Wow. What a weekend last.
The SF Zendo, Wind-in-Grass, hosted its first ever mediation and koan seminar. I could not have been more pleased. Of course, I am given to pleased-ness, and frankly, I was heavily invested in being pleased, but come on...it was amazing. If you were there, let me hear an amen.
Thank you, each and everyone who attended. You made it a success with your sincerity, your practice and your jumping in both feet.
We had all kinds of people. People who had never sat before, people who sit devotedly in other traditions, Zen greybeards and zen no-beards. Dogs, children, babies. People from out of town and in. Hungover and well rested. Young and old and even a misguided babysitter who decided to take a cushion. And what a privilege to sit with them all and hear their perspectives and their experiences as David Weinstein wound us through two "Vacation" koans:
BY moving toward the Way, you move away from it/you create obstacles.
Vast emptiness, nothing holy.
Of course, nothing beats David's story telling, and you really had to be there, but so many of you were. 25 in all. Not including one baby, one child and one dog.
My favorite point of the afternoon was when David noted that Zen requires attention to the self, careful awareness, because, like a map, if we don't know where we are, how can we tell where we are going? So many people contributed to the conversation, but I am going to make a mash of it if I try to capture it. I would be grateful if you would take the time to add in the comment section your take aways and impressions of the day.
My special thanks to David Weinstein for his wisdom, guidance, and lentil soup. To Ashley for the Raspberry Cake (yes, cake. See, don't you wish you made it now?). to Chris for the coffee. To Ishara Hudson, Dan Kaplan, Glen Collins and DPR for helping set up. To George, Jenna, Alex, Alex, Ben, Toby, Angie, Katy, Mike, Leah, Erin, Adam, Hantain, Chris, Weezie, and Nick for their dharma companionship. And to the thousand hands that cleaned and repaired the Zendo to its normal art room status in just minutes.
On the back of the success that YOU made last weekend, we plan to offer the second Meditation retreat in September. Check in for more details, or contact Michael Kallus at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list.
“A Course on Koans” is the delusion-riddled work of Chris Kufu (“Wind in the Void”) Wilson, who began practicing Zen in 1967. He regards Taizan Maezumi, Robert Aitken, and David Weinstein as his root teachers. Each of them pecked at his shell until he “completed” the never-ending koan curriculum of the Harada-Yasutani lineage.
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