A monk asked Yun Men, “How is it when the tree withers and the leaves fall?”
Yun Men said, “Body exposed in the golden wind.”
Yun Men did not stir a hairsbreadth, but just said to him, “Body exposed in the golden wind.” He answered most wondrously, and without presuming to turn his back on the monk’s question either. Since his question had eyes, Yun Men’s answer too was straight to the point. An ancient said, “If you want to attain Intimacy, don’t ask with a question.” If you really know someone, you know what he’s getting at as soon as he mentions it.
–from Case 27, Heikiganroku
To understand the fundamental point of the foregoing koan, you must practice with diligence. Thus, Great Wave Zen Sangha invites you to participate in an autumn extended zazenkai. This retreat will take place from 7:00 PM, October 22, 2016, until 5:00 PM, October 23, 2016. It will provide a perfect opportunity to cultivate the deep practice of zazen, hear a Dharma talk, receive private instruction from Gendo Sensei, and participate in service ceremonies. As always, everyone who has received an orientation, regardless of experience, is welcome to participate.
To access driving directions, as well as other details of the retreat, please register for this event by using our extended zazenkai registration form.
All members and friends of the Great Wave Zen Sangha are cordially invited to attend.
Gendo Sensei is a college professor of writing and literature with numerous publications of poetry and essays. “My life is characterized by some seemingly long, intertwined vines of contrasting, if not competing, interests and activities. These include my enduring love of writing of all kinds, but especially of poetry; my firm commitment to the transformational power of education; the curiously creative and powerful ability of contemporary technology to stimulate and amplify our teaching and learning; and my now 30-year commitment to Zen practice,” says Sensei.
Gendo Sensei’s reading will be followed by a question and answer session. Copies of the book will be available for those who would like to purchase a signed copy. The book may also be purchased at most online retailers and in Ludington bookstores. For more information and to read excerpts from the book, please see The Driftwood Shrine blog.
Representing a new approach to the West’s evolving understanding of Buddhism, The Driftwood Shrine: Discovering Zen in American Poetry is the first collection of Zen teachings to be based on the poems of great American writers. In reassuring, forthright, and often surprising language, Gendo Sensei explains how Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, H.D., Richard Wright, and many other poets enshrined the gentle light of the Buddha’s teaching in their work.
Poetry lovers and Zen practitioners alike will find themselves moved toward a penetrating awareness of the realms of spiritual resolve, impermanence, desire, faith, and awakening.
“Through a two way mirror, American poetry and Zen mutually illuminate in this wise telling of the human story of awakening, rendered warm, intimate and authentic in its glimpses of the author’s own struggle and journey. Gendo Sensei holds nothing back in this compelling invitation to come face-to-face with ourselves through a fresh look at some of our most beloved master poets.”
—Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi,
abbot Great Plains Zen Center
“Rather than treating Zen as an exotic import from the East, this wonderful series of meditations discerns and extracts its essence from the heart of American poetry.”
“I was deeply moved by this book. This is something subtle and beautiful, brought to us by a wise and generous teacher. Here the heart of the Zen way is fully revealed as we read some of the great poetry of the West.”
“An eloquent, insightful and intriguingly personal account of the flourishing of the Zen mind in American writing, starting long before the word and the practice were known here, down through the glory days of the Beat Generation. The author finds in close readings of many poems some of the brilliance, humor and glad perplexity of the koan.”