Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Return to the Soenbang (Zen room)

Well, I stuck my neck out for a little while and tried this Zen/theatre teaching thing.

One more clever idea in a world filled with ideas, made by ideas, coming apart because of ideas.

The acting class aroused lots of interest and curiosity. You would laugh if I told you how many people actually came out to check out a class. Even with financial burdens removed, even when invited for free, it was just too much to ask people to come out.

Years of Zen practice and being involved in Zen organizations prepare one for this. Zen practice sounds like a wonderful idea and it intrigues a great many people. In actuality, very few people actually try Zen practice long enough to experience its actual benefit. You can't read a book or watch a DVD and get it. You actually have to go somewhere, get live instruction, practice with other people, allow your ideas about it to get popped, and keep with it long enough to be disillusioned and then give up on being disillusioned.

For most people, that is asking a bit much. Yet you show up anyway, fulfilling your own vow, doing it for yourself and sharing it liberally with anyone who does come.

So I am used to going and opening up a studio and sitting there waiting to see if anyone comes. And I am used to folding up my legs and sitting by myself, since that is what I was planning to do anyway.

However, the time and energy I have devoted to starting a business and promoting this "great idea" has come at some expense. Not just the financial kind. Although I get up early in the morning to bow and sit, I rarely sit in the evenings anymore; and don't remember the last time I enjoyed an evening chanting service. I've given up on many weekend retreats and trips to visit friendly Zen sanghas.

So I am thinking about taking down my shingle and returning to regular Zen practice. This may even be my offering at Burning Man: a regularly scheduled service, each evening, for anyone who wants to come, make sound, and then sit.

1 comment:

Jane R said...

Fab idea. Do it.