Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
  • Seeking Other Postures Paid Member

    In spite of being a daily walker, I have always regarded walking meditation as a sort of punctuation to, or respite from, the work of sitting; nothing on the order of the sober mind training and investigation to be undertaken on the home base of the cushion. This willful delusion could be a hangover from my earliest forays into zazen, where kinhin really was a respite—but also, it seemed to me, a mad, macho dash around the zendo for which I was ill-suited, even as a teenager. Nor was I ever tolerant of the extreme slow motion of Burmese-style vipassana walking. On the contrary, it sent my kleshas into a tailspin, and just made me want to hurry up and sit down.  More »
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    To You Paid Member

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    The Good Fit Paid Member

    On the final day of my first sesshin—a seven-day Zen meditation retreat—at the conclusion of a six-week training period, I asked the presiding teacher, Taizan Maezumi Roshi, if he would accept me as a student. Formal interactions have never come naturally to me, but I felt it important to do this with as much formality as I could muster. I went into my last dokusan—a private, highly ritualized interview with a Zen teacher—with that mix of excitement and anxiety that comes with sensing one might be about to turn a new page in one’s life. More »
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    Memo to the Sangha Paid Member

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    The Lost Tradition of Tibetan Zen Paid Member

    Tibetan Zen: Discovering a Lost TraditionSam van SchaikSnow Lion, 2015240 pp.; $21.95 (Paper)  More »
  • (Meta)Physical Education Paid Member

    After finishing my yearly spiel about rules this morning—the one in which I talk about participation and commitment, about how the work that we do in gym is similar to the work that we do in the classroom, and that even though we may not always like it, completing this work will challenge us, and make us better athletes, teammates, and disciples of Michelle Obama—Amanda, a feisty third grader, remarked, “Great speech, Alex.” I didn’t want to laugh. Laughing would indicate to her classmates that undermining your teacher with a well-timed sarcastic comment is acceptable behavior. But in the battle between laughing and being teacherly, laughter always seems to win. When a student pokes a needle into the inflated balloon of your own gravitas, it’s hard to remain serious. More »