The Group “Zen and Nature” is 15 years old
Isolde Schnorbach – Dojo of Trier
On May 5th, 2019, "Zen and Nature" will gather for the 15th time: after zazen in the dojo, we will go to the nature reserve of Perfeist, where we can find numerous different biotopes and in particular orchids and other rare plants, as well as some rare animals as the smooth snake or the sand lizard for example.
In 2004, a 5 days’ workshop "Zen and Nature" took place for the first time, during the preparation of the summer camp of 9 days directed by Master Roland Yuno Rech, in the Zen temple of The Gendronnière. The workshop broached the subjects of the ecological behavior and the daily practices aiming at the protection of all the living beings. Is the ecological behavior and ecological lifestyle in daily life the result of the zazen practice?
In 2009, another 5 days’ workshop followed, also in the Zen temple of The Gendronnière, and again during the Master Roland Yuno Rech's summer camp. During this workshop, we studied ecological agriculture and the biological culture of plants, taking as example the garden of The Gendronnière under the supervision of the Zen monk Raimund Olbrich, gardener and responsible for this garden.
Since then, other events with an ecological aim were organized within the framework of the "Zen and Nature group", for example : a hike in the valley of Linkenbach and Lahrbach on the rest day of the spring camp with Roland in Grube Louise, a hike to the invitation of the responsible of the Melle dojo, Dr Claus Bockbreder, in the valley of Else, one at the invitation of the Frankfurt dojo responsibles in the region of the dune of Schwanheim, as well as a conference by the Zen monk Philipp Funk, with photos of his pilgrimage by bicycle on the Southern Silk Route, pilgrimage he made after the death of his Master Michel Bovay, or also hikes organized by the dojo of Trier, in and around the city of Trier.
For us, the aim of these hikes is not to show our sportsmanship or to train our physical fitness. To do zazen before the hikes should help us during the walk to keep in touch with all the elements of nature, because during zazen we can already give up the ordinary mind that always “wants to do something, wants a task to take charge of, or some commitment”. During the hike (which includes periods of silence), we cultivate the spirit of “letting go”, we connect ourselves with each other consciously, and we get to know - under the guidance of a competent guide - the biotopes of various animals and plants.
Isolde Schnorbach is responsible for the dojo of Trier. She studied applied physical geography and environmental sciences at the University of Trier. In her main course, she put the focus on ecological botany and the sciences of the soils. Since 1994, she has been working for a firm responsible for landscapes planning and maintenance. She has been practicing zazen since 1991.