Friday, May 20, 2011

Silly Monkey Bowing


They changed the way we bow.

No, seriously. When Judy Roitman visited Deming Zen Center this month, she informed me that the school had met to discuss how we move our hands during a standing bow. The way we have been doing it since Zen Master Seung Sahn was teaching us is reportedly considered to be somewhat "ostentatious" in Korea and I suppose it was causing some tension over there. So they modified the bow.

It is only a minor change to a form, but my body has a habit of bowing the old way -- the way I was shown to do it back in 1993. So when I bow -- at my cushion, towards the old tree, to the Gila Mountains which I see from the north playground -- I often do it the old way and start laughing at myself. Silly, trained monkey! Small wonder Saint Francis called this body "brother ass."

Bad enough when people see me bowing to the mountain. When I do that and start cracking up, somebody is going to take me away!

3 comments:

Nathan said...

I still "screw up" the Heart Sutra, chanting lines from the one I originally learned 10 years ago. In fact, I learned a third version last year at the college group I have been attending, so it's even more challenging. Sometimes, phrases from our current version at zen center have appeared while chanting at the college group, even though I'm looking right at the text while chanting. It's all pretty funny!

Mandy_Fish said...

I always give my bow a big finish with jazz hands.

Lorianne said...

What's the new way to bow? I didn't get the memo about the upgrade. :-)