Posts Tagged ‘providence zen center’

Peace Pagoda, Providence Zen Center

To live in a place is one thing, to inhabit it another. The word inhabit derives from the Latin inhabitare, which originally meant to dwell. “They shall build houses,” prophesied Isaiah, “and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them” (Isaiah 65:21). To eat the fruit of your vineyards, you cannot be flitting from one locality to another. You must dwell in one place for a while.

What is true of grape farming is also true of the practice of Zen.  “Authentic Zen,” writes Dr. James H. Austin, a neurologist and longtime Zen practitioner, “has always meant inhabiting each present moment in the most natural, direct, and spontaneous way.”[i} And in his book Being Upright, the Zen priest Tenshin Reb Anderson employs the same verb to describe the practice of zazen:

For a sentient being to practice the ultimate good means not to move. How do you realize not moving? By fully settling into all aspects of your experience: your feelings and your perceptions. Not moving means to be fully congruent with yourself. You go down to the bottom of your experience, as all buddha ancestors have done, and enter the proverbial green dragon’s cave. Graciously and gently, you encourage yourself to fully inhabit your body, speech, and thought. You may even command yourself to be obedient to yourself, and to come all the way in and sit down.[ii]l

 “Although no one issues the invitation,” Anderson further explains, we “invite the self into the self.” As both “host and guest of the self,” we fully inhabit our experience. (more…)

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