31 March, 2014

How my Experience with a Zen Master changed my life while traveling in Japan

In 2009, I went on a Spirit Tours Pilgrimage to Kyoto, Japan with Reverend Kim Kaiser a Soto Zen priest and now the Director of Education at the Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa.

The whole journey took on a sense of a peace and presence.

Every day we chanted the Heart Sutra, which to me expresses these

1. Our essential nature is emptiness.
2. When meditating, sitting is enough .
3. There is nothing to attain.
4. There is no path.
5. There is wisdom beyond wisdom.

One day we went to contemplate the superb Zen temples and Daitoku-ji of Ryoan-ji, the site of the famous Zen garden composed of rocks and sand.

What was revealed?

The doctrine of Zen Buddhism can be described as wordless communication, or expression without language. It is a basic tenet of zen that the truth can only be attained through direct experience. While visiting Daitoku-ji Zen Temple I experienced such direct communication from the head abbot of the Temple. What was revealed ?

1. Uncaused Joy!
2. The Stillness of a starlit night!
3. The space between things is what holds it all together!
4. The Laughter of a Child!
5. Freedom from all my concepts that try make sense out of reality!

How this made me feel!

This experience left me in a state of complete bliss! All these feelings were expressed to me from the Zen Master, without him saying a word. Maybe his smile in this blog will bring joy to your heart and understanding beyond understanding as well.

I am returning to the Zen Daitoku-ji Temple in September with Reverend Kim and hope to meet the Zen master one more time.

What question would you ask a Zen Master if you had the honor of being in his presence for 10 minutes?

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