Awareness”, taught by Suzuki Roshi and Charlotte Selver, enabled a lot of people until today to live in a responsible way and find answers for their daily life.
Zen, in its mature form, is one way to explore life in all its different manifestations. Life is “not one or not two”, but an always a changing relationship. When we are just-sitting, we can find answers in this dialog. “Sensory Awareness” leaves behind predetermined forms or insights and challenges us, by tentative touches, to meet the world in its Suchness.
For me, the basic teaching of Master Roland Yuno Rech is to be in interdependence with all beings, with life as Such, whether in “Zen or in Sensory Awareness”, every movement brings us in contact with gravity, a force we might call an earth's invitation to be part of the living world, in which every gesture has a potential to connect us.
The ever-renewed experience through senses opens a way to a lively learning and can also solve patterns of "snatching" or "freezing" in zazen. So, for some of us, the combination of these practicing method without aim opened doors, and together with Stefan Laeng, we organized “Zen & Sensory Awareness” workshops. These workshops contain parts of classical Zen practice, as well as parts of “Sensory Awareness”. Participants can deepen their experiences in silence, movement and encounters.
Stefan Laeng is a “Sensory Awareness” teacher. He lives in Peterborough (New Hampshire, USA) and also works regularly in Europe. He is Executive director of the “Sensory Awareness Foundation”. “Sensory Awareness” and Buddhism have been guiding in his life and work since the early 1980s.
In his sutra named “Mountains and Water”, Master Dogen says: “Mountains walking is just like human walking. Accordingly, do not doubt mountains walking, even though it does not look the same as human walking. If you doubt mountains walking, you do not know your own walking; it is not that you do not walk, but that you do not know or understand your own walking”.