Zen practice means opening up to the lively, constantly changing reality. According to the life situation and personal possibilities, Zen means a unique, individual path for everyone.
When a fish swims, no matter how far it swims, it doesn’t reach the end of the water. When a bird flies, no matter how high it flies, it cannot reach the end of the sky. When the bird’s need or the fish’s need is great, the range is large. When the need is small, the range is small. In this way, each fish and each bird uses the whole of space and vigorously acts in every place. However, if a bird departs from the sky, or a fish leaves the water, it immediately dies. We should know that [for a fish] water is life, [for a bird] sky is life. A bird is life; a fish is life. Life is a bird; life is a fish. And we should go beyond this. There is practice-enlightenment—this is the way of living beings. (Master Dogen, Genjo Koan)
Just as fish and birds are in their element, we too are always in our full reality. Every one of our actions in every moment takes place in it. Whether we eat, go out, read or talk to neighbors, we are always in the ultimate reality. But we are limited by human characteristics, our surroundings and our personal history.
It is up to us to use more or less of our leeway and our space of experience. People have different capacities and their range is accordingly. Everyone lives in the same, full world and only our openness determines our horizon.
(Right: 直指人心 “The direct pointing to the heart of man”, calligraphy by Alex Angehrn)
Mustard Seed Garden Zen Group, Zen in St. Gallen
The mustard seed garden Zen group cultivates the legacy of the great Zen masters and lets the seeds grow. It is open to the various Zen schools. Beginners find an introduction to Zen practice and can later deepen it with a Zen master. Advanced students have the opportunity to maintain daily practice regardless of the direction of study.
The Mustard Seed Garden Painting Handbook is a historical sample book about the art of Chinese ink painting. The work is full of pictures by famous artists and is still an indispensable basic work.
The work, first published in 1679, has been reprinted many times. It is named after Li Yu’s mustard seed garden, a “mustard seed-sized” property in Nanjing with a bookstore and printer, where the work originally appeared.
Place und Zazen-schedule
- The practice room is located in Atelier EinsA, Innerer Sonnenweg 1a, 9000 St. Gallen.
- Zazen is each Saturdy 10.30, with an introduction at 10.00. Please arrive no later than 10 minutes before the start of zazen.
- The zazen-practice comprises 2 sitting periods of around 30 Min. each, with walking meditation in between. Then there is a ceremony with chanting.
- The contribution towards expenses is Fr. 10.-.
- No previous knowledge is required for the introduction, please bring comfortable, dark clothing.
For further information:
Alex Angehrn, Tel. 071 866 25 21 oder 079 600 68 02 or by contact form.