What is a Zen Center?

What is a Zen center? A community that invites and encourages inquiry. As practitioners of Zen, we are invited to look at our assumptions, see that we believe them to be absolutely true, see that they do not correspond to life unfolding, and find liberation in realizing assumptions are empty.

How does this invitation manifest?

Our teachers guide us as they live their lives as expressions of knowing, and they remind us to keep our practice pure.

Our practice guides us as we breathe life into the effort that is awareness.

Our community guides us as we navigate the formalities of meditation hall etiquette while discovering the spontaneity of response that is exactly compassion.

Our conditioned lives guide us as we realize the manifestation of the unconditioned.

Our teachers, our practice, our community, our lives, are not really ours; but are expressions of wholeness. A Zen center is an expression of wholeness that supports the practice of awareness.

© 2012 Bev Forsman and Letters from Emptiness. If you share this material, please include direction to the original content. Thank you.

Open Interest

opening to life without clinging to an agenda

Realization/enlightenment is seeing through the tightly-held belief that we are a particular abiding “self” living out our lives in relation to the “things” of our life that we assume to be separate from us. Not finding such a persisting entity called “self,” there is no one in particular who becomes enlightened. There is simply enlightenment. The opportunity to shine light on confusion is ever present, ever available. Life is lived as confusion or enlightenment in any moment.

Begin practice with open curiosity. In the simple noticing (no judgment) of dissatisfaction and the behavior that comes from that dissatisfaction, there is already an interest, an aspiration to know what this life truly is. Wholeheartedly participate in the life of this moment and immediately that true life is revealed.

© 2011 Bev Forsman and Letters from Emptiness. If you share this material, please include direction to the original content. Thank you.