I received the email from sensei early afternoon a reminder Zen practice was tonight. DOh, I thought it was next week, I was uncertain, so I was glad he contacted me.It was raining. I walked to his office about 40 min to meet him for a ride to the temple. Even though I practice Chan the Chinese version of Zen, I am not restricted to who I sit with to meditate. There is no major external variation to the sitting form. Other than our eyes are fully closed and I have noticed, that some places the palms are switched in the meditation mudra. Otherwise, it is an internal sitting practice so what we do different is not shown so we can sit with anyone, anyplace and practice our sitting Chan “form”
It continued to rain. We thought maybe just us tonight. We were fooled again, there were two others waiting for us. It was a peaceful night, with the rain. Tonight even during the first session I heard the sound of someone asleep, or maybe it is just their breathing, but it sounds like sleep to me.
There was no stick beating tonight. 🙂 Even though it is never me, it was still a relief of sorts.
After sitting, we went to the tea room and the head monk joined us. The was a long discussion tonight, most of it I did not get. I asked if he was warm in his robes only. He explained the layers and under garb. Also that with the service, kneeling, getting up and down, bowing etc. he stayed warm.
Another asked him about being being a vegetarian and that even eating vegetables only required killing as plants have life. The brief answer was we must be grateful for all life that is taken to feed us. Another part of this is the compassion we show to what gives it’s life and that we show on taking it. This is a brief summary, from what I was told later in English and my own statement, which I was told was echoed in part by the monk.